The Challenge


How might we better connect food production and consumption? read the brief


Eatcyclopedia: A Phone App to Help Connect and Inform

UPDATED: Although interactive apps are useful, another possibility for an app is a prebuilt app that can be used offline like an encyclopedia that focuses on food production and consumption. Accessing the information doesn’t have to take place at a store or market, but anywhere (even if you don’t have WiFi or 3G). However, there will be a WiFi component enabled (such as QR code look up feature, ability to push content up to the database, etc.). For the sake of this concept I’m going to refer to it as the Queensland Eatcyclopedia App. I’ve made some mock-ups that would best describe the general features of such an app.
[UPDATE: Thanks to all those w/ feedback; especially Ewan McEoinMeena Kadri, Arjan Tupan,and  Kirk Soderstrom > their feedback has been incorporated in updated slides above. Additional feedback for refinement always welcome.]

Before going any further it is important to note that (according to Nielson, 2010):

- 43% of online Australians now own a smartphone
- 26% participated in mobile social networking in the past year
- 66 % of mobile social networkers are under 35 years of age

Static Application:
Create a smart phone app that is like an encyclopedia of food production. Here is the kicker: It is well designed and simple, full of meaningful and telling info. This is inspired in part by the IDEO Method Cards ( Any food source (vegetable, fruit, meats, etc.) is searchable. The mock-ups should be self-explanatory, if not poor design on my part (the more intuitive the more likely it will be used).


1. SLIDE 2: Multi Search Function: You can search the database (no Internet connection required), you can search by QR tag (requires Internet), or by a food code label number (requires Internet). You can update database on this page, as well as add/suggest new additions that do not appear.
2. SLIDE 3: A-Z Listing of all foods (with demarcation of vegetable, fruit, meat, or herb)
3. SLIDE 4: Introduction: General Facts (including variations of the food)
4. SLIDE 5: Nutritional Facts
5. SLIDE 6: How it is processed from start to finish (from seed planting to harvesting to packaging and delivery)
6. SLIDE 7: Meal ideas for the particular food source (optional) – this makes the app useful as a dietary tool
7. SLIDE 8 and 9: Where the food can be found in a given region (in our case, Queensland). There is an "ADD" button so people can add pins and profile pages of farmers. The drop pins link to a profile page and/or video of the farm (see SLIDE 9). 

All graphics and product design is solely meant for conceptualizing for Open IDEO’s challenge.

