Transforming Food Systems


Recognizing the need for engineering students to adopt a systems perspective, I created a new graduate-level course in partnership with Sara Beckman (Haas School of Business) and Andy Dong (CCA Design MBA Program). The course merged behavioral theory, systems modeling, and human-centered design methodologies to teach students how to understand complexities associated with the food system and to identify opportunities and leverage points for systems change. Our 4 multidisciplinary student teams learned from food entrepreneurs, biochemists, product managers, and chefs before identifying issues that they could tackle. The teams integrated a deep understanding of people – customers, users, and other stakeholders – to create a realistic representation of the system.  Then, they applied a variety of current technologies – e.g., blockchain, internet of things, sensors, artificial intelligence, machine learning – to make change in those systems.  In the process, they learned to a apply tools such as for systems modeling.

Teaching // Systems Thinking // Design Education

Partners: Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, Mechanical Engineering Dept. at UC Berkeley