O17-2020: Team C "Groundy"
Groundy has the mission to encourage the worldwide communities to become self-sufficients. With advice from the application, the user finds the most suitable crops according to their geographical region and the comforts of your home. In this way, the plantations are creates and the process progresses through photographic recognition. Once the plantation is approved, it receives a unique code with a progress history in the producer's Profile ID, in order for the future consumer to search for the code and verify the history to add confidence in the product. The idea is that users founding smart communities in different cities of the world, and that these communities organize events, product exchanges and organic micro-enterprises to promote education and development in different populations. In turn, solving food problems such as malnutrition, environmental problems such as food waste and prevent problems related to food shortages and climate change, organizing society into self-sufficient communities from today to the future.
Challenge 4 - Team C "Groundy"
- Project Description:
Groundy will change the current paradigm understanding that poor food distribution and food waste are consequences that highlights the lack of education and value by society. This attitude adds strength to an even greater enemy, which is global warming.
In the coming decades, much of the population will face a great food shortage that will be progressive and even more problematic if we do nothing. Groundy plans to prevent this future problem changing the worldview from today.
This App seeks volunteers who want to change the world by incentivizing them to found smart and self-sufficient communities with the aim of instructing people to create organic plantations from their homes, participating in the creation of events, exchanges and organic micro-enterprises to solve the current problem of food waste and prevent future problems, increasing the quality of life of people and creating possibilities for development.
- Team Introduction:
Valentin Endeiza: 18 years old, from San Luis, Argentina. Student of International Relations on University of Congreso in Mendoza, Argentina. ("Former Youth Parliamentarian of the Argentine Nation")
Lautaro Soza Torrijos: 19 years old, from Mendoza, Argentina. Student of International Relations on University of Congreso in Mendoza, Argentina. ("Students for Liberty" Senior Coordinator Argentina)
We come across at the university, since we meet we shown interest in social issues regarding politics and how new technologies will impact the lives of people in the future, changing the current economic, political and social paradigm, affecting the social relationships in different places and communities around the world.
We have complemented our teamwork for different projects on different occasions, Valentin has experience working in marketing and knows about new financial technologies and Lautaro stands out in social work, public relations and in the field of community management. We both want to win knowledge, experience and develop our ideas and projects causing a positive social impact in society, adding value to the world.
Why do we choose the food waste challenge?
The last few years have played a key role in people's interest in climate change, which made us innovate in our behavior as human beings. One of the things we've changed has been our eating habits. Many people in the wake of environmental issues and health-related studies started different types of diets, whether vegan, vegetarian, or flour-related, as shown by statistics carried out in the UK during the last half of the decade. In many cases, people decide to do these diets to make a positive impact on the planet.
What happens to "Food Waste"?
According to information from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one-third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted in the world, which represents about 1,300 million tons of food per year. Given this, the Sustainable Development Goals call for halving per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030 as set out in target 12.3 ODS.
We can say that it is a problem from which various ecological consequences emerge, as this article written by Elizabeth Royte for National Geographic in 2014 says, "If global food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest generator of greenhouse gases in the world behind China and the United States".
The fact of over-purchasing is a normal behavior on many houses, practiced both in families and individuals show us that there is a lack of education and tools in society. NRDC Executive Director, Peter Lehner talks about this issue at the "A recipe for cutting food waste" TEDxManhattan. For this reason, we believe that our task is to take advantage of the possibilities that technology provides to create these tools for the benefit of humanity.
Our project is looking for those who have started asking questions about what is in their kitchen; both individuals and organizations interested in actively participating in the application as users, creating plantations, providing information and founding new communities.
Describe who is affected?
This problem from a short-term view impacts on people who are outside the consumer system because of climate change as this recent article from National Geographic Spain says, "It does not matter where food waste occurs: each unused plate of food is a plate that will not nourish anyone".
An American four-member family throws away an average of 1,000 euros a year in food. Wasting food is also wasting the huge amounts of fuel, biochemicals, water, land, and labor invested in its production".
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), at the year 2011, told us that: Reducing the effects of food waste is fundamental for archiving both the SDG 2 (end hunger) and SDG 12 (ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns), that leads us to our long-term affected: The most affected people will be the next generations.
What are the causes?
We will organize the causes of food waste in two groups to better outline the concepts. According to the unenvironment.org article on global food waste:
1- Industries: First stages of the value chain, this is where factories have a very important weight, due to financial, administrative or technical limitations with inputs, they neglect their production processes to make them more agile and end up discarding a higher percentage food.