Pictures used in App Mock-Up:
Planting Carrots:
Farm with Carrot Field

Picking Carrots
Picking Carrots 2

Farmer in "Meet the Farmer" page: Courtesy of Stock.Xchange

Some of the icons are taken or modified from
Concept builds
Some additional features that may be added (based on what the team of smart do-gooders have suggested, see comments for attribution): 1. DATA POPULATION: The data will be populated from three primary sources: (a) general research to populate various types (i.e. list of foods, nutritional facts [precooked and cooked], foods in danger/rarity, foods by season, etc.); (b) farmers and producers can upload information to the database via mobile phone or internet; (c) given the platform will be open for submission, the general community, particularly organizations, university students/instructors, other students (for projects), and the general population (there would need to be review by product manager to maintain some threshold of quality). 2.INTERACTIVE FEATURE: Beyond the recipe feature, there can also be an interactive feature, or as mentioned an "educational" component, like a fun trivia game, or a scavenger hunt, other gaming component. Also, people could submit recipes themselves (see #1) or place new locations on the map (where) section. 3. INCENTIVE FOR USE: I think the app should be free. It should perhaps have advertisements (annoying) or build in discount features (like foursquare or groupon) where there you get discounts for foods near your location (using GPS feature of smartphones. 4. OTHER MODALITIES: As mentioned previously a web version of the app could easily share the database, and thus it would be available online, at home, demo stations in grocery stores (think Barnes and Noble book search stands), schools, libraries, and other places. ADDITIONALLY, you could have an annual or periodic printed version of the book, or perhaps mini-print products (like booklets, etc.). 5. PASSIVELY ACTIVE FEATURE: You could have an option wherein if you get close to a farmers market, or a store with local foods, you get a buzz letting you know. Alternatively, you can include a "my shopping list" feature, where each app saves your preferences for items, and suggests complementary local foods that go with it; or perhaps it has a pop up giving you some info about a food you buy more than 3 times, etc.
What actions would need to be taken to turn this idea into a reality?
You would need three essential things to get a beta working: 1. App Development (this is the tech side, using the mock ups as a guide for backend development. 2. Some basic information to populate data (draw this from existing data bases, online encyclopedias, and other accessible information). Steps 1 and 2 would bring the actual application into reality ---- The next step would bring the product into usability 3. User base, advertise the app in partnership with government, stores, farmers, schools, through various marketing to get people to use it. There needs to be a partnership of initial stakeholder to support the initiative.
Who might make a good partner for this project?
This product can actually be very participatory in nature. While it is indeed narrow in it's target audience (people who have smartphones or internet)--still a good chunk of urban dwellers--many are involved: 1. Farmers (stories about those who grow the food; also they can identify locations and data) 2. End-users can submit recipes, items that do not appear, and locations of farms, etc. 3. The Market (both farmers market and grocery stores): they can be be proponents of this by offering space for advertisement, sponsoring it, etc.; in turn perhaps having a "sponsors" status and encouraging buying produce and other items 4. Government can help sponsor the initial build of it, promote it in other campaigns, and do self-promoting through the site, creating a clear vision and point of view on local food production, etc. The published book can also be a product of the government to various sites, etc. They can also facilitate NGO and private sector sponsorship of it. 5. Schools: Various levels of schools from university to junior high can participate in producing content for the database, to help start a food conscious movement; making the next generation of consumers and producers leaders in the intimate connection between the two 6. Private sector: sponsors 7. Celebrity endorsements and guest recipe submitters (also favorite foods, etc.) (thanks Louise) 8 Sina Mossayeb: cheerleader
What suggestions would you have for potential sources of funding for the development of this project?
Corporate sponsors Government grant (see money for development) Farmers Union Eatcyclopedia: The Book Donations (given it is a free app)
Virtual team
Arjan Tupan Kirk Soderstrom Sarah Fatallah Louise Wilson Krassimira Iordanova Ewan McEoin [and if possible...] Tom Hulme Meena Kadri


Join the conversation and post a comment.

Haiyan Zhang

April 09, 2012, 21:06PM
Hi Sina, I came across this iPhone app recently I thought you might find interesting.. it's really similar to the Eatcyclopedia concept:


October 18, 2011, 14:02PM
I agree with JB Reed about the "where to buy". I would also appreciate to be able to buy only "seasonnal product", don't know if it was mentionned already.. guessed yes, but I do insist, it is very important as well. Also, could be interested to have statistics about "what is left" for each product. Sometimes I would not care eating carrots instead of peas... If I knew the carrots were in huge quantity compared to peas at this D-day and that they were going to be thrown if I buy peas instead... We have to considerably reduce the waste if we want to be able to feed the world in the decades to come.

JB Reed

June 06, 2011, 22:02PM
From an urban food consumer's perspective, I really like the Where function.

Once I find carrots in your database, will I be able to put in my zipcode and find markets to buy local carrots? I'm more interested in info about markets than farmers.

People could Like certain carrot providers (stalls at farmers markets, etc).

Providers with the most Likes could appear first on those 'where to buy' carrot searches.

Vincent Cheng

May 26, 2011, 16:41PM
Although there are are related apps/resources for many of these features (nutrition, recipes, etc.) already out there (which also means there's opportunities to pull from preexisting sources), integrating nutrition, recipes, and other such information into Tom's "Window to the Farm" concept does make sense, since it's all about helping people understand, choose, prepare, & enjoy their food whether at the grocery, in the kitchen, or even growing it in their garden.

Nice concepting and mockups Sina!

Also, as the concept continues to be built and refined, important to avoid it becoming too bloated to effectively and enjoyably use. Don't think it's at that point yet, but just something to keep in mind.

