Please use the search box above or see below for common questions. If we still haven't answered your question, please Contact Us. 


Q: Is the conference open to non-Ivy affiliated individuals/members of the general public?

A: Absolutely. Anyone can purchase tickets for Ivy League Future of Food Conference. At this time, we cannot offer admission to attendees under the age of 10. Attendees aged 10 to 13 must be accompanied by an adult (and must have their own tickets). Attendees aged 14 and up may register and attend the conference independently.


Q: If I decide that I don't like the announced or final roster of speakers/panelists for any reason, may I get a refund?

A: No. If you believe that there is a moderate to high probability that you will not like the speakers that will be/have been announced for the Ivy League Future of Food Conference, we recommend that you wait to purchase your ticket after all or the majority of the speaker announcements have been made. However, please keep in mind that there is always a possibility that any given speaker or panelist may not able to make it to the conference at the last-minute. As such, we can guarantee that we will attempt to produce a speaker/panelist roster similar to that of recent years' conferences, which means that there will be vegan and non-vegan identified speakers, panelists, and sponsors who are all invested in promoting discourse around plant-based diets and bioethics in academia and the professional world. If the presence of non-vegans on the stage, behind the scenes, or in the audience bothers you, then we recommend that you explore other conference options that better fit your needs.  


Q: What is the expected dress?

A: We request business casual from all attendees.


Q: How do I get to the conference?

A: Directions to the University of Pennsylvania campus along with detailed directions to campus buildings will be posted closer to the conference date on this FAQ page.


Q: Do I have to be vegan to attend? I'm generally interested in the idea of veganism and want to explore it further.

A: Definitely not. The conference is designed to foster an intellectually inclusive environment. Those who are not vegan are strongly encouraged to attend; the conference is open to anyone who wishes to engage productively with discussions around plant-based diets and bioethics. Facilitating a free market of ideas in the conference space is of paramount importance to the organizing team. We have a number of speakers, sponsors, donors, and attendees who do not personally identify as vegan but who are supportive of promoting conversations around veganism in academia and the professional world.


Q: Is there a discount for those who wish to attend and are current students, staff, and/or faculty at the University of Pennsylvania?

A: Yes. There will be a discount code provided to current Penn affiliates (this excludes alumni) via Penn-specific marketing channels. If you are a current Penn affiliate and you do not know how to find this discount code, message our email from your Penn email address to be provided the discount code. Please be aware that you must provide your Penn email during registration and you must present your active, current PennCard during check-in in order to provided entry. Your entry will be denied if you have used the Penn discount code and you cannot provide these Penn identification materials. You will be granted entry if and only if you pay at the door for price difference or you can somehow find your Penn identification materials.


Q: May I bring my children?

A: Unfortunately, we do not offer childcare services at this time. We do not offer admission to attendees under the age of 10. Attendees aged 10 to 13 must be accompanied by an adult (and must have their own tickets). Attendees aged 14 and up may register and attend the conference independently.


Q: I would like to be involved or help in some way. How can I do that?

A: Please email us at with the subject line "volunteer." We would be happy to discuss this further with you, but we are not in a position to offer free or reduced conference admission for anyone wishing to volunteer their time and effort.


Q: Do you offer free or reduced housing for students traveling from other universities? 

A: At this time, we do not. We have been told that some students are booking rooms at hostels, hotels, or AirBnb rooms in Philadelphia, and we have been told that other students are arranging to stay with friends of theirs at the University of Pennsylvania. We are currently not facilitating those arrangements.


Q: How does seating work? 

A: All seating is non-reserved, first-come, first-served. However, please be aware that our conference policy (as influenced by the host institution's policy) is that we provide priority seating to conference sponsors and press in the rare and unlikely case that we need to create an overflow room to accommodate all attendees. Otherwise, this will not affect seating.


Q: Are conference tickets refundable?

A: All General Admission, Premier, and VIP Premier conference ticket purchases are final and are not refundable once purchased as we need to confirm meals and seating with the venue as early as possible. With the need for conference organizers to incur early expenses to secure promised products and services for paying attendees, our no-refund policy extends even to (but not exclusively to) issues associated with: cancelled or delayed trains, cancelled or delayed flights, personal emergencies, life-threatening weather, natural disasters, or man-made disasters. Also, if you are unable to make it to the conference for whatever reason, if you are asked to leave the conference for whatever reason, or if you choose not to attend because you are dissatisfied with the announced or final roster of speakers/panelists, non-ticket-related expenses you have incurred (e.g., intercity transportation, intracity transportation, and lodging) are expenses that are not eligible for reimbursement from the conference team. Please note that the only tickets eligible for a potential refund are the Live Streaming tickets, and these are eligible for a refund only in the circumstance that there is a technical issue that prevents the majority of attendees from seeing all or part of the programming intended for them. Experiencing connection difficulties related to your personal equipment or internet connection does not make your ticket eligible for a refund, including difficulties related to not properly planning to have equipment and an internet connection that is minimally necessary for streaming uninterrupted, high-quality audio/video content by 2018 technology standards. If you have concerns about the refund policy, please send an email to prior to purchasing your ticket.


Q: Am I guaranteed all the benefits that are listed on the conference website for my ticket tier? Is there any way that those benefit can change prior to the conference?

A: The list of benefits for each ticket tier can grow, shrink, or change between the time that you purchase your tickets and the weekend of the conference due to a variety of reasons. The conference planning team is of course committed to transparency and consistency and will make every effort to meet or exceed your expectations. If there is a need or a reason to remove or reduce the value of a benefit for one or more of the ticket tiers, the conference planning team will do everything in its power to offer a similar or different benefit in its place. However, the conference does not offer refunds for scenarios in which benefits change for ticket tiers. Please keep in mind that the likelihood that benefits would worsen prior to the conference is low since it would be damaging to the conference brand; however, it is always possible for a large-scale event such as this. If you have questions or concerns about this, please email us at prior to purchasing your ticket(s).


