Youth Food Lab is an incubator program where young people are given the opportunity to make food systems more sustainable with their innovative projects. Youth Food Lab was created to bring idea stage solutions to implementation and scale up existing projects. The program is designed to provide hands-on mentorship, expert workshops, access to a large network, and visibility at the global World Food Forum (WFF) stage in October 2023. Ten teams consisting of young researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovators have been carefully selected for the first cohort of this new incubation program, which began in February 2023.
The Youth Food Lab program will support young innovators to turn their ideas into impactful solutions by providing them with tailored programmes. The participants receive mentorship from experienced professionals in the industry, and expert workshops that will enable them to develop and improve their skills. The incubator programme is designed to provide a comprehensive support system to the young innovators to help them develop their projects.
The Youth Food Lab is dedicated to nurturing and encouraging the next generation of sustainable food system leaders. By providing a platform to young researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators, the Youth Food Lab aims to promote innovation and creativity in the food industry. The program will support the development of innovative and sustainable solutions that can make a significant impact on the food system.
Teams of 2023
The first cohort of the Youth Food Lab is just the beginning of what is set to be a transformative program for the food industry. As we prepare for the global WFF stage in October 2023, we look forward to showcasing the talent, skills, and innovative ideas of the selected teams. The Youth Food Lab program will continue to provide an opportunity for young innovators to drive positive change and create a more sustainable food system for generations to come.
The following ten teams have been selected to participate in the Youth Food Lab 2023:
- “Food Bank of Bolivia” (Bolivia) by Bruno E and Ferreira Crespo, Solving the problems of food waste, undernourishment, and poor farmer lifestyle in Bolivia - selected from the 2022 Thought For Food & WFF Food Security and Resilience Prize
- “Hydropan” (Kenya) by Muuo Denis Muendo, Mitigating the challenge of food insecurity in Kenya - selected from the WUR/Qing Innovation Track Competition for Climate Adaptation in Food Systems
- “PURA” (Brazil) by Arthur Cesa Venturella, Planting Sovereignty and Equity through Agroecological Agroforestry Systems - selected from the WUR Nature Based Solutions Challenge
- “Wetlands for Nepal” (Nepal) by Anu Rai, Utilising invasive aquatic weed for biopesticide - selected from the WUR Nature Based Solutions Challenge
- “Bees and Trees” (Uganda) by Stephen Bright Sakwa, Samantha Natumanya, Sandra Namugabo, Esmee Kooijman, Govardhan Pinni, Connie Olive Nalumansi and Elivis Omoit, Promoting bee keeping as an alternative source of livelihood - selected from the WUR Nature Based Solutions Challenge
- “School Meets the Reef” (Sri Lanka) by Samara Dilakshani Polwatta Lekamlage Palindi Lashika Kalubowila, Chamil Karunathilaka, Bhagya Jayasundara and Pathumini Jayamanne, Activating the value of coastal ecosystems via its application in coral reef restoration methods and building awareness of coastal ecosystems - selected from the WUR Nature Based Solutions Challenge
- “OLICHA” (Italy) by Sofia Cavalleri, Pavlina Radova and Tobia Stammbach, Olive tea: the Mediterranean matcha? Assessing the sustainability of traditional Mediterranean medicine - selected from the 2022 WFF Transformative Research Challenge
- “Mama4Planet” (Indonesia) by Annisa Fajriani, MD Davrina Rianda, MD Deviana Siregar, M. Nutr and Dyana Sari, MPH, Reduce food waste in the community through improved food waste reduction policies and programs - selected from the 2022 WFF Transformative Research Challenge
- “The Water Security Passionate” (Ethiopia) by Pacem Kotchofa, Implications of irrigation schemes and remotely sensed data on farmers' water and agricultural productivity in Ethiopia - selected from the 2021 WFF Transformative Research Challenge
- “The Green Team” (Nigeria) by Adeikeoluwa Alo, Fiyinfoluwa Afolabi and David Awujoola, Production of Safer and Quality Beans in Nigeria- selected from the IAAS Global Project Competition