Vegetarian? I bet these stories sound familiar!

First of all I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and creative 2013! As you may have noticed it has been a while, however I came across a (to me) very funny article on BBC News Magazine and wanted to share it with you. The article “20 of your tales of vegetarian woe” (BBC, 2013) is a collection of different experiences and stories of vegetarians travelling across the world! 

I have been vegetarian for quite a while (14 years or so) and have experienced the difficulties but also funny situations when ordering food abroad. Not every country is that familiar with vegetarians and I can imagine how hard is must be to understand such thing when eating meat is so obvious. I must say that, throughout the years of being a vegetarian, a lot has changed. I also noticed that, even when it seems like a restaurant does not have any vegetarian dishes on the menu, they are most of the time willing to prepare something without meat after all, especially for you. In fact, these have always been delicious meals that made my carnivore friends jealous! Yet, I have also experienced holidays with the unavoidable fried cheese (see photo below) and big salads, night after night. Still, I have always been very appreciative of whatever dish they prepared for me, as I think it is great that they have all been open to the needs of their customers and to try something new.

Fried Cheese

Retrieved from: Easteuropeanfood.about.com (2012)
vegetarianVSmeat

Retrieved from: Usahitman.com (2012)

Anyway, enough about me and my experiences of eating vegetarian abroad, the article I mentioned at the beginning of this blog is worth having a look at by clicking here.

Do you have any awkward, funny, difficult or very good experiences with ordering food as a vegetarian or with a specific diet across the globe? I am very curious to hearing about them!

Madelon

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Every Ending is a New Beginning

I’m delighted –but also a bit sad- to announce to you that we presented the final results of the project to our commissioner today. Now that the Research Report, the Project Plan, the Course of Action and the article for Colin’s Uncover Magazine are handed in, we’re all very satisfied with the outcome and the process as a whole. I’ll might even miss the project and the lovely team I was working with but as they say; every ending is the start of something new (only if the Mayans were wrong though)! So yes… for the members of Bridge this project has ended today. However, the process of Social Innovation does not stop and the network we set up with be sustained so that the solutions can be realized eventually. We created a Facebook page that will function as a platform for everyone who is –and wants to be-  involved in this project so if you’d like to share your opinions and ideas or if you just like what we did; go to http://www.facebook.com/bridgeresearchagency (and press LIKE)! If anyone of you is interested in receiving more information about the documents I mentioned earlier, please feel free to send an email to  Bridge.researchagency@gmail.com!

Below you can find some slides of our final presentation:

And last but not least, this blog will NOT die! You don’t have to worry cause we are planning to continue writing, as we all enjoyed sharing our ideas and progress with you here! We might not post every day, but there are definitely some interesting developments going on we can’t keep to ourselves… Curious? Stay tuned!

A.S.

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Schoolgardens

As you all know, we had our creative network session 2.0 last week. The main idea that came out of that was to set up a school program which aims for children making healthier decisions for themselves in the future. The total program will consists of a nutrition course, cooking classes, field trips and a school garden where children can grown their own vegetables and fruits. I came across GreenHeart Education, a program that offers consulting services, presentations and workshops to help green the heart of education. Including in their suggestions are school gardens, which I will tell you a bit more about in this blog.


Information alone can never become knowledge, and knowledge never becomes wisdom without some kind of rooting in the good soil of experience.
— James Raffan
So what exactly are the gains of having a garden at school?

Children learn to focus and be patient and to cooperate with one another

  • They gain knowledge about the process of food growing, and where exactly produce comes from
  •  “learning while doing” addresses different learning styles and intelligences
  • The (aimed) result is that children become more healthy and fit, as they spend more time outdoors and later on start choosing for healthy food

GreenHeart Education also has the following tips and suggestions for setting up a school garden:

  • To spread the workload, parents and community gardeners can be invited
  • Be sure to have organized volunteers to take care of the garden during holidays, they can take the crops home as a “thank you” and split some with the local food bank for example
  • Keep track of the growing process of the garden by photos and a journal for instance. Include the garden in the schools’ newsletter and let local media know about the successes.
  • Keep the garden lessons fun and hands-on
  • Keep new children involved by making planting decisions, as the original group will eventually move on

I am convinced that this is a great way to increase awareness about food in a society and am a bit disappointed I did not get to experience this at school during my childhood. Did your school have a vegetable garden? Please share your experiences!

