Ready, Steady, Cook! Circular Cooking Challenge

EIT Climate-KIC’s Master Label graduates recently participated in a circular cooking challenge. A great way to help spread the principles of circular economy.

Some 100 students from across Europe received the EIT Master Label this year. The Label is a certificate that is only awarded to excellent educational programmes. It enables a select group of the very best master’s students to gain the insights and tools to make a vital contribution to climate change and adaptation.

The programme encourages ambitious students to apply their academic knowledge outside the classroom,” says Gareth Wakeling, Education Manager at EIT Climate-KIC Benelux. “Complementary to their regular master’s degree programme, students follow courses on climate change science, climate innovation and entrepreneurship. Even more importantly, students go beyond their curriculum to build a professional network and gain work experience outside of academia.”

Students involved in building a green economy
In order to help young talents explore the potentials of launching their own cleantech venture, EIT Master Label students participate in the Journey, a five-week climate innovation summer school which challenges students to take the first steps towards building a start-up. The challenges include the development of a business plan and the participation in a pitch competition. Wakeling: “EIT Climate-KIC is dedicated to building a green economy, and students need to be a part of the transition. The EIT Master Label is a unique strategy to involve high potentials from the very start.”

Piece of Plate: an innovative circular start-up
The ways in which we can better behaviours and attitudes about climate change is at the core of the EIT Master Label programme. Many students and alumni are keen to dive into the social and economic transformations necessary to realise circular economy. Wageningen University & Research graduate and EIT Climate-KIC Label alumnus Réka Gugán has just launched her company Piece of Plate.

As part of its mission to contribute to the transition to a circular economy, Piece of Plate organises circular cooking challenges. It offers an inspiring example how to make circular economy work in our everyday lives. The start-up’s mission is to make planetary cooking habits stick. During the recent Master Label Graduation Day, alumni experienced first-hand what it means to challenge what we take for granted about food. Students competed against each other in teams to see who could make the most circular meal. The conclusion? An elegant dinner for fifty people can in fact be fully plant based and made from ingredients that are usually regarded as waste. What’s more, a circular meal can be simple, affordable, accessible for anybody – and tasty, of course.

“Making circular economy work, boils down to a holistic approach to our everyday choices,” as Réka Gugán says. “Challenging the status-quo and understanding that each individual has the power to make a change instead of blindly following the crowd.”

Education and entrepreneurship
Réka Gugán’s approach aptly illustrates EIT Climate-KIC’s vision on circular economy. “It’s about making the circular economy tangible”, explains Wakeling. “A circular cooking challenge shows people how the circular economy can work in a simple, concrete and fun way.”

Furthermore, the EIT Master Label and its Journey summer programme demonstrate EIT Climate-KIC’s dedication to supporting students in their ambitions to contribute to a zero-carbon economy. “An epic part of EIT Climate-KIC is generating climate innovation, and part of that is helping start-ups,” says Wakeling. EIT Climate-KIC aims to combine education and entrepreneurship. Start-ups are crucial to the transition to a low carbon and resilient society.”

Experimentation is key
The Master Label Graduation Day also offered some practical take-aways for Wakeling. “For one: circular cooking can be as simple as changing kitchen habits. Stick to circular principles, not to the recipe. In addition, experimentation is key. Experiment, experiment, experiment! In fact, that holds for circular cooking just as much as for climate innovation action in general.”

Hungry for more? Discover our educational programmes in detail right here!

Dutch articles published online about this Circular Cooking Challenge:

 
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