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Mars, Incorporated Highlights Role of Innovation in Addressing the World's Most Pressing Challenges at Nobel Laureate Meeting

Key innovation debate held at Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences with Nobel Laureate, Prof. Edmund Phelps; Mars Vice President of Corporate Innovation, Ralph Jerome; and 120 of the world's brightest young economists

LINDAU, Germany, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mars, Incorporated yesterday hosted a panel discussion on the central importance of innovation in overcoming the global challenges of tomorrow. At the 5th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences, Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps and Ralph Jerome, Vice President of Corporate Innovation, Mars, Incorporated engaged the 120-strong audience of Lindau young economists and discussed how current blocks to implementing innovation—from a lack of incentives to an unwillingness to take risks—could be overturned.

Mars, Incorporated Vice President of Corporate Innovation Ralph Jerome (second from left), speaks about challenges faced by the food and agriculture industry to feed a growing population at the 5th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in Lindau, Germany on Aug. 21, 2014. The Mars-sponsored event brought 120 Lindau young economists together to discuss how to overturn blocks to implementing innovation. Also pictured, from left, are Francois Koulischer, Lindau Young Economist; University Libre de Bruxelles...

Ralph Jerome spoke about the challenges faced by the food and agriculture industry in feeding a global population expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050: "Translating scientific discoveries into practical applications across the entire value chain will be needed to solve society's grand challenges."

On the approach of Mars, Incorporated's Corporate Innovation function, Jerome said, "It is important to get away from a culture of 'short-termism.' A longer-term approach can pave the way to transformational innovation that has a sustainable and lasting impact on agriculture, and society more broadly."

Edmund Phelps, McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University, New York, argued that there is a need to reinvigorate society in order to innovate at scale: "We need to restore the latitude, capacity and desire to innovate. Dynamism on a grassroots level is vital to remove the barriers we face to solving real-world challenges." Phelps was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2006 for his analysis of inter-temporal tradeoffs in macroeconomic policy.

The panel, moderated by Romesh Vaitilingam,, also included the thoughts of Lindau Young Economist, Francois Koulischer, Universite Libre de Bruxelles. Speaking after his panel appearance, Koulischer commented, "Looking at the extensive topic of innovation through a wider lens has been an invaluable experience that has broadened my perspective on addressing societal challenges. I hope to apply some of the ideas that I have been able to develop here in Lindau through the exchanges with Laureates, industry practitioners and peers." 

Mars aims to develop and promote propositions with greater positive, and fewer negative, impacts on people, pets and the planet. Rather than focusing on short-term, incremental improvements, Mars is committed to driving transformational innovation that helps solve long-term challenges-from securing a safe and sustainable supply of raw materials to boosting agricultural productivity. 

2014 marks the eighth year of Mars, Incorporated's partnership with the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. As well as supporting Lindau young researchers to attend the meetings, since 2010, Mars has hosted annual panel discussions focusing on interaction with young researchers and bringing together perspectives from the full range of scientific disciplines present at Lindau.

About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of  building a business based on the objective of creating a "mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders"—this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital, CESAR®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES® and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints; Food – UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA® and  WISDOM PANEL®.  For more information, please visit Follow us:,,,

About the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
The 5th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences takes place from August 19 to 23. A record number of 17 laureates of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize in Economics, are participating in the meeting—among them Joseph Stiglitz, John Nash and Edmund Phelps. Approximately 450 aspiring young economists from more than 80 countries come together to share their knowledge and experiences, to gain inspiration and motivation, and to expand their contact networks. The meeting has been organised by the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. More information:

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