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Food as a Service

Digitizing food, so that people (human or non-human), can manage their sociopolitical or economic circumstance as a collective or whole.

Photo of Rob Kara
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Lead Applicant Organization Name


Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small NGO (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

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

  • 3-10 years

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


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

New Zealand

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

Christchurch, covers an area 1426 km^2.

What country is your selected Place located in?

New Zealand

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I've chosen, Christchurch, as the place to launch my business, not just because, I live and serve here, but because, Christchurch, is undergoing a radical change in its sociopolitical or economic system, model or circumstance.

In 2011, Christchurch experienced a devastating 6.3 earthquake that killed 185 people and left many people out of work or homeless. Unfortunately, it's been the low to middle income earners who have suffered the most. Private enterprise, such as insurance companies refused to honor insurance claims, after the earthquake. This forced people to have to sell their homes at below market rates or pay for their own repairs.

This pattern of dishonoring agreements continued, as builders would overcharge customers when it came to fixing their homes or landlords would increase their rents.

I was confused as to why people who agreed to serve somebody in a certain way, would then, choose to serve them in a different way?

And then, it occurred to me.

Each person, from the homeowner through to the insurance worker or builder, are all operating separately from one another or at least, they think, they are. Each person, presumes, that they are maintaining their own sociopolitical or economic circumstance or service in the world, by receiving revenue or energy and paying expenses or giving energy.

This is not true.

At least, not according to people like Albert Einstein or Alan Turing, who have suggested that energy or "process" is constant or a single event, circumstance or energy source, and not many apparent events, circumstances or energy sources.

Christchurch, is ripe for change and a new sociopolitical or economic system, model or circumstance of humankind. One that presumes, prior unity with all beings, human or non-human (e.g. plants, other animals, IOT (e.g. smart fridge/tv), AI technology, sensors etc), and provides a platform to enable those beings to serve one another or be a part of the same request or conversation.

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.

Christchurch, has a vast history stretching back several hundred years, from the early Maori in the 12th century to the arrival of the Europeans, such as the French, Dutch and British, in the 16th century.

The landscape of early Canterbury, the province that houses Christchurch, is 45,345 km^2. The land, was originally a swamp, that attracted many wildlife to the area, that early Maori hunted, such as birds or eels. Parts of Canterbury, were more attractive for farming, and growing vegetables, such as potatoes or kumara.

This practice of farming continued, when Europeans arrived, bringing more farming practices, such as animal farming.

This aggregate way of serving the sociopolitical or economic domain of humankind, or human requests is still the model or system, being used today.  People (e.g. a farmer or fisherman), are still operating independently of one another or presuming that they are maintaining their own, sociopolitical or economic circumstance.

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.

Christchurch's or Canterbury's food system or sociopolitical or economic circumstance, doesn't scale to serve all of it's citizens requests, all of the time. That's, because the sociopolitical or economic system or model, that people are using can't include more than one service in the same request, at the same time.

For example, if a person was building a new house and hired a carpenter to help them do the carpentry. And later on, decided to hire an electrician to help them do the electrical work, both the carpenter and electrician, would be regarded as two separate services or requests, made by the home owner. The two trades men, wouldn't be regarded as the same event or service, or included in the same request.

This type of constraint is linear or a one-to-one relationship, between the request and the service, because it presumes that service can be aggregated or enumerated.

Request : Service (one-to-one relationship or aggregate service)

What's required, is a non-linear or circular way for people to serve or manage requests, collectively as a many-to-many relationship between the request and the service. I.e where service is constant or the case for all apparent beings (human or non-human).

Request : Service (many-to-many relationship or constant service)

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

Food as a service addresses this challenge, by presuming that people or services are in a many-to-many relationship with one another or a constant event, process or energy source. By making this presumption, we can use a Turing machine or computer to help us manage or aggregate the request or conversation, that people or services are having about that event, process or energy source.

By using a computer to focus on the request or conversation that people are having, means that more than one person or business can help manage the same request or conversation, at the same time.

For example, if a person was hungry? They, might use the forum as a service to create a request for some food.  Another person, might see their request and decide to register with the forum as a service, who specializes in baking.  They, respond to the person's request, to say that they, could bake them some bread?  The person agrees, and so the baker, decides to create a sub-request in the food forum, for some ingredients, such as flour, butter etc.  A flour miller, sees the bakers request for some flour and joins the forum, to say he can supply some flour.  A supermarket chain, who has excess butter in stock, also joins the forum, to say they can supply some butter.

This way of serving human requests scales indefinitely, and is much more natural and responsive.  Service or energy, is being treated as a constant in the system, not an aggregate.  The aggregate nature of service or energy is being delegated to a computer to manage or all users or services in the system.