Sina Mossayeb

May 29, 2011, 01:58AM
Thanks Vincent. I see the features listed here as possibilities. I would actually start with a core few, and then add others as time went on.

Louise Wilson

May 24, 2011, 19:55PM
I really like your list of people to partner with. Great range to really make it happen. I wouldn't have thought of including schools but it's really important to get the younger generation aware of these issues.

How about getting celebrity foodies/celebs to endorse the app? They could contribute to the recipe section?

The great thing is that the information is all there - Wiki pages, blogs etc and it wouldn't take too long to compile/edit it into a usable app.

Jason Wong

May 23, 2011, 04:18AM
Sina ... I'm delighted with your mobile concept of food production and consumption convergence. Yet, I believe that an eco-system needs to be created to bring all the concept builds together, which might include a web portal that provides a compelling point-of-contact for everyone. Another 'grey' area between food production and consumption, would be the creation of organic products that are either produced by farmers, small food producers, and young start-ups. Such an example can be seen in, a web portal that helps promote local (primarily in the US) organic food producers. This branch of the idea can supplement the sustainability of the eco-system, as well as, its proliferation to other regions of Australia.

Sina Mossayeb

May 20, 2011, 18:57PM
WOW. Awesome feedback. Will respond tonight after work. Thanks for being so inspirational and bright.

Arjan Tupan

May 20, 2011, 06:51AM
Sina, some other thoughts on your concept (referring to the refinement phase questions)
I see as potential funding on one hand an app-price. If you have a small price for the app in app stores, with that you can fund further development. Maybe, as is becoming more popular, having additional features (like recipes) as an add-in for a smaller price. So, for example, buying the app will cost you $4.99, and the recipe add-in will be $0.75.
Another idea came from some of the comments below: generate income through a physical Eatcyclopedia.
Also, some of the information gathered can be sold as trend information on the economy. But this needs to be worked out further.

As for partners, I think partnering with organizations like the Good Guide and that Seaquarium could be worth looking into. Also, food research institutions, like the Dutch Wageningen University, could be interesting. They should also have access to specific funding.

James McBennett

May 20, 2011, 16:24PM
Freeium?? (Free app + premium app)

Sina Mossayeb

May 21, 2011, 03:53AM
thanks Arjan! some good ideas to include in there. @JamesMcBennet freemium is free w/ limited features with option to buy full version w/ extended version

Johan Löfström

May 23, 2011, 09:35AM
You could possibly put a fee on submitting new recipes to the db (to get them spell-checked and properly tested/verified by moderator that it is actually cookable and eatable)

Justin Rigney

May 20, 2011, 00:49AM
As a group of 4 working on a innovation final at Wells College we were intrigued by your Eatcyclopedia Idea. We think it has a lot of potential to be successful and could really make a difference in the food industry (mostly with solving the challenge of connecting food production and consumption). In hopes of helping we came up with a few additions that could potentially help your case. For starters we believe that it would be helpful to expand to the internet as well as a physical copy of the Eatcyclopedia (updated annualy). We feel that one of the issues regarding this project is that not all people have access to smart phones and even the internet. Another idea we had was to advertise to kids as well, more specifically with the physical copy targeted at a younger audience. The other two ideas we had were centered around expanding your already insightful application. The first idea was to add an educational factor to the app ie: recipes, seasons foods are produced, how to store food, list of substitutes for out of season foods, etc. Lastly we thought this could be a good tool in educating consumers of restaurants who support local farmers. Your app could be a great way to better publicize their existence to those who dont know, and are interested.

Hope we helped,
Wells Innovators

Justin Rigney

May 20, 2011, 00:48AM
As a group of 4 working on a innovation final at Wells College we were intrigued by your Eatcyclopedia Idea. We think it has a lot of potential to be successful and could really make a difference in the food industry (mostly with solving the challenge of connecting food production and consumption). In hopes of helping we came up with a few additions that could potentially help your case. For starters we believe that it would be helpful to expand to the internet as well as a physical copy of the Eatcyclopedia (updated annualy). We feel that one of the issues regarding this project is that not all people have access to smart phones and even the internet. Another idea we had was to advertise to kids as well, more specifically with the physical copy targeted at a younger audience. The other two ideas we had were centered around expanding your already insightful application. The first idea was to add an educational factor to the app ie: recipes, seasons foods are produced, how to store food, list of substitutes for out of season foods, etc. Lastly we thought this could be a good tool in educating consumers of restaurants who support local farmers. Your app could be a great way to better publicize their existence to those who dont know, and are interested.

