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Wow! That's been our biggest response yet in a Concepting Phase – over 600 ideas posted!  Thanks a million to everyone who contributed and collaborated by building on others' ideas. The Concepting Phase has now closed. Now it's time to head to the Evaluation Phase where we're asking the community to assess the Top 20 ideas for their awesomeness.

Contribution list

Wouldn't it be great to have a better understanding of where the food in our supermarkets comes from? Imagine if you could scan a bar code and be shown instant information on where the food has come from, who the producer is and how long it took to grow/produce?

UPDATED! This is an idea for a public kitchen where you can go and bring any product you would like to process, fruit for juices or marmelade, vegetables for pickles, meet or fish for smoking... The shop provides the necessary equipment as well as trained persons - "grandmas" - who can explain how to do it. People come and produce their own food!

Fruit and veg have become size 8 models. They all look identical, they all glisten, radiate and scream "look at me, I'm perfect". Following generations of comfortability with mass produced identicalness, we've forgotten about the vibrancy and dynamism that comes when we don't conform to drone like standards and expectations. Every living thing is different, evolution create a beautiful mash-up of mutations and surprises. Too often, a vast volume of fruit and veg is simply discarded, because the producers think we're too dainty and petite to handle true natural difference and uniqueness in the products we buy. Let's embrace fruit and veg with character, we have become scared of difference. Let's open our minds and cherish the unconventionals!

UPDATED: Although interactive apps are useful, another possibility for an app is a prebuilt app that can be used offline like an encyclopedia that focuses on food production and consumption. Accessing the information doesn’t have to take place at a store or market, but anywhere (even if you don’t have WiFi or 3G). However, there will be a WiFi component enabled (such as QR code look up feature, ability to push content up to the database, etc.). For the sake of this concept I’m going to refer to it as the Queensland Eatcyclopedia App. I’ve made some mock-ups that would best describe the general features of such an app.

What if food trucks sold fresh produce instead of hotdogs? Traveling vendors can set-up shop in different neighborhoods on specific days in order to provide fresh food to locals. By providing mobile service, particularly to under-served urban neighborhoods, many different groups benefit. Because these trucks travel to different neighborhoods each day, they can also share new ideas and improve the scalability of the project.

(Revised 5.19.11) Discover Local is a credit card that is designed to enhance the local producer's ability to create value for the customer, while increasing customer awareness and loyalty.

Easy labeling has been a recurring theme in the concepts. After repeatedly mistyping the word footprint, I thought of the Foodprint label. The label can be put on food items, and represents the carbon footprint of a product, calculated on the basis of what is needed to grow the product, packaging and transport.

UPDATED What if restaurants/hotels/company- and university cafes in urban areas as well as urban dwellers have a chance to sell their biodegradable food waste? Imagine a network of local farmers who deliver fruits and vegetables to restaurants/hotels/households. The local farmers offer the service to collect the organic waste and use it in their farms.

(Initial concept is below) ** Update** Since building upon this concept through some intense brainstorming with everyone at the OpenIDEO workshop in Brisbane, this concept has developed into 'The Super Challenge: An Australian Event', which (as shown in the diagram below) is a multimedia extravaganza to bring Aussie supermarkets (in a positive light) into a public forum through the media to engage in the conversation: what does the supermarket of the future look like? How can the supermarket support local food production? Pairing up supermarket retailers with designers, this event would be held in a public space or art space, in which the future supermarket would be brainstormed/designed/prototyped during a live event. This event would be filmed by Australian TV and developed into a documentary/reality show, and would also include an iphone app & web platform as well.

Producers selling at Farmers' Markets like the returns generated by their direct-to-retail mode – but have a risk of unsold produce at the close of the market. Developing a subscription list of consumers who would be keen to buy surplus stock and messaging them when this is available could counter this risk.

