Food Design Thinking: Building a Bilateral Multidisciplinary Community
The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in Denmark has provided a grant as part of their International Network Programme to support network activities between the Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) and the Department of Food Science (FOOD) at the University of Copenhagen, the Center for Design Research (CDR) at Stanford University, and the Berkeley Energy and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) laboratory at UC Berkeley.
Description of the research area and scientific focus of the activities
We need to better understand the societal challenges that underlie a sustainable future for a growing and more demanding population on our planet. Important work has gone into understanding sustainable food ecologies but the exact prerequisites and conditions are still in flux. We want to start addressing these issues by exploring how different stakeholders, representing different disciplines, can be connected to collectively shape the understanding of both the key challenges and potential solutions. Given the central nature of food in many of the critical challenges and solutions, we specifically explore how diversity in food ecologies can enable (or potentially hamper) new solutions by bringing together stakeholders in food science, innovation, and entrepreneurship through a design thinking process. Design thinking is increasingly used in innovation practices and is also becoming a more important research topic. It is particularly well suited to study and develop the understanding of societal challenges as it provides an emergent framework that facilitates an open and inclusive innovation process. As such, it allows for cross-fertilization of knowledge across scientific disciplines, including food science, engineering, design, and business.