Vertical Farming and Renewables: The Nexus of Water, Energy, and Food

Thursday, October 07, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Conference Center Nord
Room C62

A growing global population, urbanization, climate change, the loss of agricultural land, and pressure on natural resources are among the key drivers behind a global rise in policies to secure food supplies. Vertical farming, ideally powered by renewables, could offer a sustainable solution and help to secure food supplies - particularly in urban areas. This fascinating session will shed light on an innovative concept, evaluate the opportunities and challenges it presents, and assess the potential role of renewables in such food production methods, both now and in future.

11:00 am - 11:05 am Welcome and Introduction

11:05 am - 11:25 am Why We Need Renewable Energies for Vertical Farming

Christine Zimmermann-Lössl

Association for Vertical Farming e.V.

11:25 am - 11:45 am Urban Farming in the City of Tomorrow - Creating Sustainable Urban Food Systems

Sophie Mok

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO)

11:45 am - 12:05 pm YASAI - Creating Circular & Sustainable Food Systems with Vertical Farming & Renewable Energy

12:05 pm - 12:25 pm Speaker to be confirmed

12:25 pm - 12:30 pm Q&A



Christine Zimmermann-Lössl (Association for Vertical Farming e.V.)



Christine Zimmerman-Loessl has a background based on studying political science, sinology and philosophy at Munich University - which was the starting point for her interest in international work. She has worked in different Asian countries which has given her experience and deeper insight in other cultures and people. In Germany, she benefited from her international knowledge as a project manager for risk analysis and crisis management. Networking was always easy for Christine and she founded the Asia Network Information Center - combining her talents for projects, research and innovation. Later on, as the representative for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in China, she took responsibility in different areas and led the German-Chinese Management Institute, initiated environmental protection and poverty alleviation projects, as well as implemented with the All China Women’s Federation programs for women. Christine was inspired by her son’s interests in Vertical Farming and got involved. She was able to use all of her experiences and networking skills to found with a group of like minded young people the first nonprofit in the world - the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) in 2013, since then she is acting as the chairwoman of AVF . “Through AVF we are raising awareness and building a network of like-minded people for the implementation of Vertical Farming around the world”.


Mark Essam Zahran (YASAI AG)

Co-Founder & CEO


2010 - 2012 - Junior Project-Leader at Gruner for Smart Buildings Systems 2012 - 2019 - MSc Architecture at ETH Zurich & UNAM Mexico-City (Work experience in several architecture offices along the way) 2019 - today - Founder & CEO YASAI AG (PowerMBA, Academic Industry Training Colombia & Venture Kick Founder’s training along the way)


Sophie Mok (Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO))

Researcher and Project Manager - Urban Economy Innovation


Sophie Mok is a researcher and project manager in the "Urban Economy Innovation" unit at the Fraunhofer IAO in Stuttgart, Germany. She is leading the replication work package in the H2020 project UNaLab, which focusses on how nature-based solutions help cities to become more climate and water resilient. Additionally, Sophie is involved in local and international research projects in the area of sustainable and climate-friendly urban development, resource-efficient future street design, as well as urban farming and food systems. Sophie holds a Master’s degree in Bioeconomy and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences and Hydrology.

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