Rising to the Challenge of our Urgent Food Future

For many leaders in the food industry, the future is now and it is a future without a blueprint. Businesses that survive and thrive throughout and after this pandemic, will need to retool and create food systems that have never existed before. This introductory course will bring together all the partners in our food systems to co-create a food future that meets the needs of consumers, businesses and communities.

Disruption, Innovation and Creating Sustainable Food Systems in the time of Pandemic 

This course is led by Hope & Main founder and Public Health expert Lisa Raiola, who will guide participants to tackle challenges like food production, distribution, consumption, equity, and profitability both in a time of social distancing and beyond.

This course would be valuable for anyone interested in creating a sustainable food future, especially the following:

  • Current or potential owners of restaurants or prepared foods companies
  • Local or regional famers, fishers/ aqua-culturalists, and growers of any size
  • Professionals from social service agencies or organizations that support food equity
  • Technology professionals looking to innovate in the food space


image of Lisa RaiolaLisa Raiola M.P.H. is the founder and president of Hope & Main, Rhode Island’s premier culinary incubator, ranking in the top 10% in the country. Since firing up the kitchens for the first time in October 2014, Hope & Main’s innovative programming has helped launch 250 food- and beverage-related businesses, with over 50 graduates now operating out of their own spaces. Lisa serves on the Foundation Board of the Specialty Food Association, and has helped dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs to build successful food-related for-profit and social ventures over the past decade. She has played an important role in shaping local food systems in Rhode Island and the region. 

Lisa brings a unique blend of experience in entrepreneurship, small business assistance, food systems expertise, as well as public health and public/ private financing. She has more than 30 years of experience in program development and advancement at non-profit organizations in healthcare and higher education with a special focus on distributive justice, social responsibility, and economic development. She is former the VP for Advancement at Roger Williams University. Previously, Lisa was a Clinical Assistant Professor for Community Health and Medical Ethics at the Brown University School of Medicine where she developed and instructed courses in public health research; health promotion and disease prevention; food security and food justice; healthcare financing and system reform; and health disparity and the burden of disease.

More Details to Come!

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