Feed the World 2030: Power of Plants Hackathon

From pea and insect proteins to synthetic milks and alternative “meats,” the food technology revolution is well underway. Is New Zealand ready to take part in this movement? How can we sustainably feed our planet’s rapidly-growing population (8.5 billion by 2030)? How can we innovate to create New Zealand’s future agricultural and food industries? Are plant-based protein solutions part of the answer?

To address the above questions, Lincoln Hub and Creative HQ teamed up with the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), AgMARDT & Callaghan Innovation to invite tech innovators, entrepreneurs, food technologists, scientists, and those passionate about transforming the future of food to the Feed the World 2030: Power of Plants Hackathon in Christchurch.

The weekend kicked off with a special screening of Food Evolution, exploring the complexities of science, public discourse and genetic engineering in food. Then teams were formed, ideas hatched and developed, and solutions pitched in front of a live panel of judges — all to shape the future of what we eat and what we grow.

I was privileged to be part of the Creative HQ team to deliver this event, continuing work in the foodtech space that began with Fonterra’s internal innovation program, Disrupt. (And embarrassingly enough, I was recently on the airwaves as part of Fonterra’s Made By Many campaign, sharing some of the work that Creative HQ does with Fonterra.)

Based on the overwhelming interest and participation, the hackathon will hopefully be a stepping stone to a full-blown acceleration program that focuses on exponential technologies in foodtech and agtech. Stay tuned.