Hope we helped,
Wells Innovators

Arjan Tupan

May 20, 2011, 06:46AM
I really like the list of substitutes for out of season foods. Great thinking!

Sina Mossayeb

May 21, 2011, 03:56AM
VERY COOL! These are very insightful, and I'm already a big fan of your Wells team; can I be an honorary member please :) I particularly like having variations (hardcopies, but also perhaps synopsis versions or kid oriented ones). I think adding a "game" and "education" element would be really good fits--either as integral or expansion sets. Thanks for sharing guys!

Justin Rigney

May 29, 2011, 16:40PM
Im happy we could help, and even happier that you are so supportive of Wells. We would love to help even further with any advancements and of course happy to have you as an honorary member. This is a great idea and very interesting to see how it progresses!


May 19, 2011, 21:30PM
Eatcyclopedia generated a tonne of buzz at the Ideas Festival in Queensland. Areas discussed in our workshops that you might like to explore further – innovative ways to collect the extensive data required to populate the platform, drivers for users and the potential addition on a community layer. Bring on the builds!

Sina Mossayeb

May 21, 2011, 04:07AM
sparked some great thinking!

Huw Griffiths

May 18, 2011, 22:32PM
Great screen shots Sina. Ive got a smart phone, but would I use it when shopping? Maybe not me as I rush through finding what i want, but this would be great to educate and distract my young kids in store! I'd suggest ensuring the content is great for young kids as well as adults.

Arjan Tupan

May 16, 2011, 18:08PM
Sina, just from the hip shooting some random thoughts:
- if it is a foodcyclopedia, would it be worth mentioning if foods are endagered, or at least fast declining in numbers? Herring, for example, is a standard fish in north and western European countries. However, due to overfishing, the species is not yet endangered, but the populations are quickly declining, and the caught fish are smaller every year, because they do not get to full adulthood anymore. This could be valuable information if you are in a restaurant, for example. Close to the much mentioned fish-card from that seaquarium.
- maybe as additional info to where it is available locally, some stats on where it mostly comes from. For example the carrots. You can show where they are produced in Queensland, but also (if that is the case) that 80% of the carrots in the supermarkets/consumed in Queensland actually come from, say, Madagascar.
More later, probably. :)

Kirk Soderstrom

May 17, 2011, 21:41PM
I like this build. There are many species rapidly approaching extinction. I can see the eatcyclopedia directly connecting to your stock (food) market idea.

What I love about the design of the stock market is that the price reflects many factors, which are in constant fluctuation. Presumably, if a source of food is rapidly diminishing in supply, it would be reflected in the price. If the changing weather impacts production, prices soar (as we have witnessed).

It connects the information within the eatcyclopedia with current information in a simple, elegant manner.

Ian White

May 16, 2011, 01:02AM
Everyone seems to like this – personally, it's a bit too techy for me. I don't use a mobile by choice.

The existing labelling in Australia, at product level and in the supermarkets, already struggles to make useful distinctions e.g. ‘a mix of local and imported ingredients’ – and getting this right on the packet/in the store seems like a more 'accessible to all' variation on the concept.


May 13, 2011, 09:20AM
Way to go on making the Shortlist on the Local Food Challenge! Selecting 20 concepts out of over 600 was a tough job and we're excited to have you move through to the Refinement Phase. You can get a low-down on how the phase works over on Field Notes:

Basically over the next 10 days we'd like you to further fine-tune your idea. You might explore opportunities and challenges to implementation, visualise further, expand on engagement strategies or connect various dots and details that would assist bringing your concept into fruition.

If you hit the Update This button on the right of your post, you'll see we've added 5 new fields to help you refine: Concept Builds, Actions, Project Partners, Funding Sources and Virtual Team. Check them out and feel free to keep updating your post throughout the phase – based on feedback and collaboration with fellow OpenIDEATORS and your own ideating goodness!

