Highlights from Young EFFoST Day 2020

November 18, 2020

Young EFFoST Day is a special event held during the EFFoST conference. It is a programme by and for young food professionals working in academia, industry and start-ups. This year's highlights included a workshop on influential communication and group discussion sessions.

In line with these days’ limitations, the event was held online, with a total of 90 participants. The Young EFFoST Day started with a warm welcome by Dafna Pascoviche representing the Technion organizing team. After an introduction, the planned agenda was presented and the event was officially launched.  

Then, the participants met the Young EFFoST Council who were introduced by Felix Schottroff, Cinzia Manozzi, and Christina Dietz. The council members emphasised the importance of Young EFFoST to address networking and career-related issues specifically for young professionals within the EFFoST network. To continue with this work additional council members are needed to support events and webinars. If you are interested in the positions 1) Young EFFoST Day coordinator, supporting the local organizing committee, or 2) Young EFFoST Council secretary, please apply to YoungEFFoST@effost.org.

This was followed by an interactive presentation on Influential Communication by Natalie Barnet Nagar and Inbal Maoz from Virtuozo, official TED coaches. In this session, participants received well-valued tips on how to elegantly deliver a concise message when standing in front of an audience, whether on stage or when interviewing for a job. Thanks to Virtuozo’s encouragement, we practice the new concepts immediately via the chatbox. Now the terms “hook" and “FISH” have a whole new meaning. Thanks, Natalie and Inbal!




To complete the Young EFFoST Day 2020, participants were invited to join one of six different workshops to discuss current food-related topics, chaired by renowned speakers from the respective field: Dr Alejandro Marabi, Mr Memi Genosar, Prof. Serafim Bakalis, Prof. Ester Segal, Prof. Maya Davidovich-Pinhas, and Prof. Anet Režek Jambrak. Topics included the future of food technology, food startups, the impact of COVID-19 on young professionals, collaboration of academia and industry, career planning for young professionals and sustainability in the food sector.

Here are some highlights from the interactive group sessions:

Prof. Anet Režek Jambrak from the University of Zagreb chaired the session "Are we doing enough (whether academia or industry) towards a "greener" more sustainable world?". She raised the issues of quantifying sustainability, policy and legislation, multidisciplinary approach, reuse and recycle concepts saying that those aspects still need to be improved to become a more sustainable society. Moreover, the circular economy, Life Cycle Assessment, the effective waste management and the digitalization of food process represent key points towards a "greener" sustainable world.

Dr Alejandro Marabi, Food Technologist, and Sr. R&D Manager at PepsiCo chaired the session "The future of food science and industry: the end of an era or a beginning of a new dawn?" His optimism regarding our role in the future challenges of the food sector and fascinating insights triggered an interesting discussion. Dr Marabi pointed out the importance of food scientist/ technologist in feeding a world facing a massive population increase and the environmental implications. He also talked about food innovations, initiatives and defined some related concepts such as “novel food” and their related regulatory aspects.

Prof. Maya Davidovich-Pinhas from the Technion, chaired the session "How to plan an academic career as a young researcher?" Prof. Davidovich- Pinhas talked about the advantages of a post-doc position, gave tips on the search process and shared her insights on the differences between the responsibilities of a post-doc compared to a PhD students’ or non-academic job. Moreover, it was discussed how to manage the supervisor or PI to fulfil his/her expectations, as well as the possibilities to generate funding for the post-doc.    

The Young EFFoST Day was organized by the Local Organizing Committee (Dafna Pascoviche, Eden Eran Nagar, Alon Romano) and the Young EFFoST Council (Felix Schottroff, Cinzia Manozzi, Christina Dietz, and Thomas Fauster). We would like to thank all the attendees and speakers as well as people involved behind the scenes, who all contributed to a successful Young EFFoST Day 2020. We are looking forward to meeting everyone in person at the next EFFoST Conference in Switzerland.

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