Central to this model is a local incubator kitchen and food storage space. Acting as a multi-sided platform, the incubator kitchen serves both a network of regional to local farmers and the urban community. Food entrepreneurs are emerging everywhere. They are the individuals challenging the confines of our current food system, driving innovation and change, and reconnecting lost ties that cultivate the deep connection between individuals, their communities, and the simple act of eating. As food entrepreneurs ourselves, we have created a scalable model that increases market access for regional to local farmers, cultivates food entrepreneurs, and provides increased access to nutrient rich high-value foods within diverse urban markets, specifically targeting low-income low-access areas.

A startup business that boosts food traceability and brings producers closer to consumers. The startup would create a wiki style platform for food providers to share their provenance and information on their products. It would sell kits to schools to enable kids to print off batches of QR code stickers specific to each producer / product for the producer to place on the product / packaging. Enable producers to occasionally offer 'golden ticket' winning QR codes to offer prizes and encourage consumers to read the codes...

The Queensland Local Food Exchange is a food exchange modeled after better known stock exchanges. Producers can register their crops/produce and consumers can buy directly from the producers. Prices, of course, will vary with supply and demand.

For achieving this rethinking and implementing change successfully, we require the understanding of the holistic network behind the current situation. Below I suggest a change-process which emphasises exactly that necessity: the Multilevel Service Design Approach. By looking at the bigger picture, this approach allows the identification of underlying problem areas and enables the (re)design of better solution together with all stakeholders.

If you live in an apartment, it might seem impossible to grow your own food. Think again! As long as you have a porch, a balcony or a window that gets sunlight, you are actually able to grow quite a variety of fruits and vegetables. CONCEPT UPDATED!

CONCEPT UPDATED! A restaurant with a picnic concept, hosting totally stimulating talks (a la TED!) around food and community. The restaurant is set ON the grass with an actual garden patch, connecting people immediately on a physical and experiential level; while the talks engage people's minds on topics as multi-faceted as food is. Over time, the combination of the talks and the restaurant space builds community - among people with common (and uncommon!) interests.

Building off of Orlando Leon's Food Park idea, this is a proposal to partner with the city to create a closed loop composting system. Like your regular garbage pick up, people can compost their vegetables, pizza boxes, fruits, etc. (no meat), the city will come pick up the compost on a bi-weekly basis, bring it to a facility where they will turn it into rich soil, package it up and sell it back to the local citizens via the Food Parks, nurseries, and local hardware stores.

(UPDATED) A state funded TV advertising campaign that promotes a fun "I'm not from far away!" label. Local producers within the state have the option of purchasing the government subsidised label to include on their products if they would like to benefit from the exposure of the campaign.

Instead of having food festivals and farmers markets separate from one another, how about pair farmers and food vendors side-by-side at a combined farmers and food market, where chefs cook up tasty meals built from the farmer's bounty.

Learning from the repeated success of the <a href="">Rochester Public Market</a>, I am suggesting developing a program or organization (i.e. Farmers-Market-in-a-Box, similar to meant to have a direct collaboration with local city governments to build more permanent farmers market structures. These structures would be strategically located between low and middle class neighborhoods, with varying ethnicities, crime and education levels; as opposed to higher income neighborhoods, exclusively serving consumers with disposable incomes. The location should be risk-taking and near key city lines separating disparate social groups. This key geographic decision would promote social integration, dialog between all types of eaters and growers who wouldn't otherwise meet, healthy affordable food that is accessible to a wider range of consumers and it would increase market schedule flexibility encouraging repeat visits.

Inspired by artist "open studio" days, the Queensland government could sponsor a 4x yearly "Open House" day at local farms to get urban residents more connected to their local food producers. During the seasonal Open House days, urbanites would get the chance to visit local farms on a "Farm Crawl" and participate in activities like harvesting and cooking lessons. A "Farm Crawl" bus could provide hop on, hop off transport for car-less city residents. Each participant would be provided with a basket to collect food that's picked (or purchased) from each of the farms visited.

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