The Battle of Ideas


As part of the celebration of their 50th anniversary in 2014, NWO-WOTRO, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research, organized a competition, calling bachelor and master students’ ideas about global developments. The challenge was to form a multidisciplinary team and develop a social innovative solution or bring forward ideas, in challenging areas such as personal safety, sexual and reproductive health, food security and food waste, or energy supply.

On 15th October 2014, the three finalist teams were invited to Den Haag, where over the day they improved their idea with the help of experts and professionals, and defended it with a pitch in front of a jury.

Team 2, Oluwaseyi Alalade (Wageningen UR), Camilla Ponte (Wageningen UR), Lavinia Plataroti (Wageningen UR) and Marisol Amador (University of Twente) gained the majority of votes for the idea “Back to the basics: establishing a trade by barter food network with dried fruits and vegetables in Nigeria”.



The team won 6.000 Euros, 1.500 for each team member. The money is intended as a first fund to implement their idea or develop it further.  On the left, team 2 during two moments of the Battle of Ideas: the pitch, and the prize reception, with W. E. Bijker, chair of the Department of Social Science and Technology at Maastricht University, and a representative from the Dutch Ministry of Economics and Foreign Affairs. Read also the article about the Battle of Ideas on the Food & Business Knowledge Platform website.

Pictures: Sascha Schalkwijk. Courtesy of

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