CAS & THE UN
UN Volunteer Program
As we endeavor to increase awareness of cellular agriculture worldwide, we need the right partners alongside us at CAS. We believe there is an immense amount of untapped potential for cellular agriculture globally, and our collaboration with the United Nations aims to address that. Working with the UN has been vital to reaching diverse and talented individuals across the world who are passionate about joining our mission at CAS.
Our primary relationship with the UN is our partnership with the UN International Volunteer Program. Many of our CAS Fellows and collaborators have discovered CAS through this channel, applying to work with us through this UN resource since 2018. Further collaboration with the UN includes our reflection of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) within our textbook, for which 13 of the 17 total UN SDGs are found to relate to cellular agriculture. In our UN SDG textbook section, we expand upon three chapters aligned with our slogan - People Animals World. This effort in the textbook has led us to work with UN representatives, gathering their feedback and strategic input on the textbook’s general literary development. Below you’ll find additional information on these efforts, as well as the people from the UN who have joined CAS to make it all happen.
The UN acts as a globally unifying body, providing a platform for harmonizing innovation across the globe. Similarly, one of our primary ambitions at CAS is to bring in talent with a high degree of intellectual diversity. We have found this contributing factor to be essential to the quality of our work and believe it will benefit the entire cellular agriculture space for decades to come.
In 2018, we began our partnership with the United Nations through their Online Volunteering division. This CAS-UN partnership allowed volunteers from anywhere in the world to apply to work with CAS, pro bono. We hold an active relationship with the UN through this capacity, remaining grateful for the incredible individuals who have subsequently joined CAS since 2018. The last section of this webpage details the work and biographies of these individuals, most of whom have become CAS Fellows, developing independent cellular agriculture projects.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. These UN objectives aligned perfectly with a primary goal we had when originally developing our textbook: create an unbiased analysis of cellular agriculture that elaborates upon both the potential good and bad of the concept.
We found both the prospective benefits, outlined in works like 90 Reasons, as well as the potential drawbacks, could be justly organized through the UN’s SDG structure. This led to the development of a textbook section dedicated to the UN SDGs which granted a literary platform to discuss the broad range of ramifications that cellular agriculture could bring about. After this ideation, we sought to work with representatives from the UN whose counsel could help us maximize this textbook section's successful execution.
In pursuit of this, CAS Founder, Kristopher Gasteratos, worked with his former professor from Harvard, Dr. Laurence Simon. Dr. Simon was a perfect fit, already serving as a CAS Advisor and holding expertise directly related to the topic. He previously served as Director of the UN’s World Food Programme and holds deep experience, having built academic journals and textbooks from scratch. Dr. Simon collaborated with CAS to fine-tune the UN SDG textbook section, ultimately entitled, “Cell-based meat in Application: Relevance to UN SDGs”. He helped to ensure the authorship reflected the values that CAS sought for this project, namely to objectively and comprehensively analyze the concept of cellular agriculture through the lens of the 13 relevant UN SDGs.
We are honored to have UN Affiliates who support our mission at CAS. Currently 5 individuals spanning 4 continents, they work with CAS through fellowship and advisory roles, as well as through other supporting positions within the CAS network.
Former Director, World Food Programme
Dr. Laurence Simon
Dr. Simon has led an illustrious career in the fields of global health and sustainability. He has served as a senior advisor to the Google Foundation and the World Bank, a visiting scholar at Stanford, program director for Oxfam America, launching its first work in Central America and the Caribbean in the 1970s, and was recently appointed by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to design a new, unannounced premier university.
Further, Dr. Simon founded the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) in the 1980s and directed the establishment and monitoring of UN World Food Programme operations. Dr. Simon currently serves as Professor of International Development and Director of the Center for Global Development and Sustainability at Brandeis University, while also teaching at Harvard University during summer semesters.
CAS Fellow & UN Volunteer - Translation
Annesha is a multilingual translator based in Kolkata, India. Fluent in over 10 languages, she has served as a volunteer translator with the Red Elephant Foundation, Translation without Borders, and has worked as a GTC online course translator. Annesha joined CAS as a Fellow in 2019, primarily focused on translation efforts for the CAS Website and Project CMF.
You can learn more about Annesha and our other fellows at our dedicated CAS Fellows webpage.
CAS Fellow & UN Volunteer - Motion Design
Henry is a visual designer and creative executive, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He is currently the Creative Director at Young Creative Leaders and has previously worked as a Senior Art Director at Dentsu and Aggrey & Clifford, specializing in advertising and graphic design. Henry joined CAS as a Fellow in 2019; his work focused on motion design and artistic strategy for Project CMF.
You can learn more about Henry and our other fellows at our dedicated CAS Fellows webpage.
CAS Fellow & UN Volunteer - Graphic Design
Daniela Isaza Toro
Daniela is an interaction designer, based in Toronto, Canada. She is the co-founder of Mediabite Agencia Digital, a digital marketing agency which she founded in her home nation of Colombia. Daniela joined CAS as a Fellow in 2019 and has worked as a graphic designer, art director, and creative strategist on various projects.
You can learn more about Daniela and our other fellows at our dedicated CAS Fellows webpage.
UN Volunteer - Computer Science & AI
Luis Chaves Rodriguez
Luis is a biomedical engineer and computer scientist, based in London, UK. He is completing his Master’s in Health Data Analytics and Machine Learning at Imperial College London and is a contributing author on the Space Chapter within the CAS Textbook. Luis’s background, studying the intersection of biology and data analytics, inspired his fellowship project in cellular agriculture: utilizing Natural Language Processing to read the internet and gather information on how people's opinions on CellAg are changing over time.