Can we really have our meat and eat it too?! The consumption of meat by early humans has been argued to be a key factor in helping humans evolve to become who we are today. At a time when environmental pressures are at their highest and the environmental footprint of animal protein production is significant, how might we continue to include protein in our diets and meet our needs without putting the health of the environment at greater risk?

During this panel discussion, we’ll learn more about a few of the new offerings of protein, meat, and seafood (e.g., plant-based proteins, cell-based meat, and meat and seafood obtained through regenerative farming) from the folks who are leading the charge in these emerging industries. We’ll also explore the economic opportunity in these industries, as well as the regulatory, technical, and consumer acceptance challenges these industries must overcome.

This program will be moderated by Jessica Perkins, Director of Sustainability, Apeel Sciences.

Special Introduction by Dr. Renan Larue, Assistant Professor Vegan Studies, UCSB.


  • Elliot Swartz, Academic Research Advisor, The Good Food Institute
  • Alex Kopelyan, Program Director & Partner, IndieBio
  • Blake Stok, Aquaculture Manager, Fair Trade USA

About the Panelists

Elliot Swartz, Academic Research Advisor, The Good Food Institute

Elliot holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral neuroscience from Lehigh University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He has experience utilizing induced pluripotent stem cells for modeling neuromuscular disease as well as consulting with Verge Genomics in drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease. Elliot’s work at GFI leverages these skills to educate the public, assist start-ups in clean meat development, increase the activity of clean meat and plant-based meat research, and expand awareness of the career opportunities in these fields.


Alex Kopelyan, Program Director & Partner, IndieBio

Alex is the Program Director & Partner at IndieBio. He works with teams on their business plans, customer discovery, fundraising, communication, and more. He brings together corporate and academic partners to help accelerate IndieBio companies.

Alex holds a PharmD from the University of Iowa and has a background across the clinical, global health, and startup worlds. He’s passionate about transforming our health system’s approach to nutrition, mental, and behavioral health, as well using biology to create sustainable technology to benefit people and the planet.

Blake Stok, Aquaculture Manager, Fair Trade USA

Blake Stok is the Aquaculture Program Manager for Fair Trade USA. His previous experience includes consulting for the Ventura Port District where he provided economic and market analyses services, strategic planning guidance, and public outreach leadership to build support and community consensus for the Port’s sustainable aquaculture efforts, the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise. Prior to working in the aquaculture space, Blake worked for the Environmental Defense Fund on their Sustainable Agriculture team participating in economic and policy analysis of their cornerstone platform developed in partnership with Land O’ Lakes, Inc., SUSTAIN®. Additionally, he has over 10 years international education, public outreach, and training development experience having taught in classrooms and boardrooms around the world. Blake holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a MSc. in Sustainability Management from American University in Washington D.C.


Jessica Perkins, Director of Sustainability, Apeel Sciences

Jess leads the Sustainability function at Apeel Sciences, where she is responsible for development and execution of the company’s Sustainability Strategy as it pertains to product stewardship, operations, and social responsibility. A core competency of Sustainability at Apeel involves using Life Cycle Assessment to make informed decisions around product development and business strategy that aim to maximize the environmental benefits of Apeel’s technology in the market. Jess earned a BS and MS in Environmental Engineering & Water Resources from Tufts University, as well as a Masters in Technology Management (MTM) and PhD in Environmental Science & Management from the Bren School at UCSB. Prior to Apeel, Jess worked in the Environmental Technologies groups at both Apple Inc. and The Dow Chemical Company, where she focused on by-product synergy, waste reduction strategies, green infrastructure initiatives, and company-wide environmental targets.

Event Registration

When:  Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Where: 670 Mission Canyon Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105


  • Student: $15.00
  • General-Early-Bird (online only): $30.00
    Sign up now & save $10 off general walk-in rate. Offer ends Monday, March 18 at 10 p.m.
  • General-Walk-in: $40.00
  • Parking: FREE


  • 5:00 – 6:00 Networking Hour, Online Check-in & Registration for Walk-ins
  • 6:00 – 7:30 Presentation/Panelist Discussion
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Q&A

Tickets include appetizers and refreshments for both online and walk-in registrants. (Beer or wine separate– cash or pre-paid online or at check-in table.)

If you miss the Online Early-Bird Offer, we welcome guests on the day of the event at the Walk-in rate. (Online rate not applicable.) 

Online event registration is for Meat 2.0 powered by Eventbrite
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