Food Futures

​​The Food Futures Wellbeing and Sustainability Index gathers food production impact variables into one place, supporting transparency of environmental sustainability impact.

We apply Nobel laureate economist Elinor Ostrom’s polycentric governance using sNFT blockchain tokens to measure, record, and recognise actors’ contributions.

Expected outcome: Citizens are empowered to democratically participate in a constructive feedback loop enabling more sustainable consumption.

About the project

Food Futures application MVP launched and tested

  • The first pilot was completed in spring 2022
  • 7 workshop series as a part of the ‘Sustainable Consumption’ course at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with Unicafe
  • Sustainability data was generated weekly for Unicafe meals to update the Food Wellbeing and Sustainability Index in real-time
  • Participation and Foodprint tokens were awarded for validating meal purchases and selecting sustainable meal options
Problem statement and goals

Alienation from food systems and production impact

The problem:

  • Lack of transparency on the impact of different food items on various sustainability goals
  • Existing solutions are insufficient and focus on carbon emissions

The goal:

  • To share data on the sustainability of meal options
  • To award anti-rival blockchain tokens that measure, record, and recognise individuals’ sustainable choices
  • To offer an actionable tool to achieve community awareness of the collective impact
The starting point of the solution

Food Wellbeing and Sustainability Index (FWSI) for holistic sustainability

  • Targeting UN SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • We develop a multi-variable index providing holistic sustainability information on carbon, water, and material footprints                        
  • We offer comparative sustainability data on protein sources for daily meal menus
  • We facilitate citizen empowerment by implementing anti-rival blockchain tokens that measure, record, and recognise individuals’ contributions
  • We implement a means to collectively live within the planetary boundaries of our socio-economic systems using Ostrom’s polycentric governance approach
Multi-Disciplinary Approach

A solution built at the junction of anti-rival economics, design, and distributed ledger technology

  • Building on economic theories of anti-rivalry and positive externalities to solve the tragedy of the commons
  • Using a design-led approach for applied research through practices of participatory methods, user-testing for feedback, and iterative design
  • Exploring the use-case of distributed ledger technologies for decentralised, polycentric governance
Project roadmap

A solution built at the junction of anti-rival economics, design, and distributed ledger technology

Accomplishments so far:

  • The first pilot launched to test the MVP
  • First report is released (read here)
  • Press release on Aalto channels

Fall 2022 objectives:

  • Continue Food Futures App development with sNFT blockchain tokens
  • Launch second pilot use case experiment
  • Verify achievement of quantitative allocative efficiency using Ostrom’s polycentric governance and anti-rival tokens

Core Team

SM Amadae

Program Director
Global Politics and Communications, Politics
University of Helsinki

Aalto University
Department of Communications and Networking

Shreya Sood

Service Designer
Food Futures research at ATARCA

Alumni, MA Creative Sustainability
Aalto University

Ruta Jumite

MA Thesis worker, ATARCA
Thesis title: Food Wellbeing and Sustainability Index – Application of actionable communication tool for sustainable transitions

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 964678. The content of this website does not represent the opinion of the European Union, and the European Union is not responsible for any use that might be made of such content.