Le 06/07/2023

Bringing young Europeans together to work on sustainable food

Between the 24 and 26th May, Lille Metropole hosted the final stage of the 2023 Cross-Creathon that gathered students from France, Belgium and the Netherlands to work on sustainable food.

Contraction of « creative » and « marathon », the Creathon is an interactive workshop created by the French-Dutch Network that brings together students from France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Through an entrepreneurial working approach participants from diverse personal, professional and educational backgrounds were asked to deliver innovative but realistic projects to this year’s topic « Sustainable food : between decarbonation and resilience ».

28 participants, later divided in six multinational teams, joined this cross-border event that took place in two countries. The Wageningen University and Research hosted the first stage in the Netherlands from the 2nd to the 4th of May. Led by three coaches, Bertrand Tortellier (Freelancer), Sandy Snoeck (Howest) and Milou Kauffman (Fontys Pulsed), the participants underwent a brainstorming phase to come up with projects’ first drafts. The completion and fine-tuning took place in Lille Metropole between the 24th and 26th of May.

Hosted by Polytech Lille, this Creathon’s final step gave the participants the opportunity to visit the Fives Cail project. Supported by the European Union through the Urban Innovative Actions programme, this former locomotive factory was renovated in a modern and innovative ecodistrict in order to associate housing, offices and leisure facilities, with a social inclusive focus.

Before reaching the end of the Creathon, a networking event on the theme « Sustainable food: from farm to fork » was organized in Sciences Po Lille on the 25th of May. This evening gathered participants, stakeholders and project leaders during a cocktail and a roundtable led by Arelis Ardiles (University of Lille) with Chiara Roticiani (Eurocities), Remi Verstraete (Euralimentaire), Sébastien Pérel (Europe Council of Young Farmers) and Jenneke Heising (Wageningen University and Research).

Each team then presented on the last day the final outcome of its work by giving a pitch to a jury composed by five professionals : Lieselotte Vantomme, Rahma Bezghoud (Junia Lille), Anne-Fabiola Bontinck (Pépite Lille Hauts-de-France), Peter Biekens (Fontys Pulsed) and Remi Verstraete, manager of the Euralimentaire incubator, one of Lille Metropole’s excellency clusters.

With a project based on vending machines selling the unsold meals from local businesses, the Midnight Munchies were awarded laureate of this Creathon. Beyond the €400 mobility grant for each member of the winning team, the participants will also benefit from professional support and guidance to make their project come to life. Moreover, this Creathon was the opportunity for these young Europeans to acquire learnings and insights about the challenge of sustainability through the food lense, to develop entrepreneurial skills in project management as well as to enjoy a humane experience.

Learn more about the French-Dutch network here and the Creathon 2023 and its partners here

Creathon 2023
Creathon 2023