James McBennett

May 12, 2011, 17:22PM
Recipes / Food combinations ?

Foods have different stats depending on how they are cooked, could be included. Steamed Veg keeps alot more of the nutrients than boiled for example.

Feel free to rip this idea apart and use it. A 2min video that could show everything. Move the media up from image/text to video option.

Direct link to video.

Johan Löfström

May 23, 2011, 09:40AM
steaming vegs makes better sense on energy consumption in the kitchen too :) ( )


May 11, 2011, 08:14AM
Sina, this is a great concept!
I´d love to have it already. I live in Tokyo at the moment, where I am not able to read the ingredients of food and it is difficult for me to find out where the products come from, as my Japanese is not really good.
Information like this is absolutely necessary, for one because people try to avoid products from the nuclear crises area in northeastern Japan and second because of allergies or because they want to eat vegetarian/vegan. So often, "vegetarian" soup contains chicken, so it is necessary for vegetarians to be able to read and decide themselves. Most products here have already a QR code, so it would be easy to just scan it and get the information I need in my language thanks to the Eatcyclopedia app.
We don´t need to bring in a crises like this one to justify your great concept, but I just find myself in a situation where I would love to use it several times a day.

Louise Wilson

May 11, 2011, 10:47AM
Great points, Veronika. Interpreting different languages is a very important angle. It's a good aspect for me to incorporate into my 'transparency app' - thanks for the inspiration


May 13, 2011, 01:32AM
You are very welcome, Louise. I am glad I could inspire you :)

Sina Mossayeb

May 13, 2011, 01:35AM
very thought provoking

Kirk Soderstrom

May 19, 2011, 03:08AM
In addition to the language barrier, what about vision barriers? There is the possibility to use this as a tool, where the fonts would be adjustable for those with deteriorating vision. We know that this will become a more prevalent issue as baby boomers age. Just another angle to consider... if you don't bring this to life, I'm going to start a magnifying glass company and retire. =)

Wells College

May 09, 2011, 20:09PM
This is a fantastic idea and I think that it would catch on quickly. A couple of ideas that we had were:
-Having search tool that would enable a user to look for different restaurants that serve local produce so as to help eat locally and connect where the restaurant is getting their produce.
-Adding a trivia/quiz game that parents could give their kids to play with or even have adults use that stimulates retention of the information recently searched on the phone.

Another huge concept that we feel this idea is lacking is sensitivity to socio-economic status. The people with these smart phones and ability to pay for media plans and apps are those that most likely have the resources to already gain a lot of this knowledge. So my question is how do we use this tool to spread the word to everyone not just those who can afford smart phones? Just a thought!

Sina Mossayeb

May 11, 2011, 00:34AM
I like the idea of having add-on expansions, or built in gamification. That would be neat. Perhaps it can be a special edition version. As for the access issue, there are several considerations. I don't think any one strategy is going to be a silver bullet. You'll have digital and analogue solutions and products. One of my other ideas, which was the "Now that you know, what are you going to do about it" the focus is primarily on public space and printed materials--that would however alienate the illiterate. So I guess, my response would be that you're hitting a pretty good demographic in the first place. Most people out of touch with local food sources are urban dwellers; they so happen to also be the ones with higher rates of smart phone usage. So in a way, you're really applying target audience segmentation. Also, you could have a featured phone (i.e., dumb phone) version, where SMS texting is the way you'd go about it (like the Aardvark system: text a question in, get a text message back). Good thoughts indeed!

Gene Dixon

April 29, 2011, 04:02AM
Sina, wonderful app. I'm not sure if I can contribute, but I know that I like apps that helps me get things done and saves time. I think if this app helps me become more informed about my food choices, so that I am contributing my health, the communities health, and the health of the local farmer, I would use it.
I have an app that keeps track of all of my store club cards and I loaded them into my phone by use of the camera that scans the bar code. Now I don't have to have the physical card, I just pull up a card and the teller scans it. What really cool about it is that it keeps me informed of any specials a particular store has, which helps me save money. I don't know if this type of thing would be useful for this app or not.

