Multi-disciplinary Design Thinking Workshop Hacks Food Security
Thinkathon’s back! And on its 4th run, students from BS Information Systems, Export Management, Multimedia Arts, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Tourism, and Culinary Arts put their heads together to wrestle with the wicked problem of food security.
But what exactly is “Food Security?” Mr. Sreenivas Narayanan, Group Managing Director of ASSIST Asia defined this in his situationer presentation: “[Food security is when] we have enough for everyone, forever.” He shared that with our planet’s carrying capacity, and growing population and demand, we will need two Earths if we were to continue think of food the same way we do today. His idea? To rethink the way we grow and feed everyone, and to trust human innovation and inventive thinking to create new ways provide food and nourishment.
Mr. Gregg Yan, founder of Best Alternatives, a non-profit that communicates environmental solutions also shared wonderful insights on aquaculture and “best alternatives” for food security. He shared that we need to go and culture low-input food sources like kelp, seaweed, and small fish that will feed more with the least input and environmental impact. He also stressed that designers, artists, and chefs are important in highlighting these products, the same way the higher-value foods like tuna and beef have had the spotlight in the past.
Mr. Enzo Pinga, Chief Farmer of Earthbeat Farms, an organic farm in San Pablo Laguna shared that nature is all about biodiversity and democratizing farming. He shared his experiences and trials as he dealt with volatile farmgate prices, and manipulating distributor cartels that are major roadblocks to accessible food.
After the experts shared their ideas, the groups went on to learn about their users, and clearly articulate their needs through the Discovery, and Interpret modules. The Ideation module walked the participants through the systematic chaos of brainwriting through Crazy 8s, and small-group pitches. Afterwhich, they went through the prototyping module wherein they were challenged to build prototypes of their ideas that they can test in the quickest time, and the least materials as possible. The last module the group went through is the a pitching module, wherein they learned how to prepare pitches that were concise, complete and compelling.
Five interesting project ideas were developed from this Thinkathon. Growr is an online platform that can connect anyone who’s interested to make a change by investing or donating to agricultural endeavors, thereby making agriculture a shared effort by many. Oh, Crop! is an online and offline service that makes investing in farming easier and less intimidating by making financial commitment lighter, and transparent. Pick-a-Patch aims to help aspiring farmers who have no land of their own find available patches of lots to rent or lease for farming. LightGrowers is an education and retooling service that will enable anyone and everyone to plant their own crops. Through their series of workshops and farming kits, anyone can become a food grower. And lastly, Land ING, is an online marketplace for investors, farmers, and buyers to find, invest in, or purchase agricultural or aquacultural products.
This installment of Thinkathon was attended by more than 80 participants from different programs. Thank you to the hardworking members of the Association of Information Management (AIM) Benilde for staging this event with us!
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