2- Consumption: In this category it should be noted that it occurs frequently in developed countries, where consumers have the determining factor, since they have a bad habit of over-purchasing. Unlike the previous category, more typical in developing countries.
There is an agenda, like the SDGs, agreed in the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 ° C to reduce the probability of severe climate impacts.
In the specific case of the United States, according to the Department of Agriculture, EEUU has been taken measures in this regard by joining the Environmental Protection Agency with the aim of establishing a goal of reducing food waste in our country by 50% by 2030.
From our perspective:
When we talk about industries, and considering that they are characterized by being working in developing countries, it seems difficult to enforce it as their laws are more flexible in the face of a lack of economic injections and dependence on foreign capital.
On the other hand, we understand that it is easier and more effective to make a great social impact through the efficient use of technology and media spread via social networks and aiming for a progressive change in the future through training and tools to create action.
What is the evidence? Also, who can you interview? What can you find out? What experiment can you run?
We believe that this project is possible because we think that it is the exact moment where society has to take this step forward, the planet is asking for it and today people are beginning to demand a change.
Here are some of our examples to follow to start this project:
We have seen that this has been done in other parts of the world, as in the case of the Copia company, connecting different people to make and receive food donations.
Also in the case of Canadian entrepreneurs, in a very practical way of reducing food waste. (Video)
We know there will be complications as we aspire to make this idea work in different parts of the world, which is somewhat complicated. That is why it is necessary to have a greater dimension and planning of possible problems to deepen the action process.
"FAO" - Food Loss and Food Waste
FAO 2014 (PDF)
(Spanish) "Las pérdidas y el desperdicio de alimentos en el contexto de sistemas alimentarios".
"National Geographic" - One Third of Food Is Lost or Wasted: What Can Be Done
A recipe for cutting food waste | Peter Lehner | TEDxManhattan
"National Geographic" - El alto coste del desperdicio de alimentos
"Un-environment" - Worldwide food waste
"USDA" - Food Waste FAQs
Why does the education system fails? (Spanish): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEb9L2CMjr0
Consequences of air polution in Bangladesh:(English): https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2019/11/07/what-is-bangladesh-doing-to-combat-air-pollution
Consequences of food waste:(Spanish): http://www.fao.org/news/story/es/item/196368/icode/
Problem Definition by Alph Bingham:(English) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tYj_6Pbf04&feature=emb_title
Crowdsourcing by Francois Grey TEDxWarwick (2009):
What is The Big Idea? What is the value proposition?
Our objective "The Big Idea":
Encourage users to create communities in their cities and promote interest and education by creating plantations and crops.
According to this Forbes magazine article, “By 2024, more than 47% of learning management tools are expected to be enabled by AI capabilities.” We hope that "Groundy" will be within this statistic as one of the technologies that through artificial intelligence improves education generating a collective conscience to reduce unnecessary food spending, food waste and facilitate agriculture as a means of development.
What is the mechanism of beneficial change?
We will generate interest and provide information for people to reduce food waste and create plantations for self-sufficiency, achieving healthy food and combating the effects that climate change could have on their geographical region. According to "Greenpeace", the economic and social impacts, this will be increasingly serious, such as: Damage to crops and food production, droughts, health risks, extreme weather events.
The planting process is approved by photographic recognition and once this is completed a unique registration code is granted to the crop. The code system in the products allows people to access the producer ID to see details of the production process of the vegetable they are about to consume. In this way, we will also make available to people information that was not known about their food. This article from "Towards Data Science" encourages and supports AI to combat climate change, specifically point 8 talks about our topic.
What are the key metrics?
Groundy will make available the concepts around food, from the origin, to process and consumption. As the available information increases, we will see how users will create plantations and then communities that will have a positive impact on food waste and other related issues.
There is an incentive for the first users to invite family, friends, and neighbors to create their own plantations in an easy way, this incentive is the achievement of founding a community. In this way, we gradually expect an increase in the number and activity of users.
The "gamification technique" is designed so that the more crops you have registered you can have a higher status within the app as a producer. This will allow you to join with other experienced users and create larger-scale events for greater social impact or even micro-enterprises with an individual financial objective. In parallel, the idea is that it's easy to share information from the app to the rest of social networks with the purpose of greater dissemination of problems and personal achievements.
Who is most likely to be supportive?
