GIS_admin Tue, 03/17/2015 - 16:18

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) McGill's Food Systems venture envisions a Montreal food system that better serves the food consumption and education needs of all segments of its population. After an extensive systems review summer and fall 2014, we identified a need for greater mutual understanding of what Montreal food system non-profits do.

As a campus group, our resource portfolio looks much different from many other socially constant system actors. Most of us cannot contribute more than a few hours each week to the project, making creation of a directly impactful initiative unfeasible; however, this means we can more easily redirect our efforts to enabling work that tends to get lost while other organisations work tirelessly to realize their own visions for the food system. In addition, as students (many of whom learning the following skills in class) our group can offer a higher proportion of people skilled in software and mapping technologies.

We decided on an initial hypothesis we wanted to test over the course of late January to early May: A mapping tool that enables Montreal food non-profits to better collaborate and coordinate resources with each other. As part of this initial hypothesis, we focus on plotting the service activities of each participating organization (e.g. workshops, delivery/pick-up routes).

Over the month of May, we will evaluate the results of our hypothesis testing (at this stage, this mostly consists of dialogue with participating non-profits) and determine whether to proceed with this hypothesis, to develop another hypothesis that aims to enable existing non-profit work, or to identify an entire different need that falls under our highest-level vision.

For more details, please reach Evan Vassallo, Venture Lead at foodsystems@mcgill.ewb.ca