Q: Can I upgrade my ticket purchase?

A: Yes, you can, and you would manage this upgrade selection through Eventbrite. For example, you originally purchased a General Admission at an Early-Bird price, and now you would like to upgrade to a Premier ticket at the Last-Minute price. You will be charged for the difference in the ticket prices. If you have any trouble doing this on your own, please email us at to request assistance.


Q: Can I downgrade my ticket purchase?

A: Yes, you can, and you would manage this downgrade selection through Eventbrite. However, since we consider a downgrade to be a type of refund, we cannot issue you a refund related to downgrading a ticket. For example, you purchase a General Admission ticket at a Standard price, and now you want to have a Live Streaming ticket at a last-minute price. In instances of requested downgrade, we are happy to place you into a lower ticket tier, but we cannot issue a refund for the price difference because of the costs that we would have already incurred to prepare for you at the higher ticket tier. In other words, in the example above, we would provide you with the exclusive link that we provide to all the other Live Streaming ticket holders if you perhaps chose to downgrade to a Live Streaming option because you realized after your ticket purchase that you wish or need to remain home during the weekend of the conference.


Q: I want to support your work and vegan scholarship in general. Do you accept donations?

A: We greatly appreciate your generosity. For now, please use the "Donation" option on our Eventbrite ticket page if you wish to donate. Please be aware that the donations are not tax-deductible. All donations will be used to expand the conference presence and offerings in this year or future years, including (but not limited to) our work to support and elevate selected young scholars and professionals.


Q: What does the conference ticket include?

A: All conference tickets include admission to all scheduled speaker events. However, since there are different ticket tiers, you will need to read through the descriptions of the ticket tiers, benefits, and prices on our Registration page in order to make your decision about which tickets make the most sense for you.


Q: I have one or more medical issues related to food (e.g., food allergy, food intolerance, Diabetes). Can I hold the conference organizers responsible and accountable to support me in all of my medical needs?

A: No. During the registration process, we ask for you to provide us with any information we should know about your food-related medical issues so that we can attempt to reduce your exposure where possible and to support you where possible; however, there is always a risk in large events like this that there will be mistakes or cross-contamination, and we cannot guarantee you a zero-risk environment. If you are not in the position to accept the inherent risks of exposure at an event like this because you believe that you are sensitive to the degree of a mistake or mild exposure of cross-contamination leading to a life-threatening situation that you would not be prepared to control, then we encourage you to consider our Live Streaming option so that you can experience the conference from the safety of your location of choice. If you do choose to come to the conference, we require that you assume all the responsibility and accountability to ask your food servers the details of ingredients and possibility of cross-contamination. For packaged foods, we require that you assume all the responsibility and accountability to read through the ingredients. You are also encouraged to bring your own food if you are worried about not being able to eat the type or quantity of food that you need in order to address your food-consumption needs. If you do choose to come to the conference and you are worried about receiving the appropriate medical care in the event that a medical issue results, please be aware the conference venue is located directly across the street from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), the main facility of the world-renowned University of Pennsylvania Health System. HUP has an emergency room within half a block from the conference venue. You will need to check with your health insurance company's customer service team to determine whether emergency room and/or in-patient stays at HUP are covered on your specific health insurance policy.


Q: Where is the 2018 Ivy League Future of Food Conference located?

A: The 2018 Ivy League Future of Food Conference will be held primarily at Irvine Auditorium (3401 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104) at the University of Pennsylvania. More details about other campus buildings that will host additional conference events will be announced closer to the conference date.


Q: How does the conference handle issues of open expression?

A: We manage the conference in a way that is compliant with all guidelines, policies, and laws at the University of Pennsylvania, local, state, and federal level.

The University of Pennsylvania campus has a policy of open expression, but that is limited to behavior that does not disrupt an ongoing event. The venue spaces reserved for this event are considered private and accessible for registered ticket holders only. For the ticket holders, passing of information (documents/ flyers/ vocalizing one’s opinions), if it must be done, is encouraged only during the designated networking slots, not during the regular sessions. During the session, there are procedures in place to guide audience Q & A in an organized, respectable manner. We request the audience to follow the method in place to ensure that the event flow is not disturbed.

Signage will be put up at different places in the venue as per the event regulations to ensure smooth proceeding. We request attendees and the general public to respect that. Any behavior that is deemed to disrupt the flow of the event will be dealt with as per the Open Expression Policy. The responsible person/ group will be educated about the same. If such behavior is continued, the open expression observer/ the event managers are permitted to request help from the Office of Public Safety.

If you wish to learn more about all the guidelines, policies, and laws mentioned here.

Q: Am I entitled to participate in the conference under any and all circumstances of my own behavior?

A: If we deem that you are impeding on the experience that other attendees have paid for, we may request that you leave the facility. If we make such a request, we will provide you with a link to the live streaming of the conference so that you may continue to experience the conference from another location of your choosing. We manage the conference (including potential requests for certain attendees to vacate the facilities) in a way that is compliant with all guidelines, policies, and laws at the University of Pennsylvania, local, state, and federal level. If you wish to learn more about all the guidelines, policies, and laws mentioned here, we encourage you to use your local public library's research librarians as a starting point to identify and read all the relevant documentation. Unfortunately, the conference organizers are not in a position to provide any answers to legal questions or questions the officers deem by their own discretion to be legal in nature.