Taking Feat and FIP to Torino: An encounter with SMAU

SMAU is a platform to bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, companies and institutions to share experiences and best practices on Information & Communications Technology. It takes the form of a roadshow, going through Italy for a visionary journey where innovative minds have the opportunity to meet and get to know each others. There are entrepreneurs, companies, startups, accelerators and influential people focused on the topic, all there just to discover, discuss and  share projects. BC8U3114 With the Future Food Institute we have the opportunity to share our knowledge about technologies used along the food chain, from production to eating, passing through manufacturing, distributing and shopping. The format of the workshop given this year at Torino was based on the Seeds of Disruption, a map shaped by California-based Institute for the Future and representing the educational base followed during the entire Food Innovation Program. In 2013, IFTF’s Food Futures research program undertook a yearlong exploration into the ways that emerging technologies and sciences are reshaping the global food web. Started from there, they created the map, a tool used to begin conversations about how emerging technologies can be used to close important gaps in the food system. There’s no doubt that it is enormously interesting for me. Since I joined the Food Innovation Program in 2015 I have been working together with IFTF. Actually, the first time I met Rebecca Chesney ( of IFTF’s Food Futures Lab) was when I joined my first Food Hackathon – Bibimbap, thanks to the Master Program I was attending at the time (MIEX – Master in International Management).  Feat is trying to improve user lifestyle, and make impacts on food shopping habits and eating behaviours. The Food Futures Lab pinpointed some great trends that Feat is working to understand better and leverage accordingly. For example, now more than ever, shopping is turning into a wholly automated process that supports human decision-making. In the near future, food choices could be determined by our inferred preferences and health needs, tracked and consequently triggered automatically. This is not rocket science – it will be a reality soon. Using that outline we have shaped some workshops inside SMAU: “Seeds of Disruption in the food chain – Future Food Institute”. Together with Sara and Elisa, we presented during SMAU Bologna (9-10 June) and then I’m just back from Turin where I led the same format. I had in front of me about 20 interested experts, managers and start-uppers, curious about what we have been doing with the Institute, the Food Innovation Program, our Summer School and the whole ecosystem. In front of this audience I presented the map and the various Seeds of Disruption along the chain, sharing these insights and provocations to the audience in order to trigger their minds and open a dialogue. I am fascinated by how people coming from outside this world of innovation in food may perceive these trends. Every big innovation should be useful for the mass market in order to be democratised and create an impact. I see those workshops as a way to share knowledge, brainstorm in an open way, get feedback and validate the interest in these trends for Feat application. It was an interesting debate. Once again I can feel the value of sharing and brainstorm with an open mindset and I can appreciate the limitless value of doing it while representing the Future Food Institute.