OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

SproutsIO Global Garden

SproutsIO transforms the food system by repositioning ourselves from the end of the supply chain to the center of our food cycle.

Photo of Jennifer Farah
4 4

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

SproutsIO Inc.

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://www.sprouts.io

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

  • 10+ years

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

Boston, MA

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

United States

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

Max. 3,266,666,667 km^2 global growing footprint (9.8B world pop. in 2050 * .002km^2 cropland per person)/6 SproutsIO is 6x+ productive

What country is your selected Place located in?

Earth

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

SproutsIO is a global solution for our home, planet Earth, that each and every one of us can actively participate in. The beauty and diversity of our home is in jeopardy in large part due to unsustainable agricultural practices. SproutsIO creates restorative pathways that strive to balance human activities impacting Earth’s ecosystems by more sustainably growing sustenance for ourselves and one another.

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.

Any solution reliant on a single agent is vulnerable in a time when resilience is necessary. Our solution considers all of Earth's diverse inhabitants, in each of their unique ecosystems. A holistic solution cannot be focused on humans alone, but necessarily accounts for the context in which it is implemented and impacts it accordingly. This adaptability is inherent with each use of SproutsIO system. For example, a SproutsIO in Lima, Peru is growing agyuamanto while at the same time a SproutsIO in Mumbai, India is growing corriander. Based on the specific environmental conditions of each place, the people and type of plants growing, the SproutsIO system adapts to provide the optimal and most efficient conditions for plant growth and human consumption. Moreover, it shares this information across the network and learns from it, continuously providing access and improvement to growers, and progressing a network of diversity.

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

3266666667

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

7800000000

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

On Earth, with human population increasing and finite arable land decreasing due to land degradation, human food security is at risk while continuing to damage Earth’s ecosystems. According to the UNFAO, in 2015 we reached a global tipping point where the Earth’s arable land can no longer meet the demand of the growing human population with recent practices. This will only continue to worsen. We have a pollution of 7.8 billion which is projected to grow to 9.8 billion in 2050. Alternative solutions are necessary now that focus on providing reliable access to quality, affordable sustenance for people. The solution(s) must work holistically with all of the planets’ inhabitants and ecosystems to restore balance.

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

We are often presented with incredible challenges and led to believe that enormous resources and significant organizations are necessary to meet them. At SproutsIO, we believe that a thoughtful small scale solution can have a large scale impact. 

We are committed to developing sustainable, inclusive technologies that invite participation and enable a feedback loop between people and their environment at the right place and time. We believe that the only way to do this effectively is by developing small, high-leverage, solutions that can be adopted and implemented by many in order to effect change.

SproutsIO is a global platform for people to grow high quality Personal Produce indoors, year round, soil free.

The SproutsIO system makes it easy for anyone to enjoy the pleasure of gardening. By integrating the high performance device, intuitive software controls, and comprehensive sIO seed refills, SproutsIO enables you to cultivate a wide range of produce rapidly and efficiently. SproutsIO anticipates the ideal conditions for each varietal, caring for plants automatically while using only a fraction of the resources used by standard practices. SproutsIO provides source transparency and conserves resources in food cultivation, using only 2% of the water and 40% of the nutrients compared to traditional soil methods in addition to using half the power of an incandescent bulb per device. With greater growth density by area and in half the growth time, refrigeration is no longer necessary as SproutsIO provides fresh produce at peak ripeness.

Demand on arable land is alleviated while enabling consumers to become producers. 

Food production can now be activated on site with a significantly reduced barrier to entry. By each and every one of us becoming producers, we alleviate the overburdened supply chains that at present are not meeting the demands of our cities in sustainable ways. We create an opportunity to grow an agile, resilient, and resourceful food supply. This supply in turn, by being connected at the source, is more accurate in terms of understanding the demand of the network; limiting waste as a result. 

The overall efficiency gained is one that reduces pressures on both ecosystems, but also commercial systems that benefit from them, creating new opportunities for agency within the network of growers. The source transparency and shared cultivation methods of the network, provide an infrastructure based on trust and serves to facilitate the exchange and transfer of produce throughout the network and within communities.

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.

SproutsIO empowers us to participate in the process of growing our own Personal Produce. We have learned that involvement through incremental changes are most disruptive when scaled. SproutsIO may appear small at first glance, but when millions of us grow together, we change our dependence on industrial agriculture, repositioning ourselves from the end of the supply chain to the center of the food cycle.

We have seen the effects of growing with SproutsIO firsthand, with the 250 systems that have been growing for over one year in the field with more soon to be installed. From chefs who gain more control and understanding of their sourcing to reduce waste, to children in schools who are learning how plants grow and where their food comes from, people are empowered through participation.

The more we participate in food, the more likely we are to make informed choices. Our network of SproutsIO growers can transform the food system.

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

VIDEO LINK (will not upload through site): https://vimeo.com/216084463/9fe18799fb

We are often presented with incredible challenges and led to believe that enormous resources and significant organizations are necessary to meet them. At SproutsIO, we believe that a thoughtful small scale solution can have a large scale impact. 

We are committed to developing sustainable, inclusive technologies that invite participation and enable a feedback loop between people and their environment at the right place and time. We believe that the only way to do this effectively is by developing small, high-leverage, solutions that can be adopted and implemented by many in order to effect change.

SproutsIO is a global platform for people to grow high quality Personal Produce indoors, year round, soil free.

The SproutsIO system makes it easy for anyone to enjoy the pleasure of gardening. By integrating the high performance device, intuitive software controls, and comprehensive sIO seed refills, SproutsIO enables you to cultivate a wide range of produce rapidly and efficiently. SproutsIO anticipates the ideal conditions for each varietal, caring for plants automatically while using only a fraction of the resources used by standard practices. SproutsIO provides source transparency and conserves resources in food cultivation, using only 2% of the water and 40% of the nutrients compared to traditional soil methods in addition to using half the power of an incandescent bulb per device. With greater growth density by area and in half the growth time, refrigeration is no longer necessary as SproutsIO provides fresh produce at peak ripeness.

Demand on arable land is alleviated while enabling consumers to become producers. 

Food production can now be activated on site with a significantly reduced barrier to entry. By each and every one of us becoming producers, we alleviate the overburdened supply chains that at present are not meeting the demands of our cities in sustainable ways. We create an opportunity to grow an agile, resilient, and resourceful food supply. This supply in turn, by being connected at the source, is more accurate in terms of understanding the demand of the network; limiting waste as a result. 

The overall efficiency gained is one that reduces pressures on both ecosystems, but also commercial systems that benefit from them, creating new opportunities for agency within the network of growers. The source transparency and shared cultivation methods of the network, provide an infrastructure based on trust and serves to facilitate the exchange and transfer of produce throughout the network and within communities.

SproutsIO empowers us to participate in the process of growing our own Personal Produce. We have learned that involvement through incremental changes are most disruptive when scaled. SproutsIO may appear small at first glance, but when millions of us grow together, we change our dependence on industrial agriculture, repositioning ourselves from the end of the supply chain to the center of the food cycle.

We have seen the effects of growing with SproutsIO firsthand, with the 250 systems that have been growing for over one year in the field with more soon to be installed. From chefs who gain more control and understanding of their sourcing to reduce waste, to children in schools who are learning how plants grow and where their food comes from, people are empowered through participation.

The more we participate in food, the more likely we are to make informed choices. Our network of SproutsIO growers can transform the food system.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

Attachments (1)

4 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of David Cruz
Team

it's amazing to me that the way we can help our planet, I'm discovering this site

View all comments