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A Future Food Living Lab for Santiago

A space where F&B organizations can test new SDG-focused products while fostering youth involvement in food innovation and sustainability.

Photo of Andoeni  Ruezga
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Future Food Americas

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

CORFO- Corporación de Fomento de la Producción; Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism of Chile: Start-Up Chile.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

San Francisco with constant travels to Santiago de Chile

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

United States of America

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Santiago de Chile, 641 km². Specifically, the Providencia neighborhood.

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

After having built a Future Food Living Lab in Bologna (Italy), the Japanese local government reached out to open one in Tokyo: the main goal is to turn Shibuya into a food destination, increasing youth education and involvement around the food system. The Lab’s official opening will be on March 12th. This second initiative made us realize how much FFLL could be a valuable tool kit for local communities: that’s when we started exploring Latin America, given its records on obesity and malnutrition levels, as well as education challenges. 

Chile has been on the radar for a while, we did a few projects with the local community in the past years and in December 2019 we have been invited to participate at COP25 in Chile. We had the chance here to engage with the local community, as well as local institutions. The welcoming warmth we found there was honestly impressing, as well as the needs of the local community. Startup Chile opened our doors to us, involving the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism in order to design and build a new house for young Chilean, where to experiment, learn, connect and eat.

We are food shapers and passionate people about providing the best resources to those who need it. We want to close the gap between young people and food education. We believe that education is the most powerful tool for future development and it is something that everyone should have access to no matter who you are or where you are from. This is why we want to help build this future for young people in Chile, where creating your own future and career path is now becoming viable to them. 

"In not us, then who? If not now, then when?"

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Chile is a country that welcomes visitors who travel with an open mind, perspective and heart. Their richness in culture can be seen through their cuisine, where the food’s explosion of flavors do not only fill up your stomach but also nurtures your soul (especially with all the bread you get in your food). Flavors like the ones found of Pebre leaving a nice and spicy bite on your tongue. If you go to a Fonda (an improvised restaurant) you are sure to find the best-tasting food just the way your abuelita would have wanted you to eat.  

Chile is a place of magic that provides beauty to the eye through the endless natural landscapes that can be seen in its cities like Valparaíso. It evokes curiosity through its colonial architecture, making it impossible for visitors to put their cameras away. 

Chileans are full of humor, inclusivity, creativity, love and brutal honesty (it’s a love/hate relationship but you wouldn’t want it either way). The people have a deep sense of what it means to enjoy life with the simplicity that comes with it. You can feel the warmth Latinos have the moment you set foot in a country like Chile. If you are ever lost as a visitor, Chileans will try to help you find your way even with their hand gestures given their limited English. 

Coming to Chile means you can forget about your personal space/boundaries your gringolandia has dedicated to teach you. Chileans are lovers of touch and affection, you will be greeted with a kiss on the cheek and men will greet each other with a tight hug and back rubs while saying “hola perro” which literally translates to “hi dog” (but you know, it all comes from a place of love). 

The music here has no boundaries in which who and how it is played because even your “horrible” singing in the shower is much appreciated. Music is simply a part of the contemporary way of living and a way to bring people together. 

Though Chile has endured harsh violence by protesting against the unjust dictatorship that left the country shaken (whether that was in the streets or in major public platforms such as Chilean singer Mon Laferte) there are high hopes in the people to work for the country they highly aspire to be. A country where the government works for the people and not to fill up their officials' pockets with money. Through these protests, we were able to witness the union Chileans have towards one another. 

Today, there are a lot of efforts to support entrepreneurship in young people through education. They have one of the best Latin American economies with a lot of goods to export (such as copper). Chile’s future is glorious and promising and, who knows, maybe we will all end up living there someday.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

The health of the Planet and humankind is deeply interconnected with our food system.  ¼ of global greenhouse emission is generated by the food industry. The industry is proved to be the number one in terms of its impact on the achievement of the UN SDGs. In Chile, we can start to see a strong disconnection between people and the food system they are living in, especially if young. According to FAO, Chile has the second-highest rate of obesity among countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the country does not comply with the minimum recommendations for the consumption of water, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and fish. Young people in Chile are in need of increasing their food knowledge while promoting creativity in the industry. Without a radical and permanent intervention now, Chilean children will not have a choice when it comes to feeding themselves, and they will also not be attracted by an industry such as food, that can play a key role in the development and progress of their country.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

The Santiago Future Food Living Lab (SFFLL) offers the people a place, where everyone is equally accepted, where no idea is ignored and where everyone's contribution to society is encouraged. For this reason, we aim to stimulate critical thinking by raising awareness of the main problems of our food system while trying to help limit them as well. Therefore, we facilitate access to healthy and sustainable food, thus limiting the advancement of the obesity rate. SFFLL also aims to reinvent the word “waste” thanks to our preservation and fermentation labs, where science and cuisine coexist in symbiosis to support a circular economy model that rules out the food waste.

Educational Programming: within the SFFLL there is a strong training platform for changemakers, climate shapers, and future leaders - thanks to our Future Food Institute, our “non-profit alter-ego”, a center of excellence for food intelligence and training which develops educational programs jointly with the UNFAO and UNIDO.

Corporate Innovation: within the SFFLL there are innovation projects coming from the industry. The SFFLL hosts prototyping and testing activities of Chilean companies tackling their R&D challenges, as well as representing a soft-landing pad for international F&B companies that want to explore the local market, making Chile increasingly more accessible.

Events and Exhibitions: within the SFFLL there is strong programming of panels, keynote speeches, hackathons, food design sprints, Food is a Conversation, with the goal of convening people, feeding the community with inspiration and good food.

Research Program: done in partnership with Usach (Universidad de Santiago de Chile), the SFFLL gives the opportunity for local students to leverage the space to perform product or ethnographic research and publish results. We often provide fellowships to students, and we support the research results divulgation leveraging the community.

Through these 4 actions, Santiago Future Food Living Lab becomes a toolbox for building capabilities locally, increasing food literacy, and supporting the local economy.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Opening a Living Lab means allowing Santiago to acquire a new facade, becoming a center of innovation towards a more sustainable future of food. Immagine Santiago de Chile becoming the third culinary city of Latin America, having a generation of food passionate and experts, and attracting youth from abroad for this reason.

Opening the SFFLL will also increase food literacy, increasing fruit and beverage consumption and consequently decreasing the youth obesity rate. Young people will become more interested and engaged with the food sector, creating positive outcomes for the whole community.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Given the fact that this project has already been supported by the Chilean Government, our biggest possible impact would be pushing policymakers to make Future Food Living Labs compulsory within every university in the country, and become a role model for all the LATAM countries. Imagine a FFLL touching the lives of all university students on Earth, students who are directly involved in designing, making, tasting their food of tomorrow. Our goal is to generate a positive impact by breeding a class of innovators that would hopefully bring about major changes to solve the current serious problems affecting our food system, starting from the place’s low access to healthy food, and maybe spreading to the whole continent.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

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friendly reminder the final deadline to publish your currently unpublished submission to the Prize is less than 2 days away! Please click "Publish" at the top of your submission before January 31, 2020 @ 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time to ensure submission is eligible for the Prize.