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Food Waste Challenge – Community Voices August 1st, 2016

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Over the course of the Food Waste Challenge, we'll be featuring snapshots of OpenIDEO members who are making meaningful contributions to our community. This week, let’s take a look at what’s been inspiring Sharon D’ Costa and Alan Hurt in the Challenge.


Sharon D’Costa is a marketer and social entrepreneurship enthusiast with an academic background in business design and psychology. She is the founder of Word of Mouse, a creative solutions and digital marketing company in Mumbai, India.



Alan Hurt is the CEO of Innospce Lab - a Design Thinking and Innovation Consultancy. Alan also founded Light Up Africa, a social enterprise in the renewable energy sector. He is currently at Georgia Institute of Technology working on a Master of Science in Computer Science to help him build Developfy.  



What brought you to the Food Waste Challenge?

Sharon: This challenge has personal relevance for me. I live in a developing country where millions of people can't afford decent meals each day, yet we have a considerable amount of food waste from the more privileged classes. This leftover food, if donated to the poor, can save lives. I would love to learn how different cultures tackle the issue of wastage and use the insights to come up with ideas that can be implemented.


Alan: From a very young age, I have always been passionate about knowledge and food. More importantly, I am interested in the exploration of knowledge sharing as a means to understand the global challenges we face as humans. This is what brought me to participate in the Food Waste Challenge.


Which inspirations caught your eye so far?

Alan: An inspiration that has caught my eye is one of my own submissions: Culinary Institute of America’s Food Business School. I believe this is currently the best approach to dramatically reduce waste by transforming our relationship with food. Why? CIA FBS is the first non-profit I have seen who is focused on the capacity building of food systems that have remained relatively unchanged for decades.  


Sharon: The ideas of sharing or donating leftover food inspired me — such as the one about the public fridge for leftover food, and the one about donating leftovers from lunch boxes to the poor. In developing countries there are a lot of food going to waste, and there are millions of hungry people who need it — It's really about bringing the two together. It appears that the most effective solutions are usually the simplest ones. I would love to explore this angle further and see what ideas it may lead to.


Join Sharon, Alan and the rest of the OpenIDEO community on the Food Waste Challenge!

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