Day 11: Food for Thought

In today’s world, it is a rare sight to find businesses that prioritize social & environmental welfare over revenues and market shares. FoodCloud was undoubtedly one of the rarer organizations that actively worked towards a noble cause without a profit-oriented approach. Every single company that we have visited so far regarded FoodCloud highly and praised the organization for its commitment towards eradicating food waste and connecting people that need food with organizations that have a food surplus. They also stated that they provide volunteer opportunities for corporations as well as the general public. I remember Google mentioning that they utilize volunteering and community service as a team-building activity for their employees.

Considering the massive impact of the 1845 famine on Ireland, its economy, and cultural background, FoodCloud’s efforts bring forth a deeper understanding and appreciation among Ireland’s population. This level of understanding is reflected through the collaborative and non-profit-oriented partnerships among FoodCloud, Ireland’s charities, food corporations, and the Irish government. And this is part of what makes their business model so successful. One commonality I have noticed during the site visits is the constructive and mutually beneficial collaborations that exist between a business and the government such as IDA’s involvement with GEC. This kind of partnership is rare and difficult to implement in a country like the United States, but seeing how impactful a cohesive partnership between a corporation and the government can be, it will be worthwhile to explore ways to implement a similar structure in the US.

For this program, we were split into 4 teams and assigned to work on one of four companies. My team and I were assigned to work on the Guinness Enterprise Center. Over the spring semester and throughout the duration of this program, I have been consistently working with my team to prepare for the site visit, presentations, and the final report. It has been a pleasure working with a team of driven, passionate individuals, and we have learned to adapt to and incorporate last-minute changes to our schedules, presentations, or the curriculum. A key learning from my team experience on this program was the effectiveness of ‘division of labor’. Of course, we met as a group before our presentations, but to start things off we always assigned tasks that each member of the group was expected to work on before we regrouped instead of leaving everything to be completed synchronously when we meet. This helped a lot with time management and also helped us stay ahead of the schedule, and it’s definitely something that I plan to incorporate in future group projects.

It’s also quite a bittersweet feeling to think that tomorrow’s going to be the last day I eat my fruity pancakes for breakfast at Chorus Cafe. I’m gonna make sure to really savor it tomorrow. Looking forward to tomorrow!



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