First Speakers Announced for Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum


The two-day Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum (RFSI Forum) is designed to mobilize critical stakeholders, investors, food companies, entrepreneurs, and other key players to identify, understand, and expand opportunities for investment in regenerative food and agriculture.

The event producers are excited to announce the first round of speakers, who will each bring their own expertise in the regenerative food and agriculture investment space to share with the RFSI Forum audience.

Victor Friedberg was instrumental in the development of S2G Ventures’ mission, culture, strategy and team. As a mission-driven entrepreneur, Victor has been at the forefront of innovation, global development and sustainability for over 20 years. In addition to Co-founding S2G Ventures, Victor Co-founded and was Executive Director of LAUNCH, the innovation accelerator with NASA, USAID, US Dept. of State and NIKE, and an Executive Director at WIRED. Since departing S2G Ventures, Victor serves as Founder and Chairman of FoodShot – Moonshots for Better Food and as Executive Chairman to Lavva. Victor is also a member of the Governor’s Innovation Council for Food and Agriculture. The RFSI Forum audience will enjoy his insightful presentation on the connections between technological innovation and soil and climate health, followed by a panel of companies who are successfully innovating for a thriving food system.

Chris Larson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of New Island Capital, a San Francisco-based investment advisor helping clients invest patient capital at scale. Chris directs portfolio strategy and company operations while nurturing investments in forestry & agriculture. In past roles, Chris was involved in community-based watershed restoration in rural northwestern California and supported the launch of Cambridge Associates’ Mission-Related Investment program. He operates a small farm in Marin county focused on organic vegetable and fruit production. At the RFSI Forum, Chris will join a can’t-miss panel of investors discussing successful strategies for investing in regenerative food and agriculture.

Dr. David LeZaks leads the Regenerative Food Systems initiative at Delta Institute, a Chicago based non-profit, where he manages a portfolio of projects that focuses on building a more regenerative economy. He designs disruptive infrastructure that will unlock substantial capital flows into the regenerative agriculture sector. David will bring his deep expertise on the development of the regenerative food systems investment space to the RFSI Forum program and provide insight into what lies ahead as the sector emerges.

Paul McMahon is a co-founder and Managing Partner of SLM Partners, an asset management firm that uses investment capital to scale up regenerative farming and forestry systems. The firm manages two existing funds (in Australia and Ireland), and is developing a new investment strategy to scale up organic row crop production in the US. Previously, Paul was Vice-President at Climate Change Capital Ltd, where he led a team developing a strategy for a global farmland fund. He has published a book on the global food system (Feeding Frenzy: The New Politics of Food), as well as a white papers on investing in ecological farming and sustainable forestry. Paul will share the investment case for ecological and regenerative agriculture in a fascinating session on the afternoon of Sept. 30.

David J. Nicola is the Founder of Blackdirt Farms, a leading regenerative agriculture operations and production business with a focus on grassfed beef production in the Eastern U.S. Blackdirt Farms partners with investors to purchase undervalued and underutilized farmland assets in the Eastern U.S. and operates those assets to produce a high quality and quantity of grassfed and pasture-based beef for the U.S. market. The U.S. grassfed sector provides a compelling opportunity for Blackdirt given highly fragmented production, large supply constraints, and high growth in demand. David has 17 years of investment experience in farmland, private equity, portfolio management, and credit trading. He will participate in a panel discussion on strategies for investing in grassfed beef.

Shauna Sadowski is the Head of Sustainability for the Natural & Organic Operating Unit at General Mills. She is responsible for leading sustainability strategy, which includes integrating sustainability into the product design and supply chain, with an emphasis on food and farming programs, leading external partnership engagements, and ensuring sustainability is implemented across the brands. In prior years, Shauna has been a management consultant and a farm girl. She has been a leader demonstrating the potential for connecting large food companies to the regenerative agriculture and food system. With the RFSI Forum audience, she’ll share what’s motivating this shift and what it means for the future of regenerative food systems.

These tremendous speakers will be joined by a growing speaking faculty. Stay tuned as more RFSI Forum speakers will be announced soon. To learn more about the event and register, click here.

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