So, there you are, slightly hungover in your holiday cottage, when you realise that what you really need to help you feel human again is a fry up. But you’re in an idyllically remote and unfamiliar part of country and don’t know where to get the ingredients.
In the past, you might have tried driving about randomly looking for local sellers, probably without much luck, and then settled for a disappointing substitute from the local garage. But no longer. Our Wired for Food event last weekend has solved all your problems. The days of having to hurl yourself desperately into the nearest body of cold water (for therapy rather than fun), or settle for reading whatever dog-eared & page-ripped aging copies of the Readers' Digest you can find kicking about in the cottage until you feel better, are well and truly over.
Want eggs? Go to HatchTag, share your location, and it will automatically direct you to the nearest local seller.
Want bread? Use the Cleo Twacker to track down your nearest source of delicious sourdough. It uses Twitter to help find where Cleo - a sourbread culture - has got to.
Want everything else that goes with them? Well, so far you’re only in luck if you live in the Bristol area (give us a chance, we only had one day after all!) – but you can now use the new food map to see exactly where all of the local food sellers are.
Want to see how food affects your emotional well-being? Use Food EQ to make the links between food & your happiness clear over time.
Want to become more proficient at growing your own food? Go to Get On My Land, and follow the easy steps from Window Boxer, through Alotmenteer, and all the way to fully-fledged farmer if you so wish.
Seriously, its worth looking at all of the above solutions now before you read on, if you haven’t already – they are all on the project page here and on wired.co.uk. They were all created from scratch in just one day following a brief scene-setting and inspiration session the night before (thanks to Stroud Brewery and the Bristol Beer Factory for helping with that inspiration). It just goes to show what the possibilities are if you bring talented doers together around an exciting new challenge that they may not have considered before – like a sustainable food system.
And whilst I’ve couched my description of the results in terms that may be most applicable to the consumer, the benefits to the producers are often far greater. Cleo turns all consumers into potential producers as well, and makes you a part of a community that learns how to appreciate food more – eating more healthily, and wasting less in the process. HatchTag allows any seller of produce to quickly & easily put themselves on the map – and whilst it shows eggs at the moment, it could just as easily also plot vegetables, or sausages, or honey, or cider, or . . . . anything you like really, each with its own icon. And knowing where my local food retailers are in Bristol means that I’ll use them more – its now clear, for instance, that there are two clusters of businesses nearby that can meet all of my shopping needs with at least as much convenience as the local supermarket could.
Bringing creative digital genius and problem-solving to bear on sustainability challenges is the goal of our new Wired4Change programme. Based on this first experience, there is a vast amount of potential, and a lot to be excited about – so if you want to be a part of our next events, get in touch.