Facts on the Plate

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The aim of this project is to promote food, drink and bio related activities at the hacker events both on international and local level. By doing so they will become more integrated to the movement fallowing the hacker ethics and style. Please note that generation of variety of resources including monetary ones, which can be used for further development of these fields is one of the key element of this effort.

Summary

Growing interest in food, drink and bio related activities within the hacker movement calls for improvement of conditions for these topics and hacker events should be an example of that. Main aim of this talk is to propose basic models which can deliver these changes, open them to discussion and apply the resulting concepts on upcoming hacker events starting as early as 2016. We will evaluate structure and dynamics of camps and congresses which we believe represent examples suitable for further development. It will compile several years of past experience of several people and groups involved in food, drink and bio proposing ways how to plan and run these activities during the future camps and congresses. Taking up responsibility and adjusting to certain degree to legal requirements is part of the process. Accumulation of more human and financial resources to make these models reality is mandatory and it will be challenging. However if successful it will result in a snowball effect which will allow these sections of hacker movement to grow and prolifer supporting people who promote these changes. We hope that the orgas of upcoming hacker events will join us for this presentation and get involved with practical application.

The Practical Application

We should pick up at least three or rather five or six events during the 2016 summer and autumn including both camps and congresses of various sizes and put in practice what we elaborated in theory above. At all the events there should be food, drink and bio hacking area&hub, like for example Food Hacking Base or Milliways at CCC events. In addition at some of these events we will apply "ticket includes food and drinks, no waste please!" style. It seems like that during 2016 we will have to be bit brave and experimental concerning all the paperwork, however this experience should be used as foundations to acquire full legal status for the next years to come - and way how to get certified for other people and groups interested in this.

Food&drinks included

  • Basic moto

What does the phrase "ticket includes food and drinks, no waste please!" means? People who are want to get their daily food and drink requirement at the event can do so, within the limits of the organizer abilities. Trying to care for special dietary requirements is important. It has to be made clear that the food&drinks are not for free. They do comprise of natural resources and human work and even if we get some of the ingredients as donation etc. people need to realize that they have value and handle them as something precious. This is one of the basic concepts of this project and needs to be emphasized because many people especially in hacker movement are still not realizing this fully. Food waste is strongly discouraged.

  • Human resources

To set up place which can provide food&drinks for the build up, during the event and tear down in a smooth manner volunteer core group of people with experience are needed. Around them enthusiastic less experience volunteers gather and together they work as a functional team. The friendly approach and good atmosphere which makes people to stay involved for years is another key point.

  • Ingredient costing

To know how much of ingredients is needed we need to estimate at least approximately how many people we expect to come to the event and eat with us. It depends on the event what are the aims concerning the type and quality of the food. Some places can have topical days like "Central European Cuisine", "Asian Cuisine" etc. some for example rather high quality organic focus. This will effect the type and cost of ingredients a lot.

  • Equipment&tools needed

The most easy and cheap solution in terms of providing basically full functional kitchen is to invite some hacker group which has them already and is quite mobile, again Milliways and Food Hacking Base can be considered as examples. Otherwise sourcing the basic components from local hackerspaces and getting them second hand in advance for a good price will have to do. What is missing would need to be bought new before the event. Please note that the current situation is that most of the equipment for congresses and camps is not being used by the hackerspaces in between the events meanwhile and the storage is generally an issue. However more and more hackerspaces are getting better catering corners and kitchens and these events help to improve them further.

  • How to cover extra cost for food&drinks

The ingredients, equipment and other arrangements like transportation etc. of stuff needs to be covered. Combination of resources should be used. Orga running the main event should check by contacting some of the former and future participants if they would be willing to pay extra few euros for the ticket so part of the budget comes from them directly and in advance of the event. Small crowdsourcing campaign can be arranged by people involved with the food&drinks project announced and promoted with help of the main orga. Donations by people who wants to support such project are another resource. Of course donation jars clearly displayed around the food venue will help to gather resources during the event. All these funding sources help to cover the costs and because of their variety they are more stable than single funding source, therefore variety of funding sources is another key element. Final statement of cost and plus or minus balance should be announced to participants of the event through the main orga, event wiki page etc.

  • Left overs

There will be left overs of already prepared foods, ingredients, equipment and materials of different types. They should be redistributed primarily within the hacker community and to other communities if the ones can not harbor it. It makes sense that if hacker group which organizes the food&drinks bring and share ingredients from previous events, they should have a chance to grab what they need from the left overs so they can use it for the next events.


Summary of key elements

  • Food&drinks shared have value which comes from the natural resources and human labour and they need to be treated with respect and care, minimum of food waste please!
  • People providing the food&drinks during the event, sharing them with others need to keep a good spirit within the group so people want to stay involved long term having good interpersonal relationships. Be excellent to each other!
  • Versatility of funding sources to cover costs related to running food&drinks project at the event is very important.