UC Berkeley will host a “designathon”

April 25, 2019

This upcoming weekend, the Coalition for Healthy Food and Beverages will host an Innovation Challenge to think out the next ten years of beverage services at UC Berkeley.

65,000 people eat and drink on the UC Berkeley campus each day. The campus is currently in the eighth year of a 10-year exclusive pouring rights contract with PepsiCo for beverage services across Student Services and Cal Athletics. In preparation for the next 10 years, the Berkeley Food Institute has joined other departments across campus to form the Coalition for Healthy Campus Food and Beverages to bring diverse stakeholders into campus decision-making on food and beverage choices—and uplift Berkeley values through procurement practices while raising awareness of human and planetary health in the process.

The Coalition recognizes that sugar-sweetened beverages, or SSBs, and many of the companies that market them are responsible for various negative health and sustainability impacts. Research has shown that SSBs are aggressively marketed to children of color, lending to a racial health disparity in chronic diseases like diabetes. The Coalition also identifies the SSB industry as culprits of funding biased studies and undermining public health efforts and policies to address health implications associated with SSBs.

On Friday and Saturday, April 26-27, the Health Campus Food and Beverages Innovation Challenge will gather members of the UC Berkeley community to re-envision campus beverage services. Students will be challenged to think at the intersection of health and business—considering human and planetary health as well as financial sustainability and corporate responsibility. Berkeley and industry experts—including Kristine Madsen, Sara Beckman, Alastair Iles, and Dan Henroid—will present the complexities of the challenge. Teams of the University’s brightest innovative students from across disciplines will then spend three hours in a “designathon” to sketch out a new model for beverage service. The experts will review the proposed solutions and declare a winner, who will be invited to present their design to campus food and beverage procurement leadership.

Please visit the Innovation Challenge event page for more information on registration, or contact Rosalie Fanshel for more information. Teams and individuals are welcome to participate, and media are welcome to attend.