Inspiration:

Let thy food be thy medicine.

When we didn't have enough money to buy food, we grew it. At ten years old I ripped up our pretty lawn and planted a garden. The harvest that year changed my life forever, from seeing myself as a disadvantaged youth to someone who could change his life. Growing up under circumstances that should have left me impoverished, incarcerated or insane, I beat the odds by learning sustainable principles of adaptability, resourcefulness, and resilience.

This led me down a path to explore and apply solutions to every situation in my life and within my work and greater community. Sustainability is about energy input, output and now using that towards investing in human, social and natural wellbeing and health through the lens of agriculture and technology. What I learned is that agriculture and food must be integrated into our idea of healthcare, and our approach to making sure everyone has enough to eat so we can have healthier, happier, holistic communities that are disaster prepared and provide relief in times of crisis.

What it does:

A global digital network connects users to local open-source resources such as space to farm, farmers, agtech product and service solutions, consulting, leading edge experts, education, volunteers, coders, and agripreneurs. Allows members to open their own HUB chapter, or node to scale the network.

How I built it:

In 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals arrived, and the notion we had enough technology and resources to feed everyone was a catalyst to dedicate my life to sustainability. Five years ago I became immersed in NASA vision for growing food anytime, anywhere, and began to map out the entire "AgSphere"- the flooded and fragmented market of emerging AgTech opportunities and solutions. I also began to see that a lack of understanding, incentives and perspective about farmers was one of our greatest challenges to creating more wellbeing in our local communities.

Challenges I ran into:

The biggest challenge was after incubation and acceleration and Wageningen University start up program, that it was very hard to communicate this vision to consumers, and/or investors. Our resources were very limited, so we had to really practice sustainability: Doing more with less. We also lacked talent, and manpower to achieve the vision as quickly as desired. Many times we looked unprofessionally, or were misunderstood. However, determination and creativity won the day and we are thankful to have gone through a lot of "failures" to focus on finding what now works.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of:

Mostly its the personal effect this message and project has on people's lives. We have had people switch jobs to become farmers, and their health and wellbeing has skyrocketed. When people can provide for themselves, this is one of the biggest rewards that keeps us in the game, even when the tireless hours on not paid and endless. I am also proud of our SMART methodology (pertaining to smart cities and 12 emergent technologies) that helps YOUTH and under served communities interact with sustainability and find their place in the agriculture and health conversation. We want to empower a new generation of sustainable solvers and get out of their way.

Very proud we were accepted by both WSIS and EIT as finalists and that people at larger institutions are getting involved with our grassroots network. We are also proud to be part of UN Project Breakthrough as a way of using business as a tool to achieve the Global Sustainable Development Goals (particularly #2 Zero Hunger), and supporting the Lancet-Eat commissions role in elevating work making the connection between health, farming and food.

What I learned:

How to communicate more effectively, inspire and manage a team. Mitigate disruption and breakdowns. How to keep going when everything looks like it was falling apart. Discovering who our user profiles really are, and what people really needed through the hours of in the trenches, brick and mortar work. To never stop taking one step a day toward the vision. To be okay with being misunderstood, and willing to change and grow. Leading projects and managing work that is cooperative, collaborative, valuable and purposeful.

What's next for SkyFarms.io: Smart Agriculture Hub

Currently we are about to release our consulting tool which will guide users automatically through machine learning to the best options for their agriculture journey. Opening up new HUB chapters and nodes in 5 other EU cities to continue to recruit citizens to become agripreneurs, start or support local farming projects, and continue to make available sustainable training for the regular public to begin to support better design solutions and a community that cares for its people, planet and access to shared prosperity.

+ 33 more
Share this project:

Updates

posted an update

WE MADE IT! CheckPoint 3:

Progress:

Updating repos on GitHub to prepare for new code: https://github.com/skyfarms Interactive survey plugin to guide people: https://generatewp.com/generator/ https://www.questionpro.com/a/TakeSurvey?tt=W2i3Tj20F8M%3D AgSphere Collected Data set 60% complete (see attached video) Final demo: SkyFarms.io/code Wireframe completed for possible App Development: (see gif) UX sprints finished, final push next week Demo prototype of MySql database and PHP dynamic forms nearing completion

The only Problem we are facing now is time and also how to manage the influx of participation in the open-source challenges. We will need several more days before completion, but rollout of our MVP is well underway now.

