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Last week we closed out the 2015 RTP 180 year with Food 2.0. No, before you even ask, it was not about “Food of the Future.” No one was talking about the food of the year 3,000. It was only called 2.0 because we’ve already done a topic focused on food once before.

I personally thought we’d host a group of speakers talking about their delicious restaurants or catering companies (and I was secretly hoping for samples). Nope. Leave it to Anna Rhyne to find a set of fantastic speakers covering topics such as food hunger, food startup resources, food addiction, and safety.

“One in four people are hungry” claimed our first speaker, Andrea Anater from RTI International. Take a moment and let that sink in. ONE in FOUR! I personally have never in my life thought about this statistic. Sure, I always knew there was a need for soup kitchens and similar venues, but to think that 48.1 million people (according to Google) live in food insecure households absolutely blows my mind.

Fortunately, some of our following speakers like Alice Ammerman, Patrick Mateer, and Daniella Uslan are striving to help combat this out of control issue. Alice is a professor at UNC Chapel Hill teaching two economics classes which have a focus on food. Out of her class came Seal the Seasons, which is a food startup created by students Patrick and Daniella. Seal the Seasons is a service that freezes foods in order to make local food available year round for all North Carolinians.

You might be sitting there wondering, “What can I do to help?” Well, here are a few ways you can get involved directly with initiatives our speakers have either started or help:

The Green Bus
No Kid Hungry
Seal the Seasons

You can always contact your local food pantry/bank for a list of their needs.

While I have your attention, let’s talk about next year’s RTP 180. We have some very exciting topics scheduled for 2016. We’ll be talking about everything from Makers/DIY and Women in Tech, to Storytelling. We’ve also scheduled a friendly debate styled RTP 180 in November as a nod to the presidential election.

And, be sure to take note of one significant change that will begin in January. Tickets will now be released two before each event. Our goal is to up attendance while also having a way to repeat attendees with early ticketing options. Stay tuned for more details!

In the meantime, checkout the videos of December’s presenters over on our YouTube channel

On behalf of everyone involved with RTP 180 and RTP as a whole, thank you for showing your support for the program by coming out to the monthly 180’s. We saw over 4,000 people come through both RTP HQ and  The Frontier this year to enjoy RTP 180! Seriously, you all are awesome! And what better way to close out 2015 than with a joke?

Q: If athletes get athletes foot, what do astronauts get?
A: Missile toe!

See you all next year!