Co-creating food solutions

Involving experts in the topic you are working on is a clever decision when you are trying to solve problems. That’s why our team decided to set up a co-creation session with our client and some of the main stakeholders.

Planing the session

First thing we had to do was to come up with a plan for the workshop. But, as we like to start with a why, we asked ourselves, ‘Why do we want to do this session?’. The answer was easy:

To identify the painpoints of our main stakeholders, how they envision a solution to them and how this solution intersect with PEMBs ambition and capabilities

Next step was a structure for our session. We decided we wanted to divide it in four main pillars:

  • Empathy – To begin the session, we wanted everyone to be confortable. We decided we would like to have a first part dedicated to get to know the rest of the people participating in the session, and also generate some empathy with the rest of the participants.
  • Definition – For this second part, we would like to start understanding each others perception and identifying areas of improvement and topics to think about the project itself.
  • Ideation – For this third stage, we wanted to start generating ideas to solve the problems we previously defined. The aim of this workshop is not to find a perfect solution, but to generate as many ideas as we can.
  • Closing – To end the session, we would like to have some conclusions and say thank you to the participants.

And talking about participants, this drive us to the third question, ‘Who should be involved?‘. We wanted different stakeholders to participate in the session, so we decided to invite our client and also some representatives of the other groups: a chef, a researcher and also someone involved in the management area of an important distributor company. Sadly, only the representative of the distributor company and our client were available, so we decided to map ourselves the needs of the people not represented in the session doing role-playing, and repeat the session with the people not available in a near future.

Generating empathy

After welcoming our guests, we started giving them context and explaining them the purpose of the session. We answered some initial questions to clarify doubts and we offered them some food and beverages to generate a good atmosphere. At the beginning of the process, something unexpected changed our schedule: instead of having a two hours session, we should do everything in one hour more or less. We had to act fast to change that and we skipped some exercise we had plan for the introduction with the purpose to get to know each others, because everyone in the group kew the rest of us.

Defining the opportunities

The second exercise we did was a mapping activity trying to understand our participant’s needs. We asked them to write down the main painpoints they faced during their job in relation with food. Some of our team members did a role playing exercise writing down the paintpoints we identified from our interviews with the other profiles. We did a share out and we group them based on similarity of needs.

We did a second round, and this time, we had a different approach; we asked them about their needs, but now we wanted them to think about themselves as regular citizens, because this is one of the main groups we want to reach and to impact. We repeated a share out and we end up with a map of posits with clear categories.

After identify the different categories, we asked our participants to vote the main categories they thought we should focus during that session. Everyone voted and, after that, we asked our client to use a different color to vote using a different color the three categories he thought PEMB could address easier with their current opportunities and capabilities. Mapping together this two realities, we understood that, for this session, we should focus on three groups: how to make the main actor participate in this initiative, how to create awareness among the citizens and how to improve the quality of the products in the market.

The ideation

After this, we started to create. We asked our participants to generate potential solutions based on the opportunities we had identified.

The room was full of creativity, and we had different perspectives and also different approaches. From general systems to specific digital services, we end up a broad variety of concepts and possibilities to investigate

Thank you so much to the people that dedicated a few hours of their time to participate in this session. If you want to learn more about how we analyze all the concepts generated and how we build on those ideas, stay tuned to our next publications!

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