Harnessing the power of the digital age
The digital age. The information era. Whatever you call it, we live in a time where technology and the virtual world are an integral part of many of our daily lives. However, despite technological advances many people are increasingly forced to go hungry, or to reduce the quality of the food they eat. Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, and cost of living crises have led many to consume diets that are bad for their health and bad for the planet.
FEAST’s work-package 5 is about harnessing the power of technology to reverse this trend, to create and develop solutions to unhealthy diets and food insecurity, and to make it easier for people to consume healthier and more sustainable diets.
How will we make a difference?
If we are to help improve the health of people and the planet then we need to act to support dietary and food system transitional change; we need to act decisively, and we need to act now. This means changing the way we deal with food supply, management of surplus and waste, and it means changing the way we eat and the choices we make every day.
We can achieve this change through innovation, community engagement and development, smartphone apps to support consumers to make healthy and sustainable decisions, and through research: identifying the most effective actions we can take.
To make it easier for people to eat healthy and sustainable diets we need to find new ways of working, we need to engage with people in their communities, raise awareness and encourage people to make healthier choices, and we need to give people clear and easy to access information about the food they are buying – at point of purchase. We need to find local solutions to global problems.
Open-innovation: Hack for Food, Hack for Good
Competition time! Over the next two years we will be running 5 Hackathons: timed events in which teams of technical and business experts get together to collaborate intensively on creative projects. At the end of the event, each team will present a solution or concept. The winning team will receive support and mentoring to develop a prototype – making their concept a reality.
Follow these links to find out about a Hackathon near you!
Community is the basis for personal relationships and support. It is about belonging – to a physical neighborhood, a virtual space, or through shared interests and identity. Living Labs are manifestations of communities – user-focused experimental environments in which municipalities, citizens, and stakeholders are supported to co-create and develop innovative solutions in real-world settings. Find out more about the tech-focused work of our Living Labs in Leuven, Gent, Oxfordshire, and Prilep through these links.
How can we help people consume healthier and more sustainable food? How can we give people the information they need to make informed choices about their diet? How can we help people change their behaviour? Our physical and digital environments are oversaturated with messages encouraging the consumption of unhealthy, unsustainable food. In the persuasive communication trial we will focus on digital media food messages, measuring the effectiveness of persuasion strategies at increasing healthier food intake and reducing food insecurity in vulnerable populations – those who are disproportionately effected by diet-related illnesses and diseases.
There’s an App for that!
How do the labels that you see effect the food that you purchase? In the myLabel smartphone app trial we will be giving 25,000 citizens the chance to be a part of a citizen science campaign to influence food labelling policy by testing different versions of a food app designed to provide consumers with feedback on their purchases – at the point of sale. Find out more about the myLabel trial here.
Read about our research activity
‘Hack for Food Hack for Good’ Milan. On 19-26 May the Milan Hackathon took place. Fourteen participants in three teams competed to create a concept and solution to reduce food waste and innovate food recovery methods in local neighbourhoods in the city of Milan, Italy-. To find out more about the Hackathon and the winning concept follow this link!