GeoVation: How can Britain feed itself? camp summary
NSC Insights Generation Service‘from problem to pitch’A summary of the iScout facilitated support of the GeoVationchallenge: ‘How can Britain feed itself?’.November 2010
In this document• What happened before the GeoVation camp (pg 3 – 19)• What happened at the camp (pg 20 – 64)• What happened after the camp (pg 65)• Appendices (pg 66 – 106)
What happened before the GeoVation camp• We planned for a problem framing workshop: a ‘Pow Wow’ We visited Church Farm in Hertfordshire and met with Sam Henderson of Agrarian Renaissance to understand the context of the challenge. This also allowed us to start thinking about questions we could ask of thought leaders to help unpack key issues for Camp attendees to respond to with their ideas. Further information on Church Farm and the work of Agrarian Renaissance can be found in the following slides and at http://www.churchfarmardeley.co.uk/churchfarm/agrarianrenaissance.html.
What happened before the GeoVation camp• We ran a problem ‘Pow Wow’ The goal of a problem Pow Wow is to ‘unpack’ a challenge, such as Britain feeding itself, and discover within it, a range of valuable problems; those which if met provide value for all parties. We spent time with people who have perspectives on farming, government policy, supermarket dominance, biological systems and much, much more. We spent fours hours at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, discussing and capturing a whole range of issues. At the end of the session we had 165 ‘raw’ problems. We subsequently clustered these under six broad themes (farm production, process and packaging, distribution, economics, education and communication) and distilled them into 23 new problem statements. These stated what the problem was and why it mattered. They were used at the camp to help the innovators really think about how their ideas connected to issues that mattered. In the images that follow, a sample of the 23 problems are shown. Please see the appendices for the full set.
Sample from the ‘farm production’ themeWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you increase the We need 10 times asnumber of farmers and many farmers as we havefarms (of all sizes) in the now but: farmers areUK? getting older and retiring; agricultural colleges are closing and fewer people are becoming farmers.
Sample from the ‘education’ themeWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you better Not enough peopleintegrate learning about (young and old) knowfood into all the enough about how foodeducational stages of our is produced, where itlives? comes from and the inherent links to being healthy.
Sample from the ‘economics’ themeWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you influence Consumers are more thanhow consumers spend ever cautious about whattheir ‘precious’ they spend their moneydisposable income? on and price remains a barrier to entry for sustainably grown food.
What happened at the GeoVation camp• Over 50 ideas were submitted to the GeoVation website• These submissions were written descriptions of the idea• The judging panel invited a shortlist to develop them further• Five teams then took part in the camp itself
What happened at the GeoVation camp• We structured activities around the components of innovation We believe that innovation is a product of finding the best problem, responding with an excellent solution and then executing it in order to scale it and make it viable from a business perspective. Our summary equation for this is I = P x S x E. As innovators had previously submitted ideas to the GeoVation Challenge website in written form only, we felt it important to create activities that brought those ideas to life. At the same time, we wanted to challenge participants to ensure they really had thought about problems and were given an opportunity to build on their ideas. Where possible, we also wanted them to prototype aspects of their thinking in order to demonstrate to the judges a degree of robustness. Over the following pages, there is a selection of images that show, in chronological order, how the camp unfolded from the initial gathering on the Friday night to the pitches on Sunday afternoon.
We assembled at The Hub, Kings Cross on Friday 5 November.
Chris Parker from Ordnance Survey welcomed everyone.
David Townson from iScout reminded us of the structure.
Presenters only had five minutes (a red card meant ‘stop!’).
Judges only had five minutes too and had to ask carefully.
‘The world’s a village: ontology link to data’ were next up…
…before ‘Ugly Grub’ completed the attendees’ pitches.
‘Integrated community food mapping’ beamed in by video.
After an hour’s debate, the judges returned. They said…
…Two ideas were invited to next year’s GeoVationShowcase and the chance to pitch for a slice of £25 000: City Farmers Peter Boyce and Helen Steer Food Nation Louise Campbell and Michael FergusonThe judges were impressed that the Food Nation idea could be brought to marketquickly and deliver impact. They felt that City Farmers had a well articulatedproblem that could link to other projects.Both the judges and the team from GeoVation were very impressed with all teams.As ever, it was a shame that there had to be winners but GeoVation will be workingwith each of the pitching teams in taking their ideas forward and doing what theycan to support them.
What happened after the GeoVation camp• Feedback sought to improve future camps In addition to the very positive informal feedback given by participants at the end of the weekend, we also followed up with a short online survey. Feedback was extremely good, with some small suggestions for improvement made.• Lessons learned for next challenges In addition to gathering feedback from participants, the GeoVation team also reflected on the weekend. For example, this experience of both the camp, and the Pow Wow that preceded it, had a direct bearing on the decision to readjust the time frames for future challenges.• Camp activity refinement As this was the first time the camp had been run by GeoVation, we learnt much about the structure of the weekend and the activities within it. While the overall structure worked very well, we spotted a few things to adjust. For example, how to communicate prototyping more quickly and ‘get in to it’ faster and how to make the five minutes of questioning at pitch time work fairly are two of the areas being considered for next time.
