#HACKMEAT, December 7-9 2012, New York City
From December 7 – 9, Food+Tech Connect, GRACE Communications Foundation and Applegate are bringing together technologists, entrepreneurs, creatives, policy experts, non-profit leaders and industry executives to develop technologies and tools that help democratize meat.
Over the course of the weekend, “steakholders” will work with teams to rapidly prototype innovative solutions to business or consumer education challenges in the way meat is produced, processed, distributed, sold and consumed.
From November 12 – Dec 7, we are hosting an online conversation where leading food and technology innovators will explore the ways that data, technology and new communication methodologies can be used to create a more sustainable, profitable and healthy future of meat.
Join the conversation and share your requests for the products and solutions that are most critical for the meat industry on Twitter (hashtag #hackmeat), on Facebook, in the comments or on your own blog.
Developers, designers, gamers, marketers, storytellers, academics, farmers, butchers, restaurateurs, policy experts and anyone who is in the business of meat is invited to participate. Individuals and teams from established organizations are welcome (and encouraged) to participate.
From November 12 – December 7 we are hosting an online conversation, asking food and technology innovators: “How can information and technology be used to hack (or reimagine) meat?” Explore the ways that data, technology and new communication methodologies can be used to create a more sustainable, profitable and healthy future of meat.
Read the “steakholder” challenge briefs to help you understand the problems and opportunities here.
Join steakholders, industry thought leaders and your fellow hackers for a carnivorous kick-off dinner to learn about the weekend’s challenges, match skills with needs and begin forming teams.
From December 8-9, groups will self-organize and work with steakholders to prototype innovative solutions to their challenges. The Design Gym will be working with groups to help facilitate ideation and product development.
Winning projects will receive resources to continue development after the hackathon, such as money, partnerships, and/or marketing and business strategy mentorship.
Co-host & Title Sponsor: GRACE builds partnerships and develops innovative media strategies that increase public awareness of the relationships among food, water and energy systems. By mobilizing philanthropic resources and collaborating with like-minded non-profits and academic institutions, GRACE educates consumers and advocates for policies that address the environmental and public health effects of industrial food systems and support the development of sustainable food distribution networks.
Facilitation Partner: The Design Gym’s mission is to build a community of skilled problem solvers through a workshop-driven design thinking curriculum. We partner with organizations to help them approach their problems in a new way by connecting their challenges with our community.
Prize Partner: Purpose creates 21st century movements. We deploy the collective power of millions of citizens and consumers to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems. We develop and launch our own social and consumer movements using our model of movement entrepreneurship, and we work with organizations and progressive companies to help them mobilize large-scale, purposeful action.
Prize Partner: JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals.
Food Partner: Founded in 2010, Cater2.me connects chefs, food trucks, restaurants, and top local food with offices and startups. Whether it’s lunch for 60 Tuesdays and Thursdays or an event for 400, we’ve got you covered.
Prize Sponsor: Grind is a 22nd century platform that helps talent collaborate in a new way: outside the system. A members-only workspace and community dedicated to taking all of the frustrations of working the old way and pulverizing them to a dust so fine it actually oils the wheels of the machine.
Prize Sponsor: Briskettown
Co-host & Title Sponsor: For more than 25 years, Applegate has been producing high-quality natural and organic hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese and frozen products. Natural can mean many things, but when Applegate says their products are natural, consumers are guaranteed that the meat inside is:
• Raised without antibiotics or hormones
• From animals fed a vegetarian or 100% grass diet and treated with humane animal standards
• Free of added chemical nitrites, nitrates or phosphates
• Free of artificial ingredients or preservatives
Media Parter: Founded in 2006, GigaOM has grown into the leading independent voice on emerging technologies and the disruption of media. The GigaOM news network’s online audience of 5.5 million monthly unique readers relies on its definitive coverage of cloud, mobile, cleantech, consumer web and media. GigaOM Events bring together the people innovating, shaping and defining the ongoing evolution of the technology industry. GigaOM Pro offers the highest quality research and analysis of emerging technology markets and the companies making a difference in those sectors.