We understand that in the beginning they will be people belonging to interest groups on the subject of health and food, who we call “people who started asking questions about their food”. According to studies by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) of Spain. 21.2% of the population considers it essential to know the origin of the products they consume. 41% of people who habitually eat out, in restaurants or bars, at least two or three times a week, waste food, not forgetting that 30% of those who drive to work also waste.
We think that later people from the circle will join as they will become aware of healthy eating and will see one as a new experience learning to create crops from their home in an easy way through an App.
This article from Forbes magazine shows us that The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that more than 40% of teens will struggle with obesity by the age of 19. We can see in this statistic that there are different types of problems derived from poor nutrition, all of which would be positively affected by this app. In the case of emerging countries it can develop the means of food production and consumption and in developed countries open a market for organic products, promoting healthy eating.
Key foes? Who is most likely to oppose?
In 1850, Ludwig Feuerbach, a famous German philosopher and biologist, made reference to the importance of food quality for humans regardless of the social class to which they belonged, to a balanced diet. (Article) It is important to dedicate time to our day to food.
We think that people who have fixed routine and marked daily habits are less flexible to the type of work that “Groundy” proposes. The US Government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives advice for identifying unhealthy eating habits.
What is the user experience?
Through Groundy people can experience a recreation activity getting closer to nature. Creating plantations from home is a simple thing that people can easily do and more if we think about the benefits that organic farming can give. For its part, agriculture has multiple benefits for society in everyday life, in (this article) we can find some.
The process of creating the crop is approved by photographic recognition, following the specific patterns of the type of crop being planted.
The idea of Groundy is to facilitate this knowledge and accompany the user during the process, thus also reporting on bad habits and daily problems with which we are accustomed to living. Users will gain new knowledge and help from their environment by creating a network of contacts of interest motivated by the App to create events and activities among the circle of interest of the community, supporting the values of healthy eating.
The user is motivated to help others by a reward system of accumulation of points to achieve certain achievements, this in turn is shared on social networks, which generates curiosity in more people and makes them progressively join.
Who has to do what. to make it happen?
For these changes happen there must be a predisposition of people to want to do it, as well as commitment and willingness to maintain the cultivation process. In this way, a reciprocal interest will be generated in sharing ideas and information with friends, family and acquaintances through social networks, to integrate more people in the communities and create larger events making the change visible.
We understand that there needs to be "health activists" (Article), who have a real interest in sharing information about different care for society. (For example, we can see the importance of these people in the current situation of the virus.)
Who are the key partners to execute? Key partners to help others evaluate your value proposition?
In the first instance only people who are interested in trying this experience as home producers, for mere recreation, but then encourage them to found communities and integrate people to actively participate.
When the communities grow, the effect will be noticeable regionally because people will have more information available regarding their food and will demand certain restrictions or prefer to consume organic products made with the security of the Groundy unique code. This consequence will be seen in:
- Micro-enterprises made by Groundy users.
- Regional businesses (shops, restaurants, hotels).
- Farmers market organizers.
(The effect can be even greater if many communities are made around the world)
What are the precipitating events?
Reasons to do this ASAP
(Information and data worked during the project in previous steps).
- Over-purchasing (Focus).
- Food waste increases.
- Food shortages.
- Problems will increase in the future with climate warming.
Now we see a tendency for people to wonder about the origin and process of their food. We think the time is right for “Groundy”.
- Take advantage of current technologies.
- Take advantage of globalization and the interconnection between people.
Execution procedure from the perspective of people:
- Create your first plantations for pleasure or recreation activity.
- Share your achievements, experiences and knowledge on social networks.
- Contact new users and advise them with help and information.
- Found a community in your city with the aim of making it grow.
- Increase the number of plantations and information.
- Create events, exchanges and activities.
- (Option) Create micro-enterprises among users to sell products.
- Generate regional changes in eating habits.
All under the unique code trust system.
Who else is in the field?
There isn’t a similar application, there is some similar AI technologies regarding recognizing plant types, like with the app "Garden Answers". In this article there is a list of them.
But nothing that gathers all the tools of Groundy, none is similar to our proposal.
Community Knowledge: Cooperative community education for individuals and families.
Photographic Recognition (AI): Using the tool of AI for helping on education and gardening to people without previous knowledge of gardening work.
Unique Code: Our current technologies allow us to show data about everything we ate, with this code we supervise the process.
Geo-Localization: We can get in touch with our local community issues and achievements, with this tool we can work on self-sufficient communities.
We trust that the tools are chosen to carry out the project are correct and will give good results, however, we still have to determine the time stipulated for the design and operation to have each one correctly.
