A team from Wageningen University & Research participated in the Global Case Competition, organised by BI Norwegian Business School, EAT and Kearney. The goal of this competition is to generate game-changing solutions for the UN Food Systems Summit. Teams from around the world had 24 hours to work out innovative ideas to transform the food system. The WUR-team, consisting of Janina Fraas, David Mornout, Laura van der Poel and Thomas Westhoff, took the current locust crisis as a starting point for their game-changing solution to tackle the downfalls of our current food system.
The WUR-team, named "The Metamorphosis of Food", developed a plan to turn locust plagues into an opportunity, leading to increased economic and food security and healthier diets sustainably. Their ideas were summarized in the "Locust Focused" framework, which did acknowledge the importance of reducing swarm formation to minimize yield loss using a digital platform powered by citizen science. Yet, in the case early prevention fails, they have also investigated a way to create opportunities. Hence, the framework proposes an alert system to collectively gather locusts at night, when the insects do not move. Finally, the locusts are processed to protein-rich food, whereby the profit does not only go to local businesses but also to the affected farmers to be reimbursed for their losses.
From the 85 participating teams, only 15 teams have been selected for the second phase of the competition. Unfortunately, the WUR-team is not one of them. Nevertheless it has been an inspiring and valuable experience for the team members!
The 15 selected teams will develop their solutions further in the coming two weeks. These teams will present their solution again at the final on the 21st of March, where all participants will vote for the most promising game changer.