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.

The people of Christchurch will have the opportunity to serve as part of a circular economy or human collective, here on earth.  They will be part of a circumstance that enables people to manage their sociopolitical or economic circumstance or requests, from climate change through to fixing a hole in the road.

The average day for a person in Christchurch would start with checking Eleutherios for requests for them to serve.  They would be able to self-organize with other services anywhere in the world.  They can aggregate requests to include more than one request in the conversation.  Search for services to include in requests.  Create new services on the fly to help manage requests etc. (prototype)

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


A circular economy, helps people serve one another more effectively, because it delegates the forum or request, that people are making to all users in the system.  By giving all human beings on earth the opportunity to serve one another, or each others requests, means that the entire human sociopolitical or economic system, can change or be managed differently.


A circular economy is self-sustainable, because it adheres or subscribes to the properties of service or presumes that energy is arising as single source or event.  End users of this system inherit the properties of this event including the self-sustainable characteristics.  People can use the system to help them manage their services or requests with regards to their own dietary discipline or other peoples, including their family, friends, work colleagues, group, organisation, company etc.


A circular economy changes the human sociopolitical or economic system or way in which people serve one another by delegating services or energy to requests, instead of delegating requests to services or energy.  For example, cooking dinner, a person might first decide, what to eat?  Then, they would put the energy into preparing or cooking the meal.

Request > Service (aggregate > energy)

This sociopolitical or economic model or way of serving human requests, gives the impression that for every request there is an associated or separate service or energy source.  A bit like a person who might be employed in two jobs, thinking that they were operating as two separate services or energy sources.

A circular economy does the opposite, by presuming that service or energy is constant, or arising as a single service or energy source.

Service > Request (energy > aggregate)

This way of describing the sociopolitical or economic circumstance of humankind has many advantages for people, because it includes all beings (human or non-human) or services into the same request or conversation.

For eons, people have been struggling to serve one another or be apart of the same sociopolitical or economic circumstance or conversation with the rest of humanity or humankind.  I.e. non-humans.  We have grown up thinking or feeling, that human beings are somehow separate from other beings or not a part of the same request or conversation, that they are having.

By utilizing a Turing machine or circular device, we can change all of that, so that people or human beings are a part of the same request or conversation, that the rest of humankind is having.


A circular economy turns the apparent, local, sociopolitical or economic circumstance of mankind, into a global, cultural circumstance of humankind

The current sociopolitical or economic system of mankind, presumes that service or human culture can be aggregated, or that people are serving in separate requests or involved in separate conversations.

A circular economy changes this, by presuming that service or human culture is constant, or a single event or source, and subscribes to that circumstance, via a Turing machine.


A circular economy aggregates or enumerates the requests or conversation, that people are having about service or the sociopolitical or economic circumstance of humankind.

> Request
>> Request
>>> Request
>>>> Request
>>>>> Request

By self-referencing the same request that people are having about service, means that people can be a part of the same request or involved in the same conversation from the beginning.

> Cook dinner
>> Bake bread
>>> 300 grams flour
>>>> Wheat harvest
>>>>> Harvester operator

In the above example, the initial request is to cook dinner.  But, we can see all of the other sub-requests, that could potentially go together to form or manage the entire request.  If a person, really wanted some bread, for dinner? Then, it could mean that a Harvest operator will have to be requested to harvest the wheat, before any of the other requests can be served.


A circular economy changes the old school way of governing or managing the sociopolitical or economic circumstance or requests of mankind to include the rest of humankind or non-human beings.

By presuming that service or energy is constant and not an aggregate source of nature, means that all beings (human or non-human) are automatically included in the request, conversation or decision making of humankind.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website


Join the conversation:

Photo of Leanne Demery

Hi, Rob Kara welcome to the Food Systems Vision Prize community!

For your Vision, I'd encourage you to tell a narrative of what Christchurch would look like in 2050. What would an average day look like in Christchurch? Think about how your solution could be transformed into a Vision that is systemic, human-centered and well informed for the future.

We've built a very comprehensive Food Vision Prize Toolkit with a lot of information, activities, and guidelines. How might your work today look like in 2050 if you were to upset the current trends and build a new trajectory for the future that inspires others around you to collaborate? To help you speculate what your future Vision could look like, you can find some guiding principles on Future Casting and inspiration in the Vision Prize Toolkit in Chapter 2 under Tools of Transformation.

Here is the link to the Prize Toolkit:

Also remember to have a look at the Prize criteria, which can be found here:

Have you thought about how criteria 3 - Community Informed - is represented in your Vision?

Looking forward to seeing your Vision come along in the last week!

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