Maia Smith

April 22, 2011, 15:37PM
Cool concept. Where do you envision that people will use this app - in a grocery store or grocery line? How will they hear about it/tell others?

Sina Mossayeb

April 23, 2011, 02:13AM
Practically, I imagine in stores or when a food topic comes up. I frequently check dictionary or wikipedia for stuff in the middle of a conversation. Also, the meals app could be used during food preparation time (ideas/recipes for cooking)--because the app is easily to navigate once the recipe is looked up, you can easily pop into the other features and search around about the food and food source itself. Finally, education institutions, community centers, clubs, etc., can promote the use of the app as well :)

Marketing: I think you could have signs and hanging posters in (1) participating markets (both megastores and farmers markets), (2) you can have signage at schools (in cafeterias--particularly colleges since the age range for those who have smart phones are of that age range), (3) billboards, (4) and at participating restaurants (yum). do you have any thoughts Maia about where else you can use this app?

Sina Mossayeb

April 21, 2011, 01:59AM
Another update: Included A-Z listing, and some mockups with attribution and explanation of functionality. NEW STUFF includes: (a) Louise and Arjan's idea about environmental impact of food, and Ewan's suggestion to include variations.

Krassimira Iordanova

April 17, 2011, 11:10AM
Sina, I have an idea linked to your concept: can we aslo add fish to the the eatclopedia, and have a "virtual chapter" called "fishclopedia" or smth. like that?
The reason: overfishing is a major issue around the globe, including Australia. We all know how healthy it is to eat fish, but we often don't know where the fish we eat comes from, what it takes to have it served on our dinner plate, is it from somewhere close by, etc.? I refer to these inspirations: and
Let me know what you think. My two cents: for the sake of simplicity, I believe we can set up a new concept, but I also want to hear your thoughts....

Johan Löfström

April 17, 2011, 11:55AM
yes, good idea. make it transparent the difference between caught wild fish and farmed fish (and show what these farmed fish eat) (because some areas have overfishing only because of the hunt for cheap food for farmed luxury fishes)

Sina Mossayeb

April 19, 2011, 01:30AM
sorry been soooo absent. my other full-time job (the one that pays) got crazy. Krassimira i like this a lot! you could totally have add-ons or expansion packs. However, I think this idea can be an app in and of itself as well. I was thinking about it some more, and after reading your posting, I cool actually see how it functioned.

Bernise Ang

April 16, 2011, 22:09PM
Sina, this is an awesome idea. Here's a potential (and slightly futuristic) build off of it (although I am wary of feature overload): Location-based + discovery feature. What if I were walking past a supermarket, and it alerted me to a discount going on Roma tomatoes (if say, the app somehow knew I bought Roma tomatoes regularly)?

And, after I did, it might even suggest "since you just got some Romas, would you like some basil, or olive oil as well? They're on Aisle 3"

The discount feature could even be integrated with something analogous to Timothy's Groupon idea - like "get Romas at $x if 20 people buy it too"

Sina Mossayeb

April 21, 2011, 02:00AM
i really like the functionality of what you're talking about. like a smart app. i think you're right about the 2.0 (it can be done, just a matter of picking which). Also, it could be another app altogether.


April 26, 2011, 15:18PM
I would echo this suggestion. I like the app and its ability to layer functionality. Bringing on new 'app' users will be key - and by using something like the familiar coupon/groupon approach might be interesting. However, I think we are still assuming that most folks either 1) know and use groupon or 2) don't mind having their food preferences stored. There may need to be some thought around bringing on new technology users - possibility some marketing or incentive campaigns.

I wrote on coupons for real food here:

Sina Mossayeb

April 26, 2011, 19:38PM
great idea michele. i really like how thoughtful you were about being purposeful in the functionality of it.