Hog Sponsor: The Animal Welfare Approved program audits and certifies family farms. Our farmers raise their animals with the highest animal welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range. Look for this label on eggs, dairy and meat products. When you can’t visit the farm, Animal Welfare Approved is the eyes and ears of the conscientious consumer. This seal was recently lauded by the World Society for the Protection of Animals as having the highest standards of all third-party certifiers.
Hog Culinary Partner: Created by Jimmy Carbone—a NYC-based restaurateur and dedicated social entrepreneur—Food Karma Projects is dedicated to community building by creating unique events that showcase the best local food, chefs, beer and wine, and create a social impact that benefits worthy non-profit groups. Sponsors and media, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.
Culinary Partner: Brooklyn Bouillon partners with New York farms to deliver sustainably produced stocks to the healthy home cook. Our mission is to add value to the work of responsible farmers by using the entire harvest and to educate the aware consumer about the merits of a fundamental culinary building block. Our stocks tell a story, and we promise that your final dish will reveal superior results!
Co-host & Producer: Food+Tech Connect is a media and research company building a network for innovators transforming the business of food. Through news, analysis and research, we help people identify and understand market needs, emerging technologies and successful business models. Through events, we connect the leading thinkers and doers from the worlds of food, agriculture, health and technology.
There has never been more interest in disrupting the way meat is produced, consumed and communicated to the public. Yet, significant barriers exist to scaling current approaches. The following are a summary of the challenges we will be tackling over the course of the weekend. Visit the wiki to read the full challenge briefs.
Sign up here to participate in the hackathon and check out the following summary to learn more about some of the challenges we will be tackling. The complete challenge briefs are available in full on the event wiki.
Problem: While consumer are increasingly interested in purchasing organic, antibiotic-free and grass-fed and organic meat and other products, they often have a hard time locating them for two reasons: 1) It’s hard to physically find them in their grocery store. 2) Their store doesn’t carry such products and it’s difficult to find a manager and request that they carry it. Essentially, there is no way to communicate consumer demand in real time.
Solution: Consumers are affected because they become frustrated when they can’t find the products they are looking for. Manufacturers and grocery stores are affected because we are not able to meet all the demand that exists.
Problem: We seek to increase consumer awareness and engagement around issues related to industrial meat consumption and unsustainable food system practices that negatively impact personal and public health as well as the environment.
Solution: We envision enjoyable, transmedia single/multiple player learning tools that include options for actionable steps. Perhaps a “Free the animals: from crate to pasture – a farm animal game”; “Find the truth; look for the clues on the factory farm.” This could include quiz-driven engagement and could leverage social media integration and possible competition opportunities.
Problem: Food labeling information exists across organizations in a disparate format, which makes it difficult for consumers to locate the correct information when shopping for products that offer additional value. Currently there is no cohesive repository of or technology for food labeling information. An opportunity exists to meet the needs of many consumer types, including but not limited to those who are interested in animal welfare, workers rights, fair trade and sustainable agricultural practices.
Solution: Develop a user-friendly mobile app or API that provides a searchable database of comprehensive food labeling information for consumers of many demographics.
Problem: The hog industry in Iowa has seen many changes over the last three decades, an evolution of poor farm policy that has arrived at a disconnect between the farmer and the consumer. A wealth of data exists around the trend, but there is no cohesive presentation that illustrates the wider impact of the changing food system. There is a need for greater comprehension of the problem at the policy level and a forum that empowers the consumer to employ purchasing power in the market.
Solution: Create an interactive platform and/or infographic that further educates, connects and empowers aware consumers in the Midwest. Suggested topics include but are not limited to the economy of food monopolies and the geography of factory farms, as well as public health issues and food safety problems.
