Big Ideas @ Berkeley

Since summer of 2014, the Berkeley Food Institute, the Global Food Initiative, and the Blum Center have co-sponsored the popular new Food Systems category of the Big Ideas @ Berkeley contest. The Berkeley Food Institute’s Executive Director Ann Thrupp and Blum Center Senior Program Director Phillip Denny collaborated to create this popular new category.

Big Ideas is an annual contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have “big ideas.” Since its founding in 2006, Big Ideas has inspired innovative and high-impact student-led projects aimed at solving problems that matter to this generation.

Learn more about the contest.


Big Ideas Winners

Past winners of the Big Ideas @ Berkeley contest in the Food Systems category include:

Just Ripe, 2016 2nd Place

Just Ripe takes serving food to a whole new level. Just Ripe’s products—soups, salads, and smoothies all created from 100% recovered, organic produce — will be pedaled around Oakland’s streets on an innovative, eye-catching food bike. The team aims to hold daily “kickstands,” or food bike sales, at Downtown Oakland tech companies to sell products to young professionals at prices between $6-$10. In addition, Just Ripe will distribute refreshing smoothies to Oakland middle schools and high schools free of charge in order to promote healthy eating while spreading the message: “Don’t DiscriminEAT.” Just Ripe’s food bike allows convenient transportation of products through an innovative, low-cost, mobile, and environmentally-friendly alternative to a food truck. The team’s passion for healthy food and their dedication to making a lasting impact inspired this quirky food bike which aims to initiate a dialogue around food waste and food access in Oakland by “Pedaling with a Purpose.”

Team Members: Geertje Grootenhuis, Kayla Smith, Jessica Welsh, Claire Rosenfield, Ryan Riddle

Bahay Kubo – Gardens of Living Tradition, 2015

Bahay Kubo (“Little House”) revitalizes Filipino food and culture to promote health through the creation of a culturally based garden and culinary arts program. Bahay Kubo’s purpose is to lift up sustainable, healthy Filipino food practices that can ignite a culture shift towards good health. This will be accomplished by 1) culinary and nutrition education 2) the act of growing food and 3) building community through food and cultural exchange. Bahay Kubo is aware that there are a number of existing projects and programs in nutrition, cooking, farm and garden-based education. Bahay Kubo is distinct and unique because it targets underserved Filipino/American youth, while also promoting culture as an essential factor to food systems transformation.

Team Members: Aileen Suzara, Aileen Suzara, Michelle Domocol, Stephanie Line