Callum Nash


Copyright 2016

Plenty of Food

2017, Conceptual

The opportunity to align the social capacity of a community and its surplus resources (food waste) becomes a social space to bridge the gap between rich, poor and socially isolated people in deprived areas.

Plenty of Food acts as a match maker between peoples interests, free time and resources and connects people together through generated projects.

Communities and businesses can collaboratively design crowd-funded projects where people can volunteer and donate food in return for rewards of a free meal. This supports existing social projects by giving them a space to reach people and coordinate with each other; in this sense it acts as a charity for charities.

Plenty of Food can be summed up as a crowd fund where people and organisations can donate time and commodities as well as money. It creates a framework for different social projects, where they can reach new audiences for funding and volunteer work and prove their volunteering (in-kind) resource.

Planner’s project pages and ideas can all be commented on and co-designed with potential volunteer workers and donors, creating a social space for the planning of social-innovation. Potential workers can upload their preferences, and via a match making algorithm just like a dating service, be matched to potential projects. and, by being able to suggest projects themselves, create alternative civics that improve their material conditions by mobilising social capital. The more data is in-putted into the system, the better the suggestions will get, donors can input availability, tastes in music, food and working environment, and planners will be able to tailor the environment and social setting of their projects to meet the interests of those working. This is coupled with the fact that as project listings, these plans can be amended by users and redistributed, a social space is created in which discussion on planning can occur.

On the crowdfunded project pages, people can alert the service if they have surplus food, and it gets matched to projects based on their needs and capacity. ‘Planners’ state their desired resources and the application supports people donating surplus in a spontaneous way. It can then match this data with users who have specified time where they are available to give time, based on your location, it might even suggest a small detour to contribute to a project. For this, and other donations to the platform rewards are given, these rewards include project rewards such as a free meal for you and a friend, partnered rewards such as special offers from businesses (who can benefit through advertising inside the platform) and platform credits, the platform’s own form of currency.

Matching can be built on the data gathered through activity, and on top of this planners and donors can create preferences, input data that helps the platform match donors to potential projects, anything from taste in music to being an avid cyclist. All users can suggest ideas anonymously to the system, which then puts these to other nearby members, particularly if their interests align with it. Feedback from the food community shows us that there is an urgent need to network various food projects, our stakeholders would use this platform, as it automates the process of networking that they participate in normally.

If the level of data coming into the system were sufficient (about the success of projects, the nature of them – even down to what the atmosphere was like etc – then it could actually begin spontaneously suggesting events, and, using generative algorithms, create a fully circular economy that produces new kinds of relationships with the tradition of food.

‘The platform can learn about the success of projects, the nature of them – even down to what the atmosphere was like – and then begin spontaneously suggesting events, using generative algorithms to create a fully circular economy that produces new kinds of relationships with the tradition of food and the bad tradition of food waste.