(COMx Moderator and Panelists from left to right: Christine Howell, Dr. Derek Aday, Lisa Johnson, and Eric Henry)
NC State Institute for Nonprofits hosted this spring’s COMx event, which occurred on Monday February 19th, at Loading Dock Raleigh.The theme of this event was: Food and Water Security. The goals of COMx were to facilitate creative collisions, and build a community across sectors and among diverse stakeholders. As usual, it began and ended with networking over appetizers and drinks, the attendees settled in for the panel discussion in between.
The panel discussion was moderated by Christine Howell, Lecturing Fellow at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. The COMx panelists included: Eric Henry, President & CEO of TS Designs, Lisa Johnson, PhD Candidate in Horticultural Science at NC State, and Dr. Derek Aday, Professor and Head of the Department of Applied Ecology at NC State. The panelists sought to address the most challenging food or water issues, and highlight the developments that have been made to solve those challenges.
Eric Henry focused his remarks on the impact that his business has made to solve food and water related issues. In addition, he noted that he made a small farm to educate people and supply food to food insecure employees. Lisa Johnson focused her presentation on food waste by explaining what and how much people threw away. Also, she explained that reducing food waste can have social impact because it could be used to provide food to hungry individuals. Dr. Derek Aday concentrated his remarks on how water resources are used, and he discussed water quality issues. Moreover, Dr. Aday delivered one of the most memorable quotes of the night when he said “if you solve water problems, you can solve food problems!” After their presentations, all panelists answered questions from an attentive audience.
It was clear from the enthusiastic conversations throughout the night that the guests left with new knowledge about some of the food and water challenges facing our society.