Approximately half of the class sessions include guest speakers. These speakers are all innovation leaders external to UC Berkeley and to academia. Gust speakers are viewed as an integral part of the learning experience. Below is a list of speakers by year. (Positions and organizations listed are those at the time these individuals visited our class.)


  • Ann Thrupp, Executive Director, Berkeley Food Institute
  • Federico Castillo, Berkeley Food Institute Affiliate & Lecturer/Researcher, UC Berkeley
  • Ben Chesler, Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Imperfect Produce
  • Kelly Mulville, Ranch Manager, Paicines Ranch
  • Caesare Assad, Program Director, Food System 6 Accelerator, Inc.
  • Arno Hesse, Founding Member, Slow Money & Founder & CEO, Credibles
  • Rebekah Moses, Sustainability and Agriculture Manager, Impossible Foods
  • Anya Fernald, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Belcampo
  • Daniella Sawaya, Community Engagement Manager, Kitchen Table Advisors
  • 2017

    • Gurdeep Billan, President & CEO, Quality Fresh Farms
    • Salvador Parra, General Partner, Coyula Farms & Assistant Farm Manager, Burford Ranch
    • Julia Collins, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Zume Pizza
    • Dr. Raymond Wheeler, Lead, Advanced Life Support Research, Exploration Research & Technology Program, NASA
    • Caleb Zigas, Executive Director, La Cocina
    • Aileen Suzara, Founder, Sariwa
    • Michael Stebner, Director of Culinary, sweetgreen
    • Melvin Dickson, former member of the Black Panther Party


    • Arno Hesse, Founder & CEO, Credibles
    • David Kaisel, Miller & Landrace Wheat Evangelist, Capay Mills
    • Ida Skivenes, Food Artist & Photographer, @idafrosk on Instagram
    • Kristyn Leach, Organic Farmer, Namu Farm
    • Rusty Schwartz, CEO, Kitchen Town
    • Zoe Wong, Co-Founder & CEO, Cerplus
    • Ching-Yee Hu, Founder & CEO, Sprogs
    • Tracy Johnson, Senior Program Officer, User Experience & Innovation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    • Alice Waters, Owner, Chez Panisse & Founder, Chez Panisse Foundation & Edible Schoolyard


    • Michiel Bakker, Director, Global Food, Google, Inc
    • Yana Kushner, Senior Director Marketing, Clif Bar & Company
    • Mark Bittman, Food Journalist, Author, and Columnist for the New York Times, Independent Author
    • Lauren Shimek, Food & Beverage Portfolio Director, IDEO
    • Jennifer Le Barre, Executive Director Nutrition Services, Oakland Unified School District
    • Allison Pratt, Director of Policy & Services, Alameda County Community Food Bank


    • Michael Barry, Founder/Principal, Point Forward
    • Lori Klocek, Freelance Illustrator, ImageBlock Studio & Noah Klocek, Art Director, Pixar
    • Anna Rakoczy, Co-founder/CEO & Chloe Chien, Co-founder/COO, Homemade Cooking
    • Tony Geraci, Director of Nutrition Services, Shelby County Schools (Tennessee)
    • Will Rosenzweig, Managing Partner, Physic Ventures & Chairman, Vitality Commission on Health and Prevention
    • Ruco Van der Merwe, Food Assistance Advisor, Samaritan’s Purse (Kenya)
    • Shauna Nep, Social Innovation Manager, Goldhirsh Foundation, LA2050


    • Karen Pak-Oppenheimer, Vice President, World Health Partners
    • Kimberly Dasher-Tripp, Principal, Portfolio Team, Skoll Foundation
    • Chef Tony Geraci, Executive Director of Nutrition Services, Memphis City Schools
    • Dr. Krista Donaldson, CEO, D-Rev
    • Jack Rockefeller, CEO, California Autism Foundation
    • Hafiz Juma, Creative Director & Paul Bomani General Manager, AIM Group (Tanzania)


    • Joanna Sickler, Director, Global Product Strategy, Zyomyx
    • Chris McCarthy, Director, Innovation Learning Network; Innovation Specialist, Kaiser Permanente
    • Dr. Ron Chapman, Director and State Health Officer, California Department of Public Health
    • Dr. Brian Quinn, Team Director, Pioneer Portfolio, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    • Thomas Goetz, Executive Editor, Wired Magazine
    • Inhae Lee, Creator, “My Milk Toof” & Daniel Chong, Story Artist, Pixar
    • Liz Ogbu & Jess Vechakul, Fellows


    • Aman Bhandari, Senior Advisor for Innovation, Office of the Secretary, Health & Human Services
    • Michael Murphy, Executive Director, MASS Design Group
    • Margaret Laws, Director, Innovations for the Underserved California HealthCare Foundation
    • John W. Sherry, Director of User Experience Design, Intel Corporation
    • Tina Rosenberg, Contributing Writer, New York Times
    • Elyse Klaidman, Director, Pixar University & Archives, Pixar