Strategic Design

solving hunger with global partnerships and competition


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The United Nations


Education Aquaponic Technology (E.A.T.)


July 2011


Anna Swarbrick, Runo Okiomah, Hein Lam, Donovan Preddy


Hunger exists for a variety of political, economic and environmental reasons. The result, no matter what the cause, is the inability to get access to a regular, affordable, and sustainable supply of food. When all else has failed, a humane society is left with no other option than to mount expensive famine-relief efforts. The strategy presented here takes an anticipatory approach to hunger. Its goal is to provide the resources and knowledge needed to generate enough food in each region of the world so that basic food needs are met locally. It does this through the relatively new technology of aquaponics and a creative education and distribution method of this technology. Our competition is called E.A.T. (Educating Aquaponic Technology) and it works in the following way:

Step 1: The Partnership A team in a developed country, like the US, would raise money to cover an entry fee. For the price of this fee, they would receive a basic aquaponic starter kit that would include items like a water pump, growing medium, seeds, etc. At the same time, a second starter kit would be sent to a school in a developing country like Nigeria. These two schools become a single team that must work together.

Step 2: The Challenge Each year, the challenge to the paired schools is to grow the most food. The winner is the team that has collectively produced the most fruit, vegetables and fish. Each season the challenge shifts to a different type of food that is to be grown. The systems developed by the teams need to be optimized for that year’s particular challenge. Points will also be awarded for categories such as the degree of innovative design. Each team will need to document their work thoroughly and in doing so, begin create a wealth of designs and knowledge surrounding aquaponic technology. This resource would be made available to anyone around the world.

Step 3: The Contest At the end of each season, the teams would donate their constructed aquaponic systems to eligible candidates in their respective communities. This would create a flow of food-producing systems and knowledgeable individuals throughout the world.