At the world Food Convention – “Science for the society – How to secure food in a sustainable way” latest presentations from leading experts await you. Find out who they are and follow their live discussions on June 24th from 2:00 pm CEST (+2UTC)


Svenja Augustin is a graduate student at the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) in Düsseldorf (Germany). This fall, she will start her doctoral studies focussing on plant developmental biology. During her Bachelors’s studies at the Carl von Ossietzky University (Oldenburg, Germany), she also got interested in science communication and became a board member of the Ecoprogressive Network (EcoProg).

Special: Genome Editing
live stream | June 24 at 3:30 p.m. CET


As Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley’s work transcends political, religious and ethnic boundaries to promote economic development and education. At WFP, Beasley uses leadership and communication skills spanning four decades to mobilize more financial support and public awareness for the global fight against hunger.

Before joining WFP in April 2017, Beasley worked for over a decade in more than a hundred countries with influential leaders and managers on projects to promote peace, reconciliation, and economic progress. As governor of the US state of South Carolina, Beasley headed the state from 1995 to 1999. Beasley was the first governor in South Carolina to publicly demand that the Confederate flag be removed from the roof of the State Capitol – for which he was awarded the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” award.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Clemson University, a doctorate in law (Dr. Jur.) From the University of South Carolina, and also taught at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Closing Speech
live stream | June 24 at 7:00 p.m. CET

Matthias Berninger was born in Kassel, Germany where he studied chemistry and political science from 1990 to 1994. Between 1994 and 2007, Matthias Berninger was elected four times as a Member of the German Federal Parliament representing the Green Party of his home state Hessen and served in several committees (Education, Science and Technology, Budget, Economic Affairs). From 2001 to 2005, he was appointed as Vice-Minister for the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Nutrition and Agriculture. The main focus of his time in government was on agricultural reform in Germany and Europe including trade policy, food safety and renewable energy. From 2004 to 2007, he was leading the Green Party in Hessen, Germany. Matthias was involved in running political campaigns for his party on various elections federal and state level. After 13 years in politics, Matthias retired in 2007 from his seat in the Federal Parliament and joined Mars in Europe to build a public affairs team and to globally facilitate the development of the Mars Health and Nutrition Strategy. In April 2008, Matthias moved into the role of Global Head of Public Policy for Mars Incorporated. In addition to his work on health and nutrition, he led a global team to develop a cocoa sustainability strategy for the corporation. Matthias joined the newly formed Global Chocolate Management Team of Mars in 2009 and supported Mars Chocolate in communication, sustainability, and strategy development. As of 2011, Matthias led the global public affairs organization for Mars globally. In his role, he was instrumental in developing the Mars sustainability strategy including the leadership on climate change, cocoa sustainability, and in establishing sustainability KPIs for the companies’ leadership circle. Matthias worked closely with the Mars family and board on many issues and supported Mars’ business strategy development including leading the privately held company’s China ambition. After 12 years with Mars, Matthias joined Bayer in January 2019 as Senior Vice President for Public Affairs & Sustainability. In his new role, he has strengthened Bayer’s global public affairs practice and leads the development of a coherent global sustainability strategy that has been be published in December 2019. He lives with his wife and children in Washington, D.C and is a dual citizen holding U.S. and German passport.

Podcast: Agriculture and Sustainability

Erica Bliss

Erica Leads Business Development for Mineral [Google X] and spent the past 12 years designing new products and services in agriculture. Prior to X, Erica led BD across East and Southern Africa for Syngenta, building crop lending, insurance and supply chain initiatives across a wide variety of crops. She developed sustainable, inclusive supply chains in emerging markets with Coca-Cola, Walmart and other multinationals in collaboration with NGOs including the Gates Foundation and TechnoServe. Erica holds an MBA from UC Berkeley.

Innovations in Food: Interview
live stream | June 24 at 6:40 p.m. CET


She has developed her professional career around the food system, in its different approaches: areas of research and development of new products, quality control, marketing and consumption, market research, international trade and education. Agronomic Engineer (University of Lleida-Spain), European Doctor (Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, Nancy-France), MBA in International Agrifood Economics and Management (ESSEC). She obtained the title of piano teacher (Conservatorio Superior de Música del Liceo -Barcelona). Since 2002 she has directed the Foundation Triptolemos. Secretary of the UNESCO Chair and the board of management Campus Network Excellence (17 Campus). Associate Professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

Special: Genome Editing
live stream | June 24 at 3:30 p.m. CET

Liam Condon has been a member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President Crop Science Division, headquartered in Monheim, Germany, since January 1, 2016. He is also responsible for the regions Latin America and Africa.

Condon was born in Dublin, Ireland, on February 27, 1968. He studied international marketing and languages at Dublin City University and at the Technical University of Berlin. As well as English and German, he also speaks Gaelic, French, Japanese and Mandarin (Chinese).

After graduating, Condon joined the former Schering AG and held various sales and marketing positions in the gynecology business in Germany. He then served five years as head of a business unit in Osaka, Japan. On his return to Germany, Condon became Regional Marketing and Medical Director for the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions at Schering in Berlin. In February 2005, he was appointed Managing Director of Schering in China.

