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Spotlight: 2011 team invites new members, refocuses proposal, takes home 2013 award

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Viv and Gerard were winners in the 2011 Climate CoLab contest.  When they received feedback to redesign their idea so it could be successfully implemented, they recruited more members to their team and developed, Cool Food – empowering climate friendly food choices on a daily basis, which won the Judges’ Choice Award in the Reducing Consumption contest.  We were curious about how this development played out and so asked them to share the story.  Here’s what they said:

Cool Food      
Cool Foods and their international team: Francesca Allievi (Finland), Gerard Bisshop (Australia),
Diana Donlon (California, USA) and Viv Baker (Florida, USA. Not pictured)

Two of our team members (Viv and Gerard) submitted an entry in 2011 on the climate impact of food, with a focus on short lived emissions and bio-sequestration potential.  We received good feedback on taking this to the next level — to make it work on a practical level.

This year, Viv revived the idea, and we looked around for ideas on how to give practical help to people who were making food choices: shoppers and diners. We discovered that there are several groups active in this field, and invited Diana Donlon (Director of the Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign) and Francesca Allievi (a finalist in the Barilla Centre Young Earth Solutions contest). Both joined our team, adding a wealth of practical expertise in engaging the public, implementing NGO grass roots programs, and a youth/social media perspective.

So our team is quite diverse — from Florida, California, Australia and Finland — and it all came together so easily from reading blogs, emailing and sharing ideas.  Thank you internet!

It seems that the timing is right for this idea, and everything is fitting into place.  Eaters want to make climate-smart food choices and it is time to empower them with the ease of smartphone apps.  We are excited to participate in the upcoming Climate CoLab conference and have the opportunity to highlight the food and climate connection, a critical piece of the overall climate change conversation.


Meet the Cool Foods team when they present at our Crowds & Climate Conference, Nov 6-8, and follow them on Twitter and Pinterest @CoolFoods.

More about Cool Foods:  “One of our goals is to harness the energy of the growing Food Movement to build a new global constituency for climate action. Our intention is to empower people to step up to the plate and engage in a positive, pro-active way with an issue that can be overwhelming. Considering that, in its totality, the food system is responsible for roughly 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions, there is a world of opportunity to make climate-cooling improvements.”