Students’ thoughts about food and the environment in the future
At Nofima Mat at Ås students are keen to keep pushing their mentometer buttons. This gives the researchers some vital input about challenges facing food and the environment in 2015.
During the Food and Climate seminar at Nofima Mat (formerly Matforsk) in September 2008, an innovation session was held on the food and environment theme. 22 social nutrition students from Akershus University College were presented with 23 statements about trends. They had to answer how probable they thought the statements were and how important they thought the various statements would be for a value-creating food industry in 2015.
Strong belief in people
To vote, the students used mentometer buttons and the results were presented on the big screen immediately after each vote. Some of the statements were:
"Grapes in Norway", "Consumers show personal environmental responsibility", "Environment or food shortage", "Biofuel from waste is the only responsible kind".
The majority of the students had great faith in both industry and private individuals accepting their environmental responsibilities.
Exciting and innovative
What did the students think about what they had been involved in? Kristine Hallingstad and Martine Post thought it had been rewarding to take part. They thought the possibilities given by the mentometer had been especially fun.
"It felt like we were part of something really innovative. It was fun to help think about what might happen in the future. And the technical side was impressive too, we could see the results on the big screen right after voting," says Kristine Hallingstad. "It is also motivating to know that we are contributing to forming strategies and so helping the researchers," adds Martine Post.
"Similar sessions will be held with representatives from companies in the industry, other researchers and administrators in the near future. The results will be used to stake out a path for Nofima Mat’s focus on food and environment in the period up to 2015," explains Astrid Nilsson, who guided the students through the innovation session.
Ideas are bubbling at the Brewery
Matforsk, Nofima Mat has prepared a creative room to stimulate the creative senses. The room is beautifully equipped and full of aids to inspire innovation and product development, including smartboards and mentometer buttons. The room was ready for use in May 2008 and has been named "Bryggeriet" (The Brewery).
"This is a laboratory for creative processes. We want this place to bubble and seethe with creativity and we hope that it will contribute towards innovation and new products from our customers," says Stine Alm Hersleth, who was one of those behind the initiative to get Bryggeriet built.