Following Bayer’s acquisition of Schering, Condon was named Vice President of Bayer HealthCare China in November 2006. Between 2007 and 2009, he was Managing Director of Bayer HealthCare and General Manager of Bayer Pharma in China. In January 2010, Liam Condon was appointed Managing Director of Bayer HealthCare in Germany and country representative for Bayer Schering Pharma in Germany. From December 1, 2012, until his appointment to the Board of Management of Bayer AG, Condon was Chairman of the Bayer CropScience Executive Committee

Since 2016 Condon is a member of the Governor’s Panel for Consumer Industries at the World Economic Forum and since September 2017, Condon is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CropLife International, the R&D based agricultural industry association.

Liam Condon is married and has two sons. He holds both Irish and German citizenships.

Panel: Carbon Farming
live stream | June 24 at 5:00 p.m. CET


Jon Falk

Jon Falk studied biology in Kiel (Germany) and Manchester (UK) followed by a PhD in botany at the University of Hamburg and his habilitation in botany at the University in Kiel in 2004. During his scientific carrier he worked at the Carlsberg Research Centre in Copenhagen, the University of Cologne and Kiel. From 2004 to 2008 his focus was barley breeding and ingredients at the Carlsberg Research Centre in Copenhagen (DK). Jon Falk became Managing Director of SAATEN-UNION BIOTEC GmbH in 2014. Key areas of expertise are plant breeding, plant biotechnology, analytics, and R&D management.

Special: Genome Editing
live stream | June 24 at 3:30 p.m. CET

1980-86 Diploma Agronomy (TU München-Weihenstephan)

1990 PhD (TU München-Weihenstephan)

1990-95 Research Assist. (GSF Institute of Soil Ecology, Neuherberg)

1995-2009 Assistant Professor, Professor (Soil Science, Univ. Göttingen)

2001 Habilitation (Univ. Göttingen)

since 2009 Director and Professor, Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture (Braunschweig)


  • Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in soils
  • Greenhouse gas emission from agriculture
  • Greenhouse gas reporting of Germany (agriculture and LULUC)
  • Climate protection in agriculture
  • National inventory of agricultural soils
  • Soil organic matter and climate protection

Interview: Carbon Farming
live stream | June 24 at 5:00 p.m. CET


Tassos Haniotis

Tassos Haniotis is Director for “Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis” in the DG for Agriculture and Rural development of the European Commission (and currently also Acting Deputy Director-General for Directorates ABC, DG AGRI). During his 30-year career in the European Commission he has also held posts as Acting Director for Direct Payments, Head of Unit in the Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives Unit and the Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis Unit in DG AGRI, as Deputy Head of Cabinet of former European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler, and as Agricultural Counsellor in the European Commission’s Delegation in the US.

Tassos holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia in the U.S., and a B.A. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business in his native Greece, and was a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College, University of London.

A member of the Executive of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium during 2012-14, Tassos currently represents the European Commission in the G20’s Rapid Response Forum, which he chaired in 2020-21.

Panel: Farm to Fork
live stream | June 24 at 4:00 p.m. CET

Christoph Heinrich, born in 1965, is a member of WWF’s Executive Board and is responsible for WWF’s nature conservation work to preserve biological diversity. The focus is on the protection of endangered habitats and species in international priority regions of the tropics and temperate latitudes, as well as in Germany.

After studying law and geography in Giessen, Christoph Heinrich began his professional career at NABU, where he headed the Nature Conservation and Environmental Policy Department at federal level until 2004.

As a member of numerous nature conservation organizations, the geographer has been active in nature conservation on a voluntary basis since his youth.

Panel: Farm to Fork
live stream | June 24 at 4:00 p.m. CET

Arif joined WFP in 2003 and since then he has served in many senior positions both in the field and the headquarters. He has also worked for the World Bank and taught at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
Arif’s work focuses on analysing food security and welfare conditions in developing countries to inform humanitarian response. His research interests include application of information technologies to improve humanitarian response; understanding linkages between poverty, hunger, conflict and migration; and analysing how global economic shocks impact food security, social protection and emergency and development assistance. Arif has a Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics with a minor in forestry from the University of Minnesota.

Panel: Food Security / Smallholder Farmers
live stream | June 24 at 2:00 p.m. CET


Since 2014, Dr. Kalibata has served as President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), where she leads the organization’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa.

In 2019, the UN Secretary-General appointed Dr. Kalibata, Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit. In this role, she works with the United Nations system and key partners to provide leadership, guidance, and strategic direction towards the Summit. She is responsible for outreach and cooperation with key leaders, including governments, to ensure the Summit serves as a catalytic process within the decade of action to improve food systems around the world to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement.

