DESIGN TO NURTURE THE PLANET by BE OPEN is a competition that advances the United Nations’ Sustainable Goals

This competition is a third edition of BE OPEN's programme in support of the UN SDG programme that invites students to develop submissions that advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Goals.

The competition aimed to bring the talent and creativity of the global community to focus on SDG2: Zero Hunger. Under the umbrella of zero hunger, SDG2 is not only about ending hunger, but also achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. DESIGN TO NURTURE THE PLANET was open to all students and young professionals in art, design and media and called for innovative solutions that can contribute to how we transform our food systems to end food insecurity and create better conditions for an equitable and environmentally prosperous world.

Congratulations to the winners!

All the eligible submissions have been evaluated according to the combination of criteria, such as viability, feasibility and desirability of the design, evidence of a comprehensive research and the creative value of the solution proposed, and the prizes have been allocated the following way:

  • First Prize of €5,000 goes to Helena Markus from Tallinn, Estonia, who developed Sys-Stem, a blockchain-based system of food production and distribution. Blockchain as a data technology can help address challenges of food supply through fixing data faults in the producer – supplier- consumer chain, raising the efficiency at each stage. Transparency of processes, sustainability, quicker feedback and regulation are only a few advantages of blockchain technologies that food industry can benefit from.

  • Second Prize of €3,000 goes to Riccardo Mirarchi from Milan, Italy for his Urban Gardens project that encourages repurposing available urban spaces into sustainable food producing spots to be run by communities of neighbours. The project offers insight into sustainable food cultivation, relevant technologies and materials, offers practical instruction that allow urban dwellers cultivate their own fresh food, support local biodiversity, repurpose and recycle waste.

  • Third Prize of €2,000 goes to Maria Balash from Basel, Switzerland for the interactive online platform Seed Sync. that aims to engage people in co-cultivating fresh food and co-farming in general by providing them with a platform for finding new friends, uniting efforts, sharing experiences, know-hows, materials, seeds, etc. The platform allows for sponsorships, charitable activities, community initiatives, etc.

  • Public Vote Prize of €2,000 goes to Karl Balevsky from Sofia, Bulgaria who submitted his project DropCrop that received most likes in an online vote. In order to accumulate water for agricultural purposes in arid areas, the DropCrop system uses the difference between night and day temperatures that is generally quite significant in arid areas. The condensation within a household, prompted by our everyday activities, may be enough to support cultivating greens in an efficient greenhouse. The system allows collecting condensation drops on natural surfaces and channel them through pipes into the greenhouse, providing additional watering.

  • Founder’s Choice Prize of €3,000 goes to Kate Diab from Canada for the BAC-CYCLE project. The awardee got selected by the Founder of BE OPEN, international businessperson and philanthropist Elena Baturina. The solution consists in facilitating more agricultural food production in cities by building in into a sustainable self-sufficient cycle of growing, processing, distribution, consumption and then recycling food in densely populated areas. It strives to cut the costs of having to transport food waste out of cities by creating space-saving local recycling facilities that use natural bacteria to turn waste into an excellent eco fertilizer. The by-product of bacteria processing organic matter is methane which can easily be forwarded into power generation.