Creating Social Value Blog / Food

The Story of Babson Food Day

gail and chefs

This October 20-21 marks the fifth annual Babson Food Day. What’s Food Day and why does Babson celebrate it? No surprise: the back story is quite entrepreneurial…

The first national Food Day was held October 2011, an initiative of Center for Science in the Public Interest (“CSPI”). On the first Food Day, grassroots organizers all across the country gathered at schools, farmers markets, restaurants and civic centers to champion better food policy and applaud sustainable food initiatives.

Executive Director of Babson’s Lewis Institute for Social Innovation, Cheryl Kiser, had known CSPI co-founder Michael Jacobson for years. So she got wind of the first national Food Day before most. Babson’s now four-year-old “action tank” for food entrepreneurs of all kinds Food Sol was brand new at the time. (You can read Cheryl’s and my Food Sol start-up story in The Boston Globe.)

Cheryl and I knew that we needed a big event to anchor Food Sol within Babson and spread the word of our mission and vision. National Food Day proved the perfect partner. And so in tandem with first national Food Day came first Babson Food Day. In fact, in 2013, Michael Jacobson visited Babson Food Day – choosing us over hundreds of other campuses across the country – and got bitten by the food entrepreneurial bug.

As energy and attention has grown around food over the past five years, so Babson and Food Sol have cemented our brand in food entrepreneurship of all kinds. Babson Food Day is now one of the biggest showcases for food innovation and food entrepreneurship anywhere.

This year’s line-up of featured thought leaders and industry experts is phenomenal. Now more than ever, Food Sol believes and demonstrates that eaters have agency in the food system and that if you eat food, you are a part of the food industry. And so this year, we have designed in plenty of time to ensure that attendees can find and build the conversations they need to move their eater-entrepreneurial dreams forward.

There are sessions on dining innovation, start-ups, big food businesses, and thought leadership across sectors and industry segments. Babson Food Day is free to attend (note: lunch is $10 for non-Babson community), no registration is required, and it’s come-when-you-can, leave-when-you-need-to.

With four years under our belts and access made so simple, you definitely don’t want to miss this.