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Thought For Food global summit 2017: Young minds trying to feed the world

TFF

Enthusiastic young people started arriving early on Friday, May 26 and were served tasty coffee and organic food as we gathered in the friendly ambience that promises an explosion of innovative ideas from young talents ready to answer the question; How to feed 9 billion people by 2050?

Founder and CEO of TFF Christine Gould opened the fifth edition of TFF with an energizing and motivating introduction where she presented the theme of this year’s summit: “What’s next?”

“It’s great the space that TFF gives to young talents and start-ups to find solutions for the current food crisis” Angel (Mexican student, the Netherlands).

Thought for Food 2017 had more than 3000 participants across 130 countries, from which only 10 finalists had the chance to present their projects. However at the summit, we were approximately 450 enthusiasts present.

“I love the energy and inspiration that we give to each other; it really opens your mind for new ideas” Karin (Student, the Netherlands).

Sharing and inspiring

Keynotes speakers explained “what’s next” for innovation, economy, nature and business. From a space for experimental design and hydroponics to bacon ice-cream, the speakers made us realize that indeed, this is a fast changing world where anything is possible. We had the chance to attend several workshops, open discussion, live podcasts, town halls and of course the space to test our networking skills to get to meet interesting people from all over the world.

Meet the ten finalists and winners

Finally, it was time for the ten finalists to pitch their projects to convince the judges that they deserve the first prize of ten thousand US dollars.

The ten projects included biometric information from a picture of a cow’s face, dry organic waste to increase shelf life, floating greenhouses, vanilla flavor production from organic residues, big data to connect farmers and markets, an investment platform to connect farmers and industry, a product that degrades pesticides, gas drying chambers to extend crops shelf life, weather stations to improve coffee management and a seaweed fertilizer with nutritious cookies as a byproducts.

All teams presented very interesting proposals and after a careful evaluation by the three judges, the following projects emerged as winners:

  • Borlaug Foundation prize 2500 USD From challenge to opportunity (India)
  • Syngenta open innovation prize 5000 USD Waste busters (Malaysia)
  • Kirchner food prize 5000 USD Agrospheres (USA)
  • TFF runner-up prize 7500 USD Agrospheres (USA) who decided to split the prize between Sparky (Uganda) and Climate edge (UK)
  • TFF 2017 winner prize ten thousand USD Cultivando futuro (Colombia)

It was an unforgettable experience which ended with the wise words from Alpha Sennon (Founder of WHYFARMIT and AgriMan – Trinidad and Tobago):

“I come here to re-energize my innovative, disruptive and entrepreneurial skills to go back to my community and create a change. I don’t want to re-invent the wheel; I want to make it spin”.