For more information visit the website of GreenHearted

Yvonne.

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Caine’s Arcade

Since our whole project revolves around creativity and visual culture (and maybe also a little bit of entrepreneurship to some extend), today I want to show you something cute which will hopefully make you smile or maybe even shed a tear of hapiness…

Earlier this year I came across this video of Caine, who build his own Arcade in the car shop of his father in East LA. The amount of creativity, originality and just dedication of this little 9 year old boy really warms my heart. On the other hand the power of social media and a movie (as part of visual culture) also really impressed me. BUT there is not much more to say about it, you have to see for yourself…

Enjoy!

 SH

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A sustainable christmas meal

Christmas songs on the radio, shopping windows transformed into Christmas looks and you have already put the Christmas tree in your living room. Up next the dinner you have to prepare for your family and friends. How can you serve a meal, which is less harmful for the environment? The amounts of miles that a typical Christmas meal travels before it ends up on your plate can easily add up to 49,000 miles. However a green Christmas meal is possible!! Interested? Take a look at the tips below.

turkey-xmas460

1)   Buy local

Visit a farmers store, or a farmers market and collect your products there. These are more sustainable and probably only traveled for a couple of miles.

2)   Buy seasonal

A lot of products are not available in the winter, at least not from your own country. All of these products are imported from around the world. Imagine what carbon footprint they must have left behind, so not really environmental friendly right? Take a look at seasonal products. I am pretty sure you can make a fantastic meal with those products.

3)   Go organic

If you are against the intensive farming, then especially pay attention to this point. Food that has been produced organically less harmful pesticides have been used and this is of course a lot better for the environment. And a organic turkey did not have to suffer from the intensive farming.

4)   Go veggie

Are you still a bit sad about the turkey? Even though it comes from an organic farm. Then think about a vegetarian Christmas meal. With some good recipes and innovative thinking I bet you can surprise your entire family.

5)   Watch your waste

And last but not least watch your waste. And this does not start with the things you throw away, but already on your shopping list. Do you really need everything? Don’t you think you have way too much? Think critically and you will have to waste less food.

If we all took the above-mentioned points into consideration, even the smallest bits help. We can have another feeling as just fed up with all the food, but at least you have done something good for the environment this Christmas. Isn’t that what Christmas is about amongst other things, to take care of one another?

and as we would say in the Netherlands: EET SMAKELIJK!

Nicole

How generation 2012 can change the world: Future Fuel tries to find out!

Unbelievable but true, the end of the project is near! We have been trying to come up with innovative ideas to improve a very small part of the world and hope we have inspired you. While talking to one of the participants is our Creative Network Session 2.0, we found out that we are definitely not the only ones. In fact, an initiative is working on a very inspiring project to find out what the current generation can learn from the older generation in order to improve the world. I’m talking about Future Fuel, set up by Anne Walraven from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

This initiative has drawn my attention since she one of our generation and taking action. She points out that there are so many crises that are mentioned everyday and everyone is talking about that something has to change. She tries to find out what the younger generation of 2012 can learn from the older generation in order to take action and actually do something about these problems in the world. To achieve this, she travels around the world to speak to inspiring role models that can share their experiences and expertise and pass it forward.

The aim is to interview 15 role models of which a few can be ticked off already. An overview of the role models and the ones that have been interviewed already marked in bold, can be found below:

  • Paul Gilding
  • Jane Goodall
  • Peter Voser
  • Bill McKibben
  • Louise Fresco
  • Thomas Friedman
  • Julia Hill
  • Jeremy Rifkin
  • Herman Wijffels
  • Prof. Dr. Konrad Steffen
  • Roz Savage
  • Yvo de Boer
  • Jeroen Jansen
  • Alec Loorz
  • Severn Suzuki
  • William Kamkwamba
  • Aart van Veller
  • Ekta Kothari
  • Angaangaq

Linking these interviews to our project, I really liked the interview with Jane Goodall, is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace (wikipedia.co.uk,2012). You can find a compilation of the interview below.

Please have a look at her website by clicking here, where you can support this initiative and suggest questions to ask in future interviews, how cool is that?!

The website itself is in Dutch, however most interviews are in English. Click here for the webpage with the interviews, and click on the link under the picture of the role model.

Madelon

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Visual culture and package design

beer MilsWhy it’s Cool!?