Bob Stark

May 19, 2011, 15:51PM
This is a good fix to what I think is unfortunately a significant problem with the concept and was echoed in other comments: you're forcing the person to actively use the mobile app. If it can be passive, on the other hand, I think that would make a lot more people use it. However, being passive is very technically difficult, so you'd have to maybe have a "smart" shopping cart to detect what you intend to purchase maybe? On the other hand, the main users of the non-passive version would mostly be foodies (i.e., preaching to the choir), I suspect.

Sina Mossayeb

May 19, 2011, 16:33PM
also, you could integrate a discount mechanism too... so you punch in the item to see if you can get a discount. or apply a feature that makes a grocery list (which you do before getting into the crazy mix of shopping)

Krassimira Iordanova

April 16, 2011, 13:50PM
Sina, great concept! And I love the visuals:-) What can we do to actually make people use the app? I'm just thinking: what would be one's motivation to use the app?

Sina Mossayeb

April 16, 2011, 14:31PM
good question! i've been thinking about this a little bit--not just about this app but any of the services that require some buy-in/interest. At the end of the day, you got to create something that people *want* to use (in addition to it being easily usable). There are few thoughts:

(1) Gamification [yah, i used said it], whereby there is some sort of fun element of intrinsic rewarding and gaming. I think Kara Pecknold's Maze idea and some others on here can be integrated or adopt the app as a means of individual interaction. There are other virtual gaming components too that could increase attractiveness, like that can be included to reward input, hidden easter eggs, etc. (still I don't think gaming is "enough"; but nothing is really going to be a silver bullet).

(2) Part and parcel of larger campaigns (like the idea Sarah Fathallah had recently with big billboards etc), that might include adverts that pose fun questions about fruits or vegetables that people might not know the answer to, and then say "find out here". Or something doctors, nutritionists, and educational institutions can promote.

(3) Interest: If we look closely, I really see two parts one is drumming up interest or connecting people who have loose interest and developing something with/for those people that provides "activity" for that interest/inspiration/curiosity. It's really about baby steps. The odds of me changing behavior immediate, like getting Joe "keyboard pounding" Hanson who doesn't care about food sources to go to a farmers market much less buy food that is good for him may be low, BUT maybe more likely he'll take 5 minutes to check out an App that is driven or tied to his existing interests or integrated into his daily life. [I'm really basing this off other stuff in behavior economics that draws on priming someone with secondary content to drive primary content.]

So to build on your awesome question: What other concepts here could be a "gateway/portal" that might do the job of and fit in well with ? *I could use your help here ;)

Sina Mossayeb

April 16, 2011, 14:33PM
Here is Sarah's idea:

Here is Kara's idea:

I'm sure there are tons more (if anyone see's them let me know)

Johan Löfström

April 16, 2011, 15:50PM
here are two of mine, that could work in combination :

Enabling off-line social gaming and other fun things, IRL :

Giving monetary incentive, by simply choice of recipes and method of cooking :

Krassimira Iordanova

April 16, 2011, 16:56PM
Sina, I like the three ways you're describing of getting folks engage. For me the most powerful is the third one- how to get people's interest; what shall be the trigger? I'm thinking of a trigger get tagged in a photo on FB...with very high probability most people would check the picture and see which photo, who tagged them, etc. Two ideas along these lines:
1) why not have fruits/vegetables that are associated with certain months- say, kiwi is the fruit of the month would be very curious to know which the fruit of the month they are born in? they share this with their friends, they ask their parents which the "their fruit", etc....
2) you describe in feature 6, that the consumer can pin a farmer; what about giving a rating to the farmer's produce. Every farmer will be interested to know what customers say about his/her produce.
What are your thoughts?

Sina Mossayeb

April 16, 2011, 17:32PM
@krassimira ur wall of creative logic is solid! will have tp go back to the batcave and build these out a bit into optional builds--esp rating the farmer! @johan ill take a look at these thx man.

Paul Keys

April 26, 2011, 23:14PM
Amazing concept Sina-and I love Krassimira's idea of a rating/review of the product, which would be an incentive to use the App, and also stimulate demand for the products deemed by the crowd to be the best.

Sina Mossayeb

April 14, 2011, 03:53AM
Just Updated the concept with comments below... Take a look!

