The Future of Food: Innovative Solutions to the World’s Pressing Food Problems

It is hard to imagine that over a month ago, hundreds of students, teachers, and EF staff from around the world gathered in Milano to discuss one of the most important topics affecting us today: the future of food. What began as a hopeful and exciting summit culminated with the presentation of the top 8 prototypes, conceptualized and designed by teams of students, all of which are worthy of being showcased to the world.

This two-day leadership conference proved that, given the chance, students and teens are capable of creating thoughtful solutions that can affect meaningful change.

team wins

Below is a summary of the Top 8 prototype pitches:

Allergy Angel

How might we help people who suffer from severe food allergies and avoid life threatening situations? After realizing that food allergies are an increasingly growing concern for today’s society, this team decided to tackle the problem by designing a portable kit that contains a rod which can detect whether a certain allergen is present in someone’s food. This team demonstrated extreme thoughtfulness by further explaining that this device would contain a pair of tweezers to more easily examine small or hard-to-grab foods, even including paper strips that would change color if an allergen is present in liquid foods or drinks. We’d all stay safe with Allergy Angel!

Fresh Eats

How might we help people, especially children, get affordable and healthy food just as easily as fast food? This team suggested an app could solve this mission! The app, Fresh Eats, would be available both on phones and computers. It would give ingredient suggestions, recipes, and meal options near you that would all be sourced from local farms, eliminating intermediaries and making it more accessible and affordable for all.

Garden of Eden

How might we provide affordable and healthy foods to communities that don’t have easy access to it? This team tackled two huge issues with their prototype: housing for the homeless, as well as food availability. They ideated house boats that have solar panels to generate energy for propellers, which then purify water and irrigate a community garden on the roof.  Boat tenants would be able to grow and harvest crops on these boats, and with the help of volunteers and mentors, be able to self-sustain this lifestyle long-term.

Waste Not Tabletop

How might we reduce the unnecessary disposal and waste of food? How can we more efficiently use waste? This team pitched a creative and futuristic tabletop that has the capacity to weigh leftover food and give an appropriate donation recommendation. The tabletop would have compartments within, sorting compostable and non-compostable foods which can later be donated to local gardens. While originally only intended to reduce food waste in restaurants and other commercial establishments, the Waste Not Tabletop could be used at home as well!

Fold-ups for Food

How might we help people and communities grow food locally and accessibly for their own use? For this team, the solution lies in foldable hydroponic crop-growing columns, that are easily transported and relocated. This team envisioned their prototype would also be able to store and collect water, as well as seeds. Fold-ups for food would be perfect for communities looking to create their own self-sustainable gardens!


How might we help communities and their crops survive during a drought? Our winning team tackled this problem by designing a revolutionary device named Hydrone. The gadget can capture moisture in the air and convert it into a water spray that can help water crops and gardens – maintaining communities’ crops during a drought. This drone will be powered by solar panels and be made entirely out of recycled or reused materials, making it almost 100% sustainable.

Get Diggin’

How might we make food accessible to all? For this team, the solution was to envision a mobile truck that would serve as a fresh produce market and would provide discount prices for people living in food deserts. Any fruits and vegetables bought from the Get Diggin’ truck would come in a bag with free seeds that customers can grow right at home. Where would you find the truck? This team also planned to launch an accompanying app that would provide the truck’s daily location, tips, and recipes!

Dining Detectives

How can we help people detect possible allergens in their foods? This team thought about a modern and innovative device, called the Dining Detective, which would have a small replaceable needle that can easily tell you if your food is safe to eat or not. Allergens affect thousands of people every day, Dining Detective could keep them safe!

There you have it! Students collaborating to create innovative and certainly functional solutions to today’s most pressing problems! EF’s Global Leadership Summits provide the opportunity for your students to put their innovative thinking hats on and come up with something that could one day change the world.

Can’t get enough of these students’ impressive work? See the personalized projects student attendees worked on after tour to help bring their Summit learnings home.”


Maria L.

Maria is a Content Marketing Co-op from Northeastern University. Born and raised in Panama, her ultimate travel dream is to meet a Koala and snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef.

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