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What is Food 4 Thought?

Food 4 Thought, or F4T, is a first-of-its-kind food festival bringing together students from global universities to envision the future of the food system.

What are the dates of F4T?

F4T programming will occur from Friday April 12th to Sunday April 14th. However, attendees are welcome to attend for however much of the conference they please. 

Where is F4T taking place?

F4T will take place at the historic Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

How do I sign up?

To sign up, head over to the 'Registration' tab on this website!

How do I receive more updates?

To receive instant updates about the festival as they come, sign up to join our mailing list

Why should I sign up early?

Early Birds (before March 1st, 2024) get exclusive access to field visits, 2 extra food vouchers, and a free festival T-shirt! 

What are the main components of the festival?

Over the course of three days, participants will embark on a journey through the food system with various student-run panels, workshops, activities, career networking, an Idea Lab, Research Incubator, interactive learning opportunities., and a plant-based/alt protein World Cultural Food Festival! 

What do I gain from attending?

Aside from the multitude of events and programs that we offer, attendees will have the chance to meet hundreds of like-minded students who share their passion for addressing critical food systems challenges. You will gain access to a vast networking of mentors and organizations that cover a diverse range of careers. You will have the opportunity strategize and organize projects that will extend beyond the scope of the festival. You will be able to join field visits to learn more about opportunities in the Boston/Greater Northeast Area. You will have the chance to receive funding and technical assistance for ideas ranging from research projects to club initiatives to start-ups and more. You will gain access to our communication platform that will keep you connected with the world of food innovators for years to come. 

Who can attend?

Anyone! While the festival is centered around students, we encourage anyone interested in the future of food to join us. 

Are there student travel grants?

Yes! We do not want proximity to inhibit any of our student guests from attending. We are currently in the process of raising funds to subsidize student travel. By joining the mailing list, you will receive updates as soon as they come! We will award grants on a first-come first-served basis with consideration of financial constraints and the amount of money requested. Some grants will cover full costs but most will cover partial costs. We encourage you to seek funding from your university first. 

How to I receive funding from my university?

We have created a professional development letter that can be filled in with personalized details. We recommend sending this out to your university development offices, food-related departments, or professors. If you are a member of a club, consider applying for funding through that. Generally, by registering to participate in the research fair and/or idea lab, you have a much higher likelihood of receiving funding. 

Where can I stay?

There are many wonderful hotels located in the Greater Boston Area.  We are actively working on putting together a list of recommendations and potential discounts. 

What if I cannot come? 

We are implementing a hybrid model that allows attendees to join speaker panels from anywhere in the world and to concurrently host events.  Unfortunately, virtual attendees will not gain access to the interactive workshops, food festival, idea lab, research incubator, and coalition building. 

How do I participate in the Research Incubator?

The research incubator consists of two parts. Through our traditional research fair, students who are currently working on or have worked on research projects will be able to present their research in a poster presentation format. For students interested in pursuing new research ideas, you can develop a concept, abstract, methodology, and timeline of implementation. You will then be able to present your proposed project in a concurrent research fair. Select projects will receive a funding award and join our inaugural Research Incubator Cohort, receiving access to additional funding opportunities, connections to faculty, mentoring, and technical assistance up until the completion of the project. Opportunities to sign up for both will be released in the coming weeks! 

How do I participate in the Idea Lab?

The Idea Lab is a competition meant to spark ideas that address specific challenges through direct, actionable, and measurable projects. Select ideas will receive a funding award and join our inaugural Idea Lab Cohort with access to a multitude of benefits outlined above. There is no preparation required for the idea lab. After filling out an interest form, teams will be paired up on the spot and the Idea Lab Pitch Competition will commence. 

How do I participate in the Career Networking?  

The Career Networking is a chance to meet directly with industry representatives and mentors who can guide you through the process of finding work and learning more about your interests. Prior to the event, we will release a list of all of the participating organizations. Attendees will have the opportunity to match with select organizations and arrange one-on-one meeting times at some point during the festival. During the career fair, you will be able to visit all the career tables and advising tables. After the event, you will be able to re-match with organizations. All participating orgs will receive a resume book with interested candidates and contact information.

How do I participate in the Coalition Building? 

The Coalition Building Workshop is a unique opportunity to build friendships through fun and interactive challenges. There is no preparation needed. Simply come with the curiosity to learn and engage with others!

How do I spread the word?

To spread the word, head over to our Outreach Toolkit! For a detailed description on outreach, please refer to our Outreach Guidebook.

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