During the experiment we organized, the participants defined problems and solutions. One of the problems was that people are not conscious about healthy food and the origin of the food. While I was just searching on Mr. Google on where to write about, I came across the following. Brands also have a hard time in explaining their product stories in an attractive way to consumers. This fact can be combined with the fact that the consumers need to be better informed about the products they are consuming. The solution can be found in a lot of different sectors. For example the importance of social media and smart phones in our lives nowadays. Nobody can live without it anymore. So what about QR codes on products or a small and funny game that informs people at the same time? This was one of the ideas the participants came up with during the experiment. But… , the solution can be found in the sector of visual culture! This trend comprises the fact that images, symbols and semiotics are becoming increasingly important. One of the manifestations of Visual Culture is the success of infographics. These have the power to transform ‘boring’ information into attractive and engaging tools. So in this example information about common products like milk and beer (ingredients, the production process, the history of the product) are put in an infographic which is an integral aspect of the package. Now, the information becomes a story and a happy combination of form and content. It empowers the consumer in getting more knowledge on the product, which is exactly what is needed.

And last but not least, it stands out on the shelf!

X Kim

Networking Session 2.0 a.k.a. next step towards social innovation

As my colleagues have already mentioned, we have had our second experiment today – or as we call it ‘Creative Network Session 2.0’!

Here’s a brief update on what has been going on today in the Academy for Leisure Breda, NL…

As you know (if not, go read our previous posts ;D) the first session was about defining problems within the food sector which could be solved by means of social innovation – for this we have invited people from the food sector and people from visual culture, to  have the creative input. Since the results of the first session were still rather broad and due to the positive feedback of the participants, we have decided to carry out a second session and to test more creative techniques to make the ideas more concrete.

The techniques we have used were the Six Thinking Hats by De Bono (see my colleague’s post here) and an adaption of the world café method, which is about creating a special environment and dividing the participants into several groups, giving them the chance to discuss and share ideas in three rounds (where each member of the group is moving to a different table after each round).

We have combined this method with the six thinking hats and have ‘themed’ each round with a different hat – the outcomes we, or better the participants, have achieved after this were more concrete and workable. Furthermore, we hope to have persuaded the participants to take the initiative to work on this project and to take it a step closer to social innovation, since we will not be able to do so in this short time frame (yep, we’re almost done with studying and preparing ourselves for our bachelor’s degree!).

Cannot really say anything about the outcomes at this moment, since we need to evaluate them first – therefore, I suggest that you stay tuned for more updates!

Pictures tell more than words, so here are a few impressions of today’s session!

DSC02771 DSC02778DSC02788 - Kopie

GZM

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How to Launch a Milkshake

Dear Readers,

We are having our Creative Network Session 2.0 tomorrow and we’re currently pretty busy with the preparation to make sure it’s going to be as successful as possible! That’s why I won’t be writing a long, extensive post today… Apologies! But don’t be too sad cause I do want to share something really cool!

Two weeks ago I showed you ‘Dumb Ways to Die” which is in my opinion a fantastic example of creative marketing, but I have another video for you today. It is basically an interactive marketing campaign in the form of a modern treasure hunt. And guess what? It is all about a milkshake! Watch the video to find out what happens to cows in Norway:

Keep an eye on this blog if you want to know which ideas come out of the Creative Network Session!

A.S.

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Here we go again!

On Thursday the 22nd of November, the members of Bridge performed an experiment with parties from the food and visual culture sector in order to create social innovation. For our faithful followers; I am sure you heard this before by now. But if not; be sure to check out the following posts: https://bridgeresearchagency.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/social-innovation-workshops-with-network-opportunity/ & https://bridgeresearchagency.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/social-innovation-sessions-with-network-opportunity-2-0/

Either way, did you also know that we are organising another experiment? Yes we are!

Due to the positive reactions from last time, and results from our evaluation, Bridge has decided to organize a second creative network session on the 11th of December. In this session, we will again invite parties from the food and visual culture sector in order to continue the process towards social innovation. This session will again include several techniques that stimulate the creative thinking of our participants and will only take place in a creative setting this time.

As this session will already take place within 5 days, the members of Bridge are in full preparation-mode to get everything ready and well organized. If you are interested in the results of this session, be sure to check out the blog next week for a full update. Until then, stay tuned!

Tessa.

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