Prior to joining AGRA in September 2014, Dr. Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources from 2008 to 2014, where she drove programs that moved her country from a food insecure to a food secure status and became a reference point for other countries that sought to deliver agriculture transformation. Dr. Kalibata has held several other leadership positions, including Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Rwanda. She also worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Uganda, and various other agricultural development organizations. She sits on various boards, councils and commissions including the Global Commission on Adaptation, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP), the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions, among others.

Dr. Kalibata has a distinguished track record as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader. She was awarded the Yara Prize, now the Africa Food Prize, in 2012, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Liège in 2018,  an Honorary Doctorate from McGill Univeristy in 2019, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal in April, 2019 for her work to drive Africa’s agricultural transformation through modern sciences and effective policy thereby improving livelihoods of stallholder farmers. Dr. Kalibata holds a doctorate in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Panel: Carbon Farming
live stream | June 24 at 5:00 p.m. CET

Education and profession

1992 Abitur at the Gymnasium an der Stadtmauer in Bad Kreuznach, Germany
1992 to 1998 Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
1998 Master’s degree in theology, political science and pedagogy
1998 state examination in religion and social studies
1998 to 2002 freelancer at SWR television, Mainz
1998 to 2000 journalistic traineeship
2000 to 2002 editor at the magazine “weinwelt
2001 to 2009 editor-in-chief at “Sommelier-Magazin

Political career

since 1997 Member of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU)
since 2002 Member of the Rhineland-Palatinate CDU state executive committee
2002 to 2011 Member of the Bundestag for the districts of Bad Kreuznach and Birkenfeld (among other things, member of the Agriculture Committee of the German Bundestag, Consumer Representative of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group, Deputy Chairwoman of the Working Group on Agriculture, Food and Consumer Protection)
since 2004 Member of the District Council for the District of Bad Kreuznach
2006 to 2011 Member of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group executive committee
2006 to 2010 Deputy State Chairwoman of the CDU Rhineland-Palatinate
2009 to 2011 Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
since 2010 State Chairwoman of the CDU Rhineland-Palatinate
since 2010 Member of the Executive Committee of the CDU Germany
2011 to 2018 Chairwoman of the CDU parliamentary group in the state parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate and member of the state parliament
since 2012 Deputy Chairwoman of the CDU of Germany
since 2018 Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture

Keynote: Farm to Fork
June 24 at 3:50 p.m. CET

Dr. Michael Kock works at the interface between innovation, technology acceptance, and intellectual property for 25 years. With degrees in chemistry and molecular biology, his heart beats for enabling food security innovations. After 20 years in leadership positions in multinational companies, Michael Kock now serves as Senior Vice President, Innovation Catalyst for Inari Agriculture Inc. designing holistic intellectual property, freedom-to-operate, and value capture strategies. As a qualified European and Swiss Patent Attorney, Michael Kock regularly lectures and has published multiple papers on plant related intellectual property in peer reviewed law journals.


Special: Genome Editing
live stream | June 24 at 3:30 p.m. CET

Michaela Kuefner

Michaela Küfner is Deutsche Welle’s Chief Political Editor, keeping a close eye on  Germany’s in transition into the post-Merkel era and what it means for Europe and beyond.
Michaela’s daily challenge is to explain the inside political story of Germany to the outside world while also reporting on Angela Merkel’s foreign trips when travelling with the German chancellor.
Michaela started her journalistic career with BBC World’s ‘HARDtalk’ and “the world today” programmes. After returning to Germany she also started travelling extensively as an election observer for the EU and the OSCE/ODIHR. In 2006 she co- founded the Berlin-based NGO “Democracy Reporting International”.
She is convinced that the most interesting times in German politics for more than a decade have just begun.


Panel: Farm to Fork
live stream | June 24 at 4:00 p.m. CET


Panel: Food Security / Smallholder Farmers
live stream | June 24 at 2:00 p.m. CET

Member of the Bundestag since 1994

until 2005 foreign and European policy spokesman of the CSU state group

2005 to 2013 Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection

(Copyright Foto Gottschalk/photothek.net)

Keynote & Panel: Food Security / Smallholder Farmers
live stream | June 24 at 2:00 p.m. CET


© Teresa Herzmann

David Spencer is a plant biotechnologist from Aachen, Germany. In his PhD project, he studies fungal plant diseases on important crops such as soybean and wheat. He is also a board member of the Eco-Progressive Network, Science Slammer and host of the plant science podcast “Krautnah“.

Special: Genome Editing
live stream | June 24 at 3:30 p.m. CET


His research is on economic development, science and technology policy, poverty reduction, food and nutrition security, agriculture, resource economics and trade.

He serves as Chair of the Scientific Group for the Food Systems Summit 2021 of the UN Secretary General.

von Braun is President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Vatican, member of various other academies.

From 2002 to 2009, he was director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington DC.

Panel Discussion: Panel: Food Security / Smallholder Farmers
live stream | June 24 at 2:15 p.m. CET

Pia Voelker

Pia Voelker works as an editor for topics related to genetic engineering in agriculture at the organization “Gen-ethisches Netzwerk” in Berlin.

Special: Genome Editing
Video | June 24 at 3:45 p.m. CET