On March 27, JPF Executive Director, Dr. Rollie Wesen was invited to speak at Columbia Business School as part of a case study exercise. JPF supporter, friend and adjunct Professor, Ross Goldenberg, invited Rollie to present the JPF to the class as a subject for “Growth Hacking.”

Rollie gave a background presentation in which he emphasized Jacques Pépin’s history, career and outsized influence in the culinary world, as the most important culinary educator of our time. He also emphasized his concern that, in the U.S., we have lost pathways, such as home economics in school and shared family meals for young people to learn how to cook. The resulting decline in food and cooking literacy has seismic implications for the food system, public health and the environment.

The students were tasked with developing proposals, suitable for inspiring viral growth in our digital age, that would address a general food literacy challenge, which the JPF has the capacity to affect: “To inspire more people to learn and want to cook from scratch”

And in the process to address a persistent JPF challenge: “To create recognition that Jacques is the greatest cooking teacher of all time, and if you want to learn to cook, you should join with us, and learn from us.”

The students are expected to produce “pitches” for the JPF to create growth among our membership, and followers that will hopefully lead to, not only more support for the JPF, but also inspire more people to cook and eat well, improving health and environmental outcomes for themselves, their communities and the world.