Ask WDCD #5: The brief says to focus on the ‘poorest people’, but I live in Europe

Ask WDCD #5: The brief says to focus on the ‘poorest people’, but I live in Europe
In this series, our research partners STBY answer some of your burning questions about the Climate Action Challenge.
Send yours to or visit our FAQ page to see them all. 

Q: I’ve chosen to work on the FOOD x SERVICES brief, which asks to design a service to provide food to the poorest people. This seems more appropriate for people living in developing countries, but I live in Western Europe. Can’t I design a service to avoid food waste instead?  

A: No matter where you live, climate change will affect the poorest people in every country and region. Poverty and a low income is correlated to a poorer diet and a higher chance of nutritional  deficiencies and related health problems — even without climate change. Climate change will make food more expensive as crop yields will go down due to extreme weather patterns. This will affect not only food grown in your country, but further afield as well. If you live in Northern Europe, vegetables might get very expensive in winter, for example. Take another look at how the poorest people in your region are affected by food availability and affordability and see how you can tackle that problem. If you really want to look at food waste, see how preventing food waste can help the most vulnerable people in your society.

In any case, don’t try to design something for a region that you’re not familiar with just because you think that would fit the brief better. The briefs are made to be universal so they can be applied to anywhere — you just need to do your research to explore how to make the most impact.