NSC Insights Generation ServiceAppendicesAppendices that relate to the iScout facilitated support of theGeoVation Challenge: ‘How can Britain feed itself?’.November 2010
NSC Insights Generation ServiceFull output from the Pow WowThe following slides are what was produced following theproblem Pow Wow at Stoneleigh Park. It is what was shown toCamp participants (and was on display all weekend).It was interesting to see the links between the resolved ideasand this material. All were influenced by it to some degree.
NSC Insights Generation ServiceHow can Britain feed itself?Output from problem Pow Wow3 November 2010, Stoneleigh ParkA workshop to identify important problems that innovators shouldconsider as they develop solutions to help Britain feed itself.
Participants:Colin Tudge, Biologist and science writerRuth West, Director, Campaign for Real FarmingRichard Barnett, New Forest Transition NetworkSarah Church, Food Policy Unit at DEFRAChris Parker, Ordnance SurveySean Miller, Innovation ScoutDavid Townson, Innovation Scout
Farm productionKey problems associated with how landis used and managed for the growth ofcrops and the rearing of animals.
1 Farm productionWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you increase the We need 10 times asnumber of farmers and many farmers as we havefarms (of all sizes) in the now but: farmers areUK? getting older and retiring; agricultural colleges are closing; and fewer people are becoming farmers.
2 Farm productionWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you sustainably If we need more peoplemaximise the potential growing things, then theyoutput of produce from need to know if the landthe land given the terrain, is suitable and how to usefertility and access to it sustainably.land?
3 Farm productionWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you align what People desire a variety ofthe farm can, and should, produce in and out ofproduce with what season throughout thepeople want? year, yet a single farm may not be able to meet all of their individual needs.
4 Farm productionWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you access the Growers need resourcesright resources (people, and know-howtools, technology, appropriate for their size,know-how, skills) to get but this can be costly andthe best out of your farm systems do not exist toor even back garden (big make sharing ofor small)? resources easy.
5 Farm productionWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you ensure Pressures to farmanimal welfare is at its commercially successfullybest when balancing may result in welfarebeing sustainable with corners being cut, despiterunning an efficient farm an increasing desire fromthat meets demand. consumers to buy produce that has been well looked after.
6 Farm productionWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you make more Only 0.5% of land comesland available for those onto the market per yearthat want to farm and and navigating thegrow stuff? planning permission system is challenging.
Process and packagingKey problems associated with howproduce from the land is made ready fordistribution
1 Process and packagingWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you reduce waste ‘There never used to beproduced as a result of any waste on farms, itgrowing and consuming? was all fed to animals’. How do we efficiently use what we grow whilst minimising wastage?
2 Process and packagingWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you ensure all Most farms do not havelivestock slaughter is easy, local access to ahumane? suitable abattoir or have the capability to do it on-site themselves.
3 Process and packagingWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you ‘marque’ People are bombardedyour farm’s produce so with choice of ‘marqued’that the attributes of the produce and find it hardproduce (locality, great to make a purchasetaste, high quality) are decision.effectivelycommunicated?
DistributionKey problems associated with how localproduce reaches local consumers
1 DistributionWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you improve the Some of the larger farmsdelivery infrastructure to only supply bigget produce to the right supermarkets and notperson at the right quality local communities, whilewhilst minimising the some people wantenvironmental impact? produce that can’t be sourced locally.
2 DistributionWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you improve Not all farmers andrelationships within the growers worksupply chain and bring comfortably across thestakeholders closer entire supply chain andtogether? this may be to the detriment of their business.
3 DistributionWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you replace Supermarkets currentlysupermarket dominance perpetuate anby mutually-beneficial unsustainablerelationships from farmer agribusiness rather thanto consumer, based on an agro-ecologicalsustainable principles? approach to growing and utilising food.
EconomicsKey problems associated with the costsof creating produce for consumers, theprices charged to consumers and whatelse consumers spend their money on
1 EconomicsWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you make it Even if you choose thecompelling to use land for farming option, you facefarming when other land additional financialuse options are barriers (for example,potentially easier and free market economics,more profitable (for rising cost of fuels andexample, golf courses)? stringent contracts with supermarkets).
2 EconomicsWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you make the link There is a perception thatbetween price and value people are ‘better off’(quality, locality, taste, buying from aenvironmental supermarket rather thanconsiderations) more a farm but it could be acompelling to a wider false economy.audience?