After the work done during these weeks we decided to focus on "over-purchasing" on families and individuals instead of "Solving food waste all around the world", we did it because it is a better approach that can be solved with the education of people.
The biggest change is not something that needs a lot of resources or time, just a little change in culture. The tools we will use are specified in the previous point.
Physical and intellectual resources needed (besides financial resources)
Both Crowdsourcing and software development is needed in order to make it work. People interested in making the app work includes an activist for the environment, producers, and consumers of organic food. We shall look for organizations with those attributes for growing our community.
Next steps? Pilots?
Our next step to implement the project is to prove that there is an interest in this topic on the part of many people and that; the project will have a minimum of initial users and then progressively grow with our dissemination methods.
We think that one way to prove it is to carry out surveys on social networks to measure the interest of our acquaintances in the proposal of “Groundy”, in this way we will be able to see the average response of people at a small and local level.
Statistics and studies already done show that in recent years people's interest in eating habits has increased:
"21.2% of the population considers it essential to know the origin of the products they consume."
"75.2% consider that wine should carry a nutritional label." (Article)
"50.4% of respondents have gone to blogs and forums to find out about food and nutrition, followed by social networks (47.1%), nutritionists (42%) and doctors (38.8%) ) ”. (Article)
“The number of U.S. consumers identifying as vegan grew from 1% to 6% between 2014 and 2017, a 600% increase, according to GlobalData”. (Article)
On the other hand, we also seek to prove how effective the exchange of information between users could be and how willing the community can be to help new users, testing whether or not there is a possibility of transferring internet cooperation in a physical way and regional with known contacts.
For this we also have the gardening forum that serves as a model to make the “Home” of the application and measure the type of socialization that may have been compared to expectations. In this same gardening forum we will also consult on Groundy's proposal; and it will be one of the main niches to obtain the first users.
Cost structure? Financial Sustainability? Revenue streams?
According to “Howmuchtomakeanapp.com” and “Thinkmobiles.com”, we estimate that the amount to start specified in an app such as "Groundy" rounds the range of the 30K $ – 50K $ depending on the geographical region where personal employment and pro-product factors.
For the development of sprint, in the next phase, the budget could vary and increase up to double. (Information)
About revenue streams, we set a subscription:
Users: General subscription price, very low. Estimate: ($ 2 - $ 5 per month)
Type account - Maximum of advised plantations available.
Premium Account - Unlimited advice, with no maximum of plantations.
Micro-Enterprises: Subscription price based on the number of registered plantations / 24-hour assistance.
Benefits: Specific control of each plantation, Alerts about care processes (Example watering hours).
Another benefit that a microenterprise can have is the tax reduction by the state depending on where it is located, since it makes a greater benefit.
How might this go wrong? How might the problem evolve? What are the legal, cultural and other impediments?
There is a big risk of lack of crowdsourcing, as this app depends on 100% of the active information of his users, it may feel empty without users.
If this project don't reach the normal people, it should start by contacting people already involved on gardening and for making the crowdsourcing
Also regarding software development of the AI, there is already software that identifies different types of plants, but it needs new adds regarding knowing the state of the scanned plant.
How will I promote adoption?
We may face two cases:
On the first one, this app is very friendly for the normal user, so the process of adoption is escalated progressive thought time.
Or not, It's not so friendly and only people really interested or already with gardening skills became a regular user.
In both cases events and community are fundamental, probably on big cities will have a bigger impact because of population, and we are going to have focalized cities or communities, in order to become popular the use of the application, we should make an application that makes the user feel like there are welcome to a new experience, depending on or their actual level.
"Forbes" - AI Applications In Education
"Oxford Reference" - Collective Conscience
"Climate Change" PDF:
"Green Peace" - Cambio Climatico:
"Towards Data Science" - How can AI help tackle climate change?
"Cuidate y Come Sano" - Aumenta el interés por la alimentación saludable
"Forbes" - 5 Tips To Interest Your Kids In Lifelong Healthy Eating
"Crear Salud" - Cuánto tiempo debemos dedicar a la comida
"CDC" - Improving Your Eating Habits
The PowerPoint of this season can be seen on:
Week III presentation can be seen on:
Week IV presentation can be seen on:
"Agriculture Goods" - Why is Agriculture Important
"Ecología Verde" - Los beneficios de la agricultura ecológica
"Entrepreneur" - 6 Techniques to Effectively Gamify
"Redacción Medica" - Activistas de la salud
"Country Living" - 10 gardening apps