Didier Toubia of Aleph Farms talks about the Israeli startup’s youth-focused Z-Board, and why Generation Z is crucial in the decision-making process.
Greta Thunberg, while giving a speech at the World Economic Forum, said: “I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” This sentiment resonates with today’s youth across the globe, who are urging for initiatives for a better world.
Young activists, like eight-year-old Licypriya Kangujam and 13-year-old Zak Mullen, are making headway in the movements for sustainability and veganism. They are demanding that industry and world leaders take immediate action to combat climate change. This plea from the youth has not fallen on deaf ears, as companies around the world have begun to heed the call. One of these companies is Aleph Farms.
It’s a startup co-founded by Israeli food-tech incubator The Kitchen Hub and Shulamit Levenberg of Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology. Aleph Farms is a food-tech company producing cell-based meat grown from cow cells. In addition to producing ethical, clean meat, the people at the company are advocates of sustainable food systems in order to protect the environment and the planet’s natural resources.
This responsibility is driven by its obligation to protect the planet for future generations. Its unique focus on younger generations drove Aleph Farms to launch its Z-Board: a Generation Z-focused global advisory program.
The Z-Board program is a “dialogue-platform that enables [Aleph Farms] to listen to youth from around the world regarding how they see their future and to engage young leaders in the development of [their] vision.” The program allows for unique conversation between the younger generations and an influential company. Furthermore, the program facilitates the sharing of ideas from the youth who will inherit the earth.
Didier Toubia, CEO and co-founder of Aleph Farms, told Vegconomist that the Z-Board “provides a unique idea-exchange platform to make sure Aleph Farms is building the right future for our children.” As we have seen across the globe, younger generations are pushing for climate change initiatives and demanding sustainable production.
Aleph Farms aims to introduce increased sustainability in food systems by making cell-based meat mainstream. Building familiarity among the future generations that will be consuming this meat is key. Through the Z-Board, the company has aligned its goals for sustainability with its responsibility towards cultivating similar attitudes among the younger generations.
The Vegan Review spoke with Toubia about Aleph Farm’s motivations and goals behind the Z-Board program.
This interview has been edited for clarity and concision.
Why did Aleph Farms start the Z-Board?
Aleph’s mission is to leave a better world for the future generation. This is at the core of the company’s sustainability vision. We realised that only by involving young generations in the decision-making process about our sustainability vision are we able to ensure that our plans are indeed suitable for the youth and for the generations that follow.
What is the eligibility criteria that an applicant has to meet in order to be a part of the Z-Board?
The applicant would be passionate about food, sustainability and the convergance between the two. Applicants are mainly reviewed based upon their passion, the level of accountability they share with us and the realisation of our company’s vision.
How much success has the program experienced so far?
For the first cohort of our program, the program has been giving us valuable insights, which are incorporated both in our sustainability and our communication strategies.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced since the program started?
Most members are still students and the majority of them are also active in other programs focused on sustainability. We make sure that the time in which we are collaborating doesn’t come at the expense of other obligations they have as well.
What are the main focuses and goals of the program?
The program involves young leaders of Generation Z in our vision and plan development. For the first cohort of our program, we identified teenage leaders from New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada, the US, France and Israel. The program also focuses on understanding the youth’s expectations from food systems, and it’s about endorsing cellular agriculture programs in schools and higher education programs. Our goal is to make sure we hear the voice of Generation Z and align our forward-looking vision to the youth’s expectations from us.