Plans: Next steps to to the final submission include evaluations with team, reviewing Nesta standards of evidence 1-5 and developing a long term strategy to move from level 2 (capture data) to level 3 (demonstrating impact with data). After the hackathon we plan to continue to onboard open-source contributors and volunteers, release our new AgSphere match+search software, test UX designs lead generation and capture data from 300 first users to gain deeper insights about our users profiles, stories, journeys and needs, and funnelling them to the right resources.

Log in or sign up for Devpost to join the conversation.

posted an update

Checkpoint 2:

Progress from the last checkpoint:

Achieved deliverables: getting a timeline for UX upgrade release, organised data and 40% completed with entry. Organising our community information via hashtags for easier referencing of topics: DIY, NEED HELP, SMART FARMING; TRADITIONAL FARMING, MYFARM. Bootstrapping spaces and projects onto the platform, developing the wireframe with Sharetribe open-source to create a match+search platform. We are also learning so much from all the webinars!

Problems:

Because of the last minute entry to the hackathon and lack of understanding of what requirements were/are, we have faced some lack of being as engaged as we would like. However, the coordinators and mentors, and team players offer help at every turn and have been learning how to engage in the process in the best way we can and are growing through the challenge.

Plans until the next Checkpoint:

Maybe get a little sleep. Ha. But honestly, our plan is to stay focused, connected, and determined on arriving at the next checkpoint with more developed MVP.

What have you been building AND how do you validate your solution?

Currently developing our data strategy, lead generation strategy, recruiting more open-source software participants, volunteers, and agripreneurs to start farming projects in their local community. We are actually validating our solution during this hackathon as we have some coders who have never wanted to garden or farm before, but are now activated as volunteers, and getting involved in the agriculture conversation.

The solution is making it convenient, easy, exciting, rewarding and enjoyable to connect to farming and food. As we say, KNOW IT or GROW IT.

Log in or sign up for Devpost to join the conversation.

posted an update

Checkpoint 1:

Problem:

SkyFarms is shifting consumers lack of resources, perceptions, understanding and incentives to get involved in local farming. We connect space to people, people to volunteers, experts and stakeholders to people, and farmers to the community. Providing an extra incentive to conveniently find a way through the fragmented and flooded marketplace of AgTech which is a solution to integrate food into urban planning. Access to this information, technology, resources and community is what the Smart Agriculture Hub solves.

We train local citizen to open their own nodes, or chapters, of the HUB to make impact in their own community and recruit new agripreneurs as a way of scaling the network. This has worked for organizations like SlowFood, which are focused on traditional farming primarily. The open-source development of ICTs that connect, collect data, analyse, guide, facilitate, organise and manage the platforms expansion, lead generation, interaction and engagement opportunities digitally, globally and locally.

Plan:

Project Lead: Activating volunteers around hackathon, administrating, managing and facilitating process. Data Science Lead: Completion of our data entry to plug into machine learning tool and research Business Lead: Upgrading message, financials, and strategy to generate leads and capture data IT Lead: UX Upgrades to implement data extraction and search+match features Graphic Design Lead: Managing impact kit creation for dissemination, branding, managing research reports, and DIY packets for quarantine VICTORY GARDENS

Log in or sign up for Devpost to join the conversation.

posted an update

We just got off a great internal Zoom team meeting (in our PJs) and we are fired up and ready to grow. Tasks we are completing at the moment include four regions:

Data Science Lead: Completion of our data entry to plug into machine learning tool and research Business Lead: Upgrading message, financials, and strategy to generate leads and capture data IT Lead: UX Upgrades to implement data extraction and search+match features Project Lead: Activating volunteers around hackathon, administrating, managing and facilitating process.
Graphic Design Lead: Managing impact kit creation for dissemination, branding, managing research reports, and DIY packets for quarantine VICTORY GARDENS.

Thank YOU! And Lets keep growing together.

Log in or sign up for Devpost to join the conversation.