Learning by doing: Solving the Tragedy of the Commons one Meal at a time

7 December 2022

This is an adapted version of a post originally written by S.M. Amadae, Marianna Laine & Maija Harju and published on the Aalto University news site.

When we first began talking about anti-rivalry as part of ATARCA, we were met with confused faces. Everything we‚Äôve ever been taught about economics goes about anti-rivalry — how can something create more value without creating more product? This initial pushback is exactly why we proposed this research project — we‚Äôve spent the last year and a half gaining a better understanding of anti-rival properties so we can better explain it to you.

Food Futures (one of the anti-rival use cases within ATARCA), in collaboration with Global Politics and Communication, University of Helsinki, presents ‚ÄúLearning by Doing: Solving the Tragedy of the Commons one Meal at a time‚ÄĚ. Watch the video here.

In ‚ÄúLearning by Doing‚ÄĚ, we explain how the Food Futures app provides a means to govern our climate commons using applied data science and analytic reasoning. The app incorporates blockchain technology to measure, record, and recognise individual and the community contributions to a sustainable 1.5 degree C lifestyle.

To support sustainable consumption, Food Futures offers a community cryptocurrency in the form of blockchain ‚ÄėFoodprint tokens‚Äô.

These tokens are in the Ethereum standard and are awarded to users of the Food Futures app who have made sustainable meal choices.  Over time this community currency system can be expanded, and tokens mayl serve a utility function to receive donated surplus goods.

The Foodprint token itself is anti-rival: Food Futures is built on the concept of anti-rival value, in specific the externalities produced from sustainable choices.  This means there is not a limited total supply.  Tokens are minted when positive externalities are measured and recorded.  Tokens serve to indelibly and permanently recognize individuals’ contributions toward achieving lower greenhouse gas emissions.

To combine learning with practical applications, we have also launched the Open University course in Sustainable Consumption.  This course welcomes everyone from all stages of lifelong learning to participate and reflect on the root of the challenge of making sustainable choices.

This video is the product of an interdisciplinary collaboration between bright minds, demonstrating how individual consumer choices, innovations such as the Food Futures app and blockchain tokens, as well as practice-based learning, can be combined to empower collective action for the wellbeing of our planet: one meal at a time.

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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.