Level Up

The students researched in this project how the food consumption of Copenhageners can be shifted in a way that makes their diets more healthy and is yet contributing to environmental sustainability.

The research was conducted within one week and included methods such as mindmapping knowledge, interviews and co-creation sessions. The team went through several rounds of group critiques to narrow down on the most pertinent and promising data points to extract actionable insights. The insights led their way to three more focused how-might-we-problem statements that were explored in turn. Also, the interviews were synthesized into personas in the context of their life journeys. From that the team developed a causal model that helped to make sense of these journeys in a general way.

The data from research led to three insights:

– Turning Points in one‘s life will redefine the way you make later choices.

– Sharing food together can become an anchoring experience that bonds people, food and habits. Thereby, norms are created which act as a multiplier for the group‘s food rituals

– Traditions are often built around “objects” (e.g. receipe, garden, knive, spice) making it easy to relate to. Possessing the object makes you become part of the passing tradition.

The team generalized these insights with the help of a causal model. The model explains how anchoring experiences change one’s food habits through i) first leading to a turning point that ii) then influences new eating patterns by positive feedback which in turn iii) create a norm that is iv) stabilized by the surrounding community. Examples of this are provided in the picture gallery.

Several concepts emerged from the three insights and the causal model. The team focused on two of them: “Level up” and “Earthlings”.

“Level up” built on the insight that if food lovers and cooks could be convinced of a way of cooking that is more healthy and sustainable, a big impact would result since they act as multipliers. The concept was to have a legendary bus popping up in one’s neighbourhood with a famous chef offering a food workshop. The food workshop would be invitation-only and appear at beforehand secret times & places to add to the legend. An example could be René Redzepi, the famous chef from the restaurant Noma.

“Earthlings” tries to connect children growing up in a city to healthy and sustainable food habits from very early on in their lives by taking them to the agricultural countryside as part of their basic education. The concept consists in the kids spending one school day per week on a farm to learn about nature (planting, classes, fun).