Problem: Inventory of livestock raised for meat has steadily increased over the last decade, and yet producers and processors are not seeing an analogous growth in net income. The industry, while specialized, hosts a network of producer brands, independent processors and diverse market channels that are not always aligned. An emergence of new producers highlights processing capacity and a need for greater understanding of the value chain.
Solution: Identify communication tools that connect industry players in the livestock space. Evaluate the capacity utilization metrics and develop a unified approach for optimization. The goal is to incorporate innovative technology into the value chain to improve efficiency and accessibility to the local meat system.
A panel of VCs, technology thought-leaders, journalists and industry leaders will award cash prizes and business services to the top three winning hacks. Prizes are designed to help groups continue working with steakholders to actualize their prototypes.
1st Place: The winning team will receive $2,500 to complete their hack, as well as 1/2 day strategy session with 2-3 strategists from Purpose. The topics covered could include brand strategy, movement generation, designing to drive online action, driving participation, digital and online organizing.
2nd Place: TBD
3rd Place: TBD
General Partner, U.S. Venture Partners
Chief Scientist, Bitly
Executive Butcher and Co-Owner, The Meat Hook
Judging will be based on the following criteria:
Friday, December 7
6:00 Registration and Networking
6:30 Welcoming remarks
7:00 Challenge brief presentations
8:00 Dinner with the “steakholders,” begin forming teams
Saturday, December 8
9:30 Registration and breakfast
10:00 Process Overview
10:45 Ideation and Q&A with “Steakholders”
4:30 Office hours with technical, design and industry subject matter experts
1:00 Venue closes
Sunday, December 9
9:00 Breakfast and hacking
11:00 Office hours with technical, design and industry subject matter experts
2:00 Pig Butchering Demo with Tom Mylan
4:00 End hacking
5:00 Product Pitches & Demos
6:30 Winners announced
6:45 Snacks and drinks
419 Park Avenue South, 2nd Floor (29th & Park)
NY, New York 10016
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Why are hackathons a good thing for the food movement?
While many associate the word with a criminal act, “hacking” actually grew out of the desire of programmers to explore technology systems and find out how they could be re-configured or re-programmed to function in new and better ways. Like the first few generations of computer software and hardware industries, food and agriculture are highly proprietary, consolidated industries. And just as the hacking community seeks to understand how a technology works, people are increasingly looking to know who and how their food is produced.
What is a hackathon?
According to Cleanweb Worldwide: “A Hackathon is a short collaborative programming session designed to rapidly develop new ideas and implementations. Usually teams form around common interests, develop a reasonable goal, and devise a plan to use their team’s skills to reach that goal in the time allowed. The time constraint forces teams to “make it work” instead of “make it perfect”, and adds a bit of excitement.”
Do I need to be in NYC to hack?
You may participate virtually, but must have a team member present to be eligible for prizes.
Sponsorship: danielle [at] foodtechconnect [dot] com
Press: jamie [at] prcollaborative [dot] com
General Questions: michael [at] foodtechconnect [dot] com
The goal of Hack Meat is to develop innovative hacks that address real-world challenges in the meat industry, whether for the producer, distributor, retailer or eater. The aim is to democratize meat and make it better for our health, the environment and everyone’s bottom line. The following are a selection of rules for the event. Full rules are available on the event Wiki.
Registration: Online registration ends on December 7, 2012 or when event capacity is reached. Participants are encouraged to register early to secure a spot.
Teams: Both individuals and teams from established organizations are eligible. There will be an opportunity to form new teams or join one during the event.
Eligibility: Anyone who is in the business of meat (or interested in being) is welcome to participate.
Start and End Times: Hack Meat officially begins on December 7, 2012 with a kickoff dinner at 6:30 pm. Participants will have until 4:00 pm on Sunday, December 9, to finish and submit their hacks.
From November 3 - 11 2012 Meat Week NYC will celebrate all things beefy (and porky, lamby… oh, you get the idea). Produced by Food Karma Projects in collaboration with Food Systems Network NYC and Just Food, Meat Week will feature tastings, parties, butchering and cooking demos, market tours and panels.Events: