Introductions

Please introduce yourself to the rest of the community here. Tell us a bit about yourself, your projects and your relation to XPRIZE.

Hi all - I’m Nick Azer, your online community manager. I live in Portland, Oregon in the US. My background is in social media and blogging; I’ve been community manager here for the Rainforest, Zero-Waste Mining, Carbon Removal, Wildfires, Empowered Children, and Charter Communities prize designs, and since 2012 I have been social media manager & content curator for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. I’m also part of our XPRIZE Alumni Network team.

If you have any community-related questions or need help, feel free to send me a message here anytime or email me at nick.azer@xprize.org, I’m here to help, and I’m excited about this project; there’s a lot of environmental impact to be made here, and it’s an intriguing opportunity to make change in the world in a way that so many people experience!

Elizabeth Ondula, here. I focus on the design and development of offline and online socio-technical systems that run or implement any form of artificial intelligence. I’m here to learn and to share knowledge.

Hello! My name is Noel Graham, I am a Research Analyst at XPRIZE and one of the team members assigned to this prize design. I live in Los Angeles, California with my dog Pacha, a little 15 pound gremlin. I started at XPRIZE in March of this year with the Charter Communities Prize Design which focused on affordable housing and equity. My background is in research biology, specifically ecology and evolution, as well as a three year stint in public education.

I’m looking forward to engaging with this community as food systems and sustainability are near and dear to my heart, and I strongly believe in the power of community to help solve problems. Please feel free to tag me in any questions or interesting resources, I am always looking for new avenues of obtaining and disseminating information. Cheers!

Hello everyone! My name is Bryan Namba and I am a Product Manager at XPRIZE and will be supporting the Innovations in Food Packaging Team! I previously worked on the Zero-Waste Mining Prize Design, the Empowering Children Prize Design, and most recently I worked on the design of XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling which just launched. Prior to XPRIZE I worked for LA County as a Policy Analyst focusing on housing and services for individuals experiencing homelessness.

I’m looking forward to all the discussions to come and can’t wait to see the amazing prize we will design together. Please feel free to reach out to me on here, on LinkedIn, or via email at bryan.namba@xprize.org. Cheers!

Hello and welcome to the **Innovations in Food Packaging ** Prize Design Online Expert Community!

I’m Caroline Kolta, a Product Manager with XPRIZE’s Impact & Design Team. During my time at XPRIZE, I worked on the Future of Food Impact Roadmap, Feeding the Next Billion Prize Design (focused on alternative proteins), Infinity Water Prize design (focused on the circular water economy) and a Prize Design tackling Alzheimer’s Disease.

Prior to XPRIZE, I worked in sustainable international development and conflict resolution with a specialization in gender, human rights, and democratic governance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

I look forward to working with you all on this new and exciting prize design!

Hi everyone! I’m Eti, a research lead with XPRIZE, and the lead researcher on this Innovation in Food Packaging prize design. My background is in global policy, politics, and international development, specializing in peace & security and climate risk. At XPRIZE, I have been working across sustainability topics, including XPRIZE Wildfire and XPRIZE Infinity Water. I’m very excited to join forces with all of you to take on the big challenge of plastic pollution.

Before XPRIZE, I worked at the UN on Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and over the past decade worked with / advised governments, IGOs, startups, and nonprofits across global hubs, including London, Brussels, and New York.

I look forward to the exciting discussions and ideas; thank you for sharing your thoughts and expertise!

Hi all. I have a pretty diverse professional background. I also enjoy studying many topics. At essence, i like to gather information and share it with others. I hope to be able to add to this discussion.

Hi! I’m Austin, a Scientific Research Funding Coordinator with the Good Food Institute (GFI) and an MBA candidate at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. At GFI, I operate our Research Funding Program, which funds and promotes open-access research to accelerate progress on alternative proteins. Before GFI, I worked at the World Resources Institute (WRI) as a Research Analyst focused on reducing food loss and waste. I’m thrilled that XPRIZE is working on innovative food packaging!

While I’m not directly a packaging expert, this prize touches on my specific expertise in food loss and waste, alternative proteins, and sustainable food systems. I really look forward to the ideas and discussions in this community. Feel free to reach out to me directly on this thread, on LinkedIn, or via email at austinc@gfi.org.

Hi everyone. This is a great, worthwhile, XPRIZE topic!
Adam’s the name, and innovation is my game :slight_smile:
I have strong interests and/or experience in many aspects of innovation, including the environment, education, science, technology and ICT. More about me here:
https://www.innovationfuturespecialist.co.uk/about/specialist.html

I support the rapid move away from plastic to safer/biodegradable alternatives. Sadly people litter and so we must come up with better alternatives (whilst working on the litter lout problem too). There has been significant progress in making biodegradable alternatives, and just this week I saw an advert for wine in a bottle made out of “paper”. If we can do that then alternatives for food packaging should be within our grasp too.

