01. Thom and Teun meet
Thom presents his graduation project ‘Desert Pioneer’ during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. The Desert Pioneer is a cardboard honey comb mat aimed at erosion prevention in refugee settlements. Teun starts his company Cambisol, aimed at landscape restoration consult after graduating from his Masters at Wageningen University. A mutual contact connects
02. Call for food security in Sub-Sahara Africa
The SBIR call from RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) appears to be a perfect fit for the new innovation. Teun and Thom submit a proposal for a feasibility study as the Ecosystem Kickstarter consortium. The subsidy is granted and the adventure begins.
03. First prototypes
A variety of cardboard templates are pre-cut and assembled by hand in