2–5 February 2021


Student Forum

Artificial intelligence in sustainable food systems design


Presenting Author(s): Stephanie Camarena
05 February 2021

Please be aware that multiple presentations will take place during this session commencing at 05:30PM AEDT and share the same zoom link. Check how presentations are clustered in the program spreadsheet when adding the calendar.

By 2050, the current challenges faced by our food systems will be further amplified by the need to feed 9 billion people. Water scarcity, pollution, soil degradation and the impacts of climate change on agricultural production are only a few of the environmental constraints we face. Designing services in any area of the food chain can no longer be done using a business as usual approach. Technologies such as artificial intelligence are disrupting agriculture, food processing and health outcomes in ways which could revolutionise how we relate to food and provide an opportunity to think differently about our food systems.

The research investigates artificial intelligence (AI) as a possible enabler of sustainability in food systems, with caveats. The technology could support transformational changes towards sustainable food systems but also creates issues of a new kind that designers can and should consider as part of their design brief.

Case studies on nutrition in schools and on food waste investigated the use of AI in the process redesign. The author will present some of the challenges, impacts, results and ethical considerations encountered. The focus on the methods of engagement include the use of traditional design thinking approaches, lean start-up and rapid prototyping where failing early is proving to be a critical component.

The use of AI ethics guidelines and sustainable development goals (SDGs) are used retroactively in the evaluation of the designed solution to provide some insights for future proactive design solutions.

Europe (CET): 5th February 2021 7:30 am to 8:30 am

US (EST): 5th February 2021 1:30 am to 2:30 am

Download Event Paper

Stephanie Camarena
Stephanie Camarena
RMIT University

A systems thinker, Stephanie works with organisations to co-design processes, products or services that integrate life-cycle thinking approaches. Typical outcomes resulting from Stephanie’s work include:
- Leaner, more efficient systems of work
- System innovation and design break-throughs
- Measurable Sustainability progress
Her work with local governments and the road maintenance industry has received national recognition in the field of Design for Sustainability including winning Banksia Sustainability awards for Product design, manufacture, use and disposal; Victorian Premier Sustainability Award – Regional Recognition.
Stephanie brings a unique style of facilitation and consulting that is characterised by her warm, consultative and relationship-based approach to work in collaboration with others to effect change in complex systems.
Coming from a technology and business transformation delivery background Stephanie brings a level of rigour to how she manages and organises stakeholders to solve complex problems with high returns on the effort invested.
Now a PhD student in Design Innovation at RMIT, Stephanie is bringing her diverse expertise in Design and Artificial Intelligence to advance the transition to sustainable food systems.