Ethan Brown is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Beyond Meat, a company dedicated to building meat directly from plants. Ethan gained an appreciation for agriculture and the natural world from his father, a professor, conservationist, and hobby farmer. This interest shaped the direction of his career, where he sought to make a contribution to climate change through the clean energy sector. His early work centered on electricity restructuring in support of an open grid, where his analysis at the gubernatorial level directly informed federal and state policies on grid management. Subsequently, Ethan joined the world’s leading Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell developer Ballard Power Systems, rising to report directly to the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.
Though passionate about clean energy, Ethan returned often to the role of livestock in our economy and became convinced that a change in the origin of the protein—from animals to plants--that we place at the center of our plates could simultaneously address human health, climate, natural resource, and animal welfare challenges in a unique and powerful way. In 2009, Ethan founded Beyond Meat. Today, the Company sells products in more than 11,000 stores throughout the United States, including the Beyond Burger, the first plant-based meat to be sold in the meat aisle at major grocery chains (Whole Foods Market & Safeway). Beyond Meat is routinely recognized for its innovation, including most recently by Fast Company in its Most Innovative Companies list for 2017.
Ethan holds an MBA from Columbia University and an MPP from the University of Maryland. He is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.