As part of the celebration of their 50th anniversary in 2014, NWO-WOTRO, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research, organized a competition, calling bachelor and master students’ ideas about global developments. The challenge was to form a multidisciplinary team and develop a social innovative solution or bring forward ideas, in challenging areas such as personal safety, sexual and reproductive health, food security and food waste, or energy supply. The team of four strangers was created, two of which were from developing countries. The goal was to win the competition with an idea that would make a difference and yet simplified enough to understand. After winning, the project was born.
Oluwaseyi Alalade is an MSc graduate Biotechnology (Wageningen University). Experience in process engineering makes evaluation of food chain processes (energy and mass balances) from producer to consumer possible. The quality of products can be ensured with knowledge obtained as a quality control intern during undergraduate years. As a native of one of the countries of interest (Nigeria), first-hand experience on major issues – whether policies, lack of elements for technology implementation or attitude of the people related to food loss within the country is known.
Camilla Ponte studies anthropology of development, focusing on the social and technical dimensions of technology transfer (Wageningen University). Her major interest is on agricultural innovation as a means toward global food security and sustainability. While in Tanzania for an internship, she got in touch with a few initiatives regarding the use of fruits drying methods: these inspired the group to use similar techniques transferred in a new context, for the current project. She also brings into the project her MSc thesis experience with the evaluation of sustainability interventions among an oil palm farmers community.
Marisol Amador has a background in Local Environmental Management with a bachelor’s thesis focused on low cost techniques that could help smallholders of coffee plantations to reduce wastewater. This knowledge helps ensure environmental standards are met. With a MSc. in Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation (University of Twente), the knowledge and experience to design systems and tools for the acquisition, analysis and distribution of data can be applied for the current project.
Lavinia Plataroti is currently an intern at Global Center for Food Systems Innovation at Wageningen University. Has a background in sociology and economics of development with focus on impact evaluation of food security interventions. Experience in qualitative and quantitative data collection on the field, provides this project with insights on Monitoring & Evaluation techniques, as well as the production and coordination of surveys and economic assessments.
With the current composition of the team, the major roles to achieve the project's goals is available since it begins on a small scale, however as the project expands, other expertise will be sort by employing new members and consulting with other established individuals.