Plant Futures Innovation Lab
The Plant Futures Innovation Lab (2 Units, Spring 2021) is an extension of the Plant Futures Symposium. The goal of the lab is to provide students an opportunity to apply the tools and principles from the Symposium to a real-world problem in which they will operationalize a plant-forward solution that they will present to a panel of experts at the end of the semester.
Students will be carefully matched with teammates and work in interdisciplinary teams. Teams will address challenges in a variety of areas including: product, policy, behavior, and other areas. Students will be personally guided by pre-selected industry mentors from the symposium who represent diverse backgrounds and expertise who will equip them with the appropriate design thinking strategies, tools, and techniques for their proposed ideas and solutions.
The Plant Futures Innovation Lab is driven by the principles of social entrepreneurship, values of public health and sustainability, and the vision of transforming food systems by challenging the status quo. Students will be challenged to think critically about the underlying systems responsible for inequities and injustices in the food system, and how to use targeted design thinking and innovative solutions to address these issues. Plant Futures is an embodiment of the principle that access to healthy, sustainable food is a fundamental right that is critical for human and planetary health, and should be accessible to all. This vision will guide the discussions, speakers, and ideas presented in the lab.