3 EconomicsWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you influence Consumers are morehow consumers spend cautious than ever abouttheir ‘precious’ what they spend theirdisposable income? money on and price remains a barrier to entry for sustainably-grown food.
4 EconomicsWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?What are the innovative Existing business modelsenterprise models that for growing, buyingneed to be developed to selling, consuming andgrow and use food using food perpetuatesustainably? because the potential of alternative models is not widely recognised.
5 EconomicsWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you transition Failure to do so mayfrom existing business perpetuate the statusand enterprise models to quo and a retreat to whatmore sustainable ones ‘works’ (albeitover time, whilst unsustainably).maintaining resilienceand stability?
EducationKey problems associated with howpeople of all ages, knowledge andbackground learn about the benefits ofhow Britain can feed itself.
1 EducationWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you better Not enough peopleintegrate learning about (young and old) knowfood into all the enough about how foodeducational stages of our is produced, where itlives? comes from and the inherent links to being healthy.
2 EducationWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you make it easy Many people do not havefor people to learn how a strong enoughto cook locally-sourced relationship with food:food? making time for it, knowing where it comes from, learning how to prepare and cook it.
3 EducationWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you enable those Many people have land ofkeen to grow their own all shapes and sizes thatfood (at all scales) learn they would like to growthe skills to do so? things on but don’t know what to do next.
CommunicationKey problems associated with how toengage hard-to-reach people in Britainfeeding itself sustainably.
1 CommunicationWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you help people There is muchnavigate the excess of misinformation andinformation available on badly-designedapproaches to information about issuessustainable food people need to betterconsumption? understand but it competes with well- designed information on other types of food.
2 CommunicationWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you create a Sustainability meanscommon definition of many different things towhat sustainable food many different people,production and which may devalue theconsumption means? efforts required to help Britain feed itself.
3 CommunicationWhat is the problem? Why does it matter?How do you compete Consumers are exposedwith the messaging and to thousands of brandcommunication from messages each day;multinational food unfortunately not fromcompanies and those who can helpsupermarkets? Britain feed itself.
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOnline camp surveyIn the two weeks following the camp, an online survey wasdistributed to all participants (idea developers, idea supportersand judges).The following slides show some of the feedback taken fromtheir responses regarding various aspects.
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn the design of the camp and the support received‘The time spent was invaluable and they taughtme a lot which I did not know and thefacilitation was brilliant.’‘Given the rather open-ended idea we arrivedwith I felt that we got a lot of direction at thestart when we needed it but were given enoughspace to develop our idea ourselves oncepreparing the presentations.’
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn the venue‘Absolutely wonderful! Fantastic light andspace for working, great atmosphere andsuperb food & refreshments.’
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn what was the ‘Aha!’ moment from the weekend‘Defining the real problem workshop on theSaturday morning.’‘Problem exploration, solutions sketching,planning and prototyping.’‘Seeing lots of fuzzy workings being resolved toinitial pitches for the first time.’
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn how to make it better‘Maybe suggest a couple of the books ahead oftime. Lots of books were at the camp but reallyno time to read them.’‘Maybe a few more stretch breaks as there wasa huge amount to take in and I think the brainswould have appreciated a little more chilltime.’
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn how to make it better‘I can find nothing to improve upon, genuinely agreat experience.’‘The framework, structure, energy andfacilitation were brilliant. Ive not seen it donebetter, anywhere!’
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn advice you’d offer future participants‘Go with an idea, listen to people withexperience, have an open mind and beprepared to adjust both your approach topitching and the parameters of your idea.’
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn advice you’d offer future participants‘Enjoy!!! a thoroughly amazing experience whichI would not have got anyone else. It was so muchfun bouncing ideas off people and making themost of the opportunity which we had.’‘Get a good night’s sleep beforehand and comeprepared to be flexible with your idea and how itcan be developed.’
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn whether you’d recommend the camp to others‘Yes’ = 100%‘No’ = 0%
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn whether you’d recommend the camp to others‘It was fun and I felt like I learnt lots. Niceatmosphere and I met some interesting people.”“Very high standard of training in innovation.”“An idea environment to encourage and buildon ideas, a very nourishing experience not justjust for idea winners but for supporters andwhose willing to give their time.”
NSC Insights Generation ServiceOn whether you’d recommend the camp to others‘It was, quite simply, a fantastic experience andI would happily bring my skills along to otherChallenges to help other teams bring theirinnovative ideas out into the World. Ive alreadyspread the word about GeoVation…’
Thank youFor more information on any of the information and approaches contained in thisdocument, please contact:David Townsondavid@innovationscout.co.uk07974 741315For more information on the GeoVation Challenge in general and this camp inparticular, please go to: http://www.geovation.org.uk/geovation-camp-how-can-britain-feed-itself/ or contact:Chris Parkerchris.Parker@ordnancesurvey.co.uk07867 553091