RIPE director Long to speak at TED2023 - POSSIBILITY

Steve Long
Steve Long

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —  Steve Long, director of the RIPE Project, is set to speak at TED2023: POSSIBILITY in Vancouver, British Columbia, later this month.

Long joins other experts, entrepreneurs, and content creators as part of the April 17-21 program that will touch on many topics in technology, entertainment, design, science, and global issues facing the world.

“This is an amazing opportunity to highlight the ever-growing number of those starving in the world today and the possible solution of engineering photosynthesis,” said Long, the Ikenberry Endowed University Chair of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at Illinois’ Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Long will discuss hacking photosynthesis to feed the world and tackle climate change. This work is part of the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) Project, an international research project that aims to increase global access to food by developing crops that turn the sun’s energy into food more efficiently. 

This innovative work fits the theme of this year’s TED Conference, POSSIBILITY. Organizers of the bi-annual conference, held on the West Coast of North America, hope the meeting will allow attendees the opportunity to “explore together a strange and beautiful space called the adjacent possible.” The conference features visionary speakers who "use the power of imagination to make the world bigger, better, more thrilling, [and] more hopeful.”

There is a virtual attendance option and presentation recordings will be made available on the conference website in the months following the event.

Long is also affiliated with the Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Center for Advanced Study, Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation, and Department of Bioengineering. His photosynthesis research has been conducted with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and most recently, Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations.

 RIPE is led by the University of Illinois in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Lancaster University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Cambridge, University of Essex, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.

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