In only two and a half days, the seven teams at the MAKEitMEAT-less MAKEathon had to go through a full design thinking process – due to covid-19, the whole workshop was online. In the end, after an intense weekend, they had the opportunity to pitch their ideas and prototypes in front of a jury.

Each team had to focus on one of the two main challenges; either (1) focus on the socio-cultural side of the global overconsumption of meat, or (2) focus on technological solutions that could help rethinking meat consumption.

The MAKEathon was organized by Swiss Food Research and embedded in an entire program called EIT food that connects more than 100 organisations to achieve innovation in Agro-Food. Seeing such an organisation in action, was a great opportunity, not only for the participants, but for us coaches as well.

We as coaches were there to observe and help the teams whenever they needed guidance in the design thinking process. By helping the teams structuring all the information and making the tight schedule work, we were able to help the MAKEathon becoming what it was: a huge success! It was an exciting experience for us – and a challenging one as well. The lack of personal interaction during the online workshop made coaching more difficult, especially on the non-verbal and interpersonal level. Nevertheless, everyone involved was highly motivated and embraced the challenge with an open mind.

Whether the teams follow up on their pitched ideas is now in their own hands. However, if they do follow up, they are provided with help by the EIT network. Therefore, we hope to see a vegan tuna, an innovative way to have an at-home Christmas dinner for companies or a new “make it plant-based plug-in” for online cookbooks on the market, rather sooner than later.