By Ricardo Garcia on Apr 25, 2019 7:07:52 AM
ScanTrust sent a team to Groningen, NL to participate in the Odyssey Hackathon, the world’s largest Blockchain and AI hackathon. The hackathon was divided into 11 tracks and 20 challenges, with five teams competing in each challenge, and the ScanTrust team returned as the winner of the “Feeding the Future” Track, sponsored by leading animal nutrition and aquafeed company, Nutreco.
This year, ScanTrust chose to participate in the Odyssey hackathon with our non-profit initiative, The GoodChain Foundation. “Team GoodChain,” composed of Jensen Zang (Design), Arthur Souviron (Front-end), Taras Tsavolyk (Front-end), Yaroslav Babych (Back-end), Jelle Sturm (Back-end) and Ricardo Garcia (Team Captain), started preparations eight weeks in advance. The team worked across time zones and spent hours brainstorming via phone calls and meetings in order to develop a good idea for the hackathon.
In the end, the team decided to develop a prototype for organic chicken that incentivizes consumers to engage with the product through scanning a unique QR code placed on the packaging of the chicken. When the consumer scans the QR code, they earn points that they can be donated to a good cause, and each scan of the QR code leads to a landing page where the provenance history of the chicken is displayed.
The idea thus fit well with Nutreco’s Feeding the Future track, which challenged the competing teams to aim to enable "the most sustainable, secure and fair food value chain."
The prototype also represents the core of the GoodChain initiative: combine product transparency with social impact and consumer engagement.
However, before the team could start actually getting to work on the prototype, the solution needed to be validated and tested by various stakeholders at the hackathon. Feedback from these stakeholders would allow the team to see whether their assumptions were correct, and whether there are opportunities to bring the prototype to the next level and build upon it.
At the end of the day, the Odyssey hackathon is all about leveraging the broad knowledge pool of the stakeholders present and collaborating and co-creating with other competing teams!
The ScanTrust team spent several hours pitching the concept to various representatives from Nutreco, other teams, other tracks, and to the subject matter experts present at the hackathon.
Through this collaboration of ideas, the team received valuable feedback, such as advice to include the carbon footprint of a chicken purchase, to display information about the chicken’s diet, to focus more on the gamification aspect of consumer engagement, and to allow consumers to give feedback on their purchase.
Beyond that, the team decided to collaborate with two of the other teams and to incorporate their solutions into the prototype in order to take the solution to the next level.
Finally, on Friday evening, the team was at last ready to start working on the prototype! After 48 hours of intense coding, designing, testing, integrating, lots of coffee and adrenaline and very little sleep, the prototype was ready to be presented to the jury.
ScanTrust was very proud of the prototype produced as it had grown far beyond what was originally planned and was functioning perfectly.
The Prototype: an end-to-end demonstration of how the application would work in real life
The consumer is invited to “Scan for Good,” and to interact with the chicken they purchased (yes…we know what you’re thinking: the team did have a real chicken to demonstrate with at the hackathon). The initial trigger to capture consumers’ attention was an invitation to give back and make a positive impact as well as to earn points through a scan.
After the consumer has scanned the code, they can then see and learn various details about the chicken, such as:
1) Nutritional details,
2) The entire provenance history of the chicken coming directly from a blockchain and the environmental footprint of their purchase,
3) How they can make a difference with their purchase by donating the points they earned through their scanning, and
4) The chicken’s diet.
The consumer was presented with two choices for ways to give a positive impact. The first option was to donate to a community project focused on improving child nutrition by GoodChain partner World Vision Timor Leste. The second option was to give back to the farmer involved in sourcing the product via a direct donation.
The donations were done via a cryptocurrency, so that there was full transparency and traceability with regards to where the funds were going.
The blockchain technologies used in this prototype were Hyperledger Sawtooth to record chicken provenance transactions and Stellar to execute transparent donations.
On Sunday, this prototype was then presented to the jury, of which Rob Koremans, the CEO of Nutreco, was a part of. Three long nail-biting hours later, a decision was made, and the jury had chosen Team GoodChain as the winner!
It was a tight race since the four other competing teams had also worked hard and presented very high-quality ideas and prototypes. Interestingly, the five teams competing in the Feeding the Future track covered different aspects of the food chain, and there were active discussions amongst the teams on how collaboration could be possible moving forward - which is really what this hackathon is all about!
Moving forward, Team Goodchain will be a part of the Odyssey accelerator program that will help to build an ecosystem around the solution to enable a transformation in the food sector. This is a great opportunity to further develop and advance the GoodChain initiative.
We are looking forward to an exciting journey of moving towards a live implementation of this solution!