IFT FIRST has released the schedule of networking events for this year's event from July 14-17 at McCormick Place in Chicago. IFT, the nonprofit scientific organization focused on advancing the science of food and its application within the global food system, has secured various identity-based events for attendees to connect with peers within the industry. 

The wide array of events are focused on bringing together industry peers looking to create impactful professional relationships, including exclusive, topic-based networking events hosted by IFT Divisions, networking hours hosted by the African, African American, Black Resource Group; the Proud (LGBTQIA+) Resource Group; the Early Careerist Resource Group; and the Women’s Resource Group whose networking hour will be sponsored by Coca-Cola Women in STEM.

“Uplifting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging goes beyond ensuring everyone in the science of food community feels valued and safe: it’s also imperative that we have a diverse group of minds to solve the biggest challenges in our global food system,” shared IFT CEO, Christie Tarantino-Dean. "The identity-based networking events at IFT FIRST offer an opportunity for attendees to find a supportive group of peers in the science of food community who can help to elevate each other’s careers and make impactful change."

IFT guests will also have the opportunity to connect through two interactive platforms: Find Your Next Friend Networking Hour, which will be held on the last day of the expo in the IFT HUB, and Braindate—a special peer-to-peer networking platform that will allow users to create a profile, create and browse posts to the Braindate Topic Market on the topics that matter most to them, and schedule meetings with fellow industry members at the Braindate Lounge.

Other identity-based networking opportunities will include the Hispanic and Latinx Networking Hour sponsored by Ingredion; the Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Networking Hour; and the Neurodiverse & Disability Networking Hour. Industry Transparency Center will be hosting Sip & Savor Ingredients Networking Night on July 15, from 5:30 - 7:00 pm at Hubbard Inn. This will be an evening of networking and socializing with industry leaders. Connect with colleagues and friends and build new relationships with leaders who are driving innovation in the industry. Learn more here.