Arjan Tupan

April 14, 2011, 05:58AM
Sina, can you reveal the trick of linking the accounts of contributors in the way you did. Looks very clever and useful for others (like myself), too.

Sarah Fathallah

April 14, 2011, 06:45AM
Now there is a hyperlink feature enabled in the description box when you enter a concept. You just add the direct link to the right OpenIDEATOR :)

Arjan Tupan

April 14, 2011, 07:03AM
Thanks Sarah! I had completely missed that. Another awesome function.

Sina Mossayeb

April 14, 2011, 12:20PM
yeah. i basically copied your name (as in the comment here and pasted)

Arjan Tupan

April 14, 2011, 12:38PM
Thanks for the tip, Sina.

Meena Kadri

April 14, 2011, 22:33PM
Love it when you guys self-govern like this.
Means I can go to the beach.

Meena Kadri

April 12, 2011, 19:27PM
@Sina... surely your day job will give you the day off to help us save the planet now? (oh... I see – you're already doing that for them. hmmmm. can we clone you?)

and I guess you'll need a +1 button too:
(i know you already thought of this but am cross-pollinating for others)

Sina Mossayeb

April 12, 2011, 13:38PM
all very inspiring feedback. when i get a chance i will integrate ideas mentioned into existing app, including:

1. Search Feature: type in word AND QR Scan (for online users)
2. An Update Feature (although w/ iPhone anytime there is new info updates, it automatically appears as notification)
3. A website counterpart (same concept and features as mobile and some additional ones)
4. The WHERE page with the drop down pins will be linked to the actual farm webpages, and or videos of the farm/source location.
5. The initial page after search can have more information like varieties, etc.
6. No reason why open source couldn't be part of it (to build out add-on features)

Sally Spinks

April 12, 2011, 09:41AM
Cool idea. Offline access is hugely important when you're out and about. I really like the way you've thought about the potential market who'd use this. Great stuff.


April 12, 2011, 05:45AM
Excellent breakdown. The storyboarding makes it seem fo' real real. Great work.

Kara Pecknold

April 12, 2011, 04:36AM
Nice! This would be great at the maze market! ;)

Kirk Soderstrom

April 12, 2011, 03:41AM
I like the way you framed the idea with stats, and of course nice work on the graphic presentation. It makes it very easy for me to envision. Really good stuff.

I'm hearing something else behind this concept. This concept addresses a hugely important issue, which is making information accessible, digestible (excuse the pun) and easy to access. The Internet continues to grow at an awesome rate, creating the need to organize relevant content. I like how your concept addresses this.

Just wondering...could the content creation be open-source, drawing from the wisdom of expert communities? (The latest edition could still be stored within the phone, and would update periodically)

Ewan McEoin

April 12, 2011, 03:26AM

Great concept and nicely articulated. The beauty of an downloadable app. is offline accessibility. As an evolving resource in terms of the locations / sources of produce it would be great if this app also linked to an associated web platform that producers / food community could add their locations to, and in turn this 'base' would be wonderful to have a narrative element - profiles on growers etc. that connect from a product to the source using QR codes (as with Tom's Window to the Farm). In terms of specific information perhaps add information on varieties of produce (such as old / rare varieties).

Meena Kadri

April 12, 2011, 01:40AM
Lost for words.

But there's 14k of you on OpenIDEO these days
who should all have something to add to this
exceptional conversation starter.

Miles Masci

April 11, 2011, 23:12PM
Nice I really like this idea. I imagine it could tell you what produce is in season as well. I also appreciate the mobile device stats though I imagine these numbers to be growing, which is even better news.

Sina Mossayeb

April 11, 2011, 04:43AM
Arjan! Good point about integrating the other ideas about the QR code and SMS numbers (as an integrated feature for when you ARE online accessible).

Arjan Tupan

April 11, 2011, 04:37AM
Wow, nice concept. And thanks for finding the data on mobile use. That shows that there is a market big enough for mobile apps (online or off), but also that there is some space to also consider off line.
I really like the straightforward design of your app. It looks very clear and informative.
You could even consider an add-on in which a QR code on a label brings you to the product information and highlights from which farm it came.
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