Hi everyone. My name is Kent Bradford and I am a retired professor of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis. My specialty is seed biology, and for the past 10 years I have been working on improving the storage of seeds, grains and other food products by conceiving and implementing the “dry chain”. This is analogous to the “cold chain”, or continuous refrigeration chain, employed for the postharvest handling of fresh produce. The same thing is need for dry foods, e.g., cereals and pulses primarily, except they need to be dried and kept dry throughout transport and storage to prevent the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin and other mycotoxins. Such toxins are in the diets of 4.5 billion people and cause cancer and childhood stunting.

The connection to packaging is that in humid climates such as the tropics, waterproof packaging is essential to prevent absorption of water from the ambient high humidity air. If waterproof rather than jute or woven bags were used for grain storage in the tropics, most of the 30% postharvest loss of food i those regions could be prevented. However, most waterproof packaging uses plastic, so that full implementation of the dry chain would require the use of millions of plastic bags. Even with recycling and multiple uses per bag, this will require a lot of plastic. The solution is to develop new plastics or packaging materials that are waterproof but fully degrade to innocuous compounds rather than to microplastics. Offering a XPrize for someone to develop such packaging materials would be an additional incentive for materials scientists to tackle this problem, which would be applicable throughout the food chain. We need the waterproof property of plastics for safe food storage and marketing, but we need to have a plastic that degrades fully or upon exposure to specific treatments. There is no reason that this should not be possible.

Welcome @eakinyi, @Thanku, @austinclowes, @akb, and @kjbradford!
Love the feedback and excitement so far. If you haven’t already, you can check out the Key Issues subforum where we have our first two discussions ongoing - on Your Experiences with Food Packaging Waste and the Challenges of Single-Use Plastic and Other Plastic Packaging. Let us know any initial ideas, comments, or links you may have!

Hello Ladies & Gents
My name is bk and I am the CEO and Co-founder of Peniel Impact Investment. I have a background in Management Consulting, having worked for KPMG and consulting to Mondi Packaging in the past. I hope to learn more about plastic and the future of packaging. All the best guys!
Regards
bk

Great to see you in this community, @bngejane ! Looking forward to all your contributions on this design!

Hello all. My background is in Silicon Valley tech and angel investing but now I’m an expat living in Bali, Indonesia. I enjoy the startup world and the entrepreneurial spirit and so I hope I can add some value.

Hello to everyone
I’m Kevin, cofounder of www.shakeupfactory.com, the combinaition of a startuo accelerator and an open innovation ecosystem focused on food and ag-tech based in Paris at StationF. We support some projects and startups around circular food economy - France is quite advanced on these topics - and we are here to help.
We also have been contributing to Food+City these past years, until Robyn Metcalfe put it on pause : it could be a good inspiration for your prize. kevin@shakeupfactory.com

Hello! I’m John Coonrod, executive vice president of The Hunger Project (THP) and founder of the Movement for Community-led Development. THP works with 14,000 rural villages throughout the global south, pioneering integrating strategies for communities to improve health, nutrition, education and family incomes.

Hello! I am Franck Saint-Martin and I work at Nestlé in the Global Public Affairs team. I am interested in shaping the transition to a circular food system and I lead Nestle’s participation to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Food Initiative. I am thrilled to interact with the community on this exciting project.

Hi All! I am Opeyemi Elujulo, Co-Founder/Director of climate change and sustainable development at World Ecological Concepts Nigeria, and Founder/Partnership Director of Youth for the Environment Nigeria, a youth-led movement working with young Nigerians and local farmers to promote ESD, organic farming, and agroforestry for food security and climate action. I also represent Youth4Nature as the regional nature-based solutions Storyteller for Africa, and I am a postgraduate candidate of Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, studying Environmental Control and Management. I am particularly interested in sustainable food production, food loss and waste, and forestation related engagements. I am excited to join this community, and I look forward to learning, and also contributing my knowledge.

I’m Nora LaTorre. I’m a new mom, ultra mountain runner and I’ve been working in regenerative food system change for a decade+ from corporate to tech to nonprofits. I’m the CEO of a CA-based nonprofit called Eat REAL that’s focused on helping U.S. Public Schools (largest restaurant chain by 3x) increase access to real food that’s better for human + planet health. During COVID-19, we’re also piloting ways to have the food waste problem solve the food security problem through schools. I’m really enjoying nerding out on better solutions for food packaging with you all - it’s great to be connected :slight_smile: