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MARS, INCORPORATED HIGHLIGHTS ROLE OF INNOVATION IN ADDRESSING THE WORLD’S MOST PRESSING CHALLENGES AT NOBEL LAUREATE MEETING

Key innovation debate held at Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences with Nobel Laureate, Prof. Edmund Phelps; Mars Vice President of Corporate Innovation, Ralph Jerome; and 120 of the world’s brightest young economists

09/17/2017

Lindau, Germany (August 22, 2014) --- Mars, Incorporated yesterday hosted a panel discussion on the central importance of innovation in overcoming the global challenges of tomorrow. At the 5th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences, Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps and Ralph Jerome, Vice President of Corporate Innovation, Mars, Incorporated engaged the 120-strong audience of Lindau young economists and discussed how current blocks to implementing innovation—from a lack of incentives to an unwillingness to take risks—could be overturned.

Ralph Jerome spoke about the challenges faced by the food and agriculture industry in feeding a global population expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050: “Translating scientific discoveries into practical applications across the entire value chain will be needed to solve society’s grand challenges.”

On the approach of Mars, Incorporated’s Corporate Innovation function, Jerome said, “It is important to get away from a culture of ‘short-termism.’ A longer-term approach can pave the way to transformational innovation that has a sustainable and lasting impact on agriculture, and society more broadly.”

Edmund Phelps, McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University, New York, argued that there is a need to reinvigorate society in order to innovate at scale: “We need to restore the latitude, capacity and desire to innovate. Dynamism on a grassroots level is vital to remove the barriers we face to solving real-world challenges.” Phelps was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2006 for his analysis of inter-temporal tradeoffs in macroeconomic policy.

The panel, moderated by Romesh Vaitilingam, VoxEU.org, also included the thoughts of Lindau Young Economist, François Koulischer, Université Libre de Bruxelles. Speaking after his panel appearance, Koulischer commented, “Looking at the extensive topic of innovation through a wider lens has been an invaluable experience that has broadened my perspective on addressing societal challenges. I hope to apply some of the ideas that I have been able to develop here in Lindau through the exchanges with Laureates, industry practitioners and peers.”

Mars aims to develop and promote propositions with greater positive, and fewer negative, impacts on people, pets and the planet. Rather than focusing on short-term, incremental improvements, Mars is committed to driving transformational innovation that helps solve long-term challenges-from securing a safe and sustainable supply of raw materials to boosting agricultural productivity.

2014 marks the eighth year of Mars, Incorporated’s partnership with the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. As well as supporting Lindau young researchers to attend the meetings, since 2010, Mars has hosted annual panel discussions focusing on interaction with young researchers and bringing together perspectives from the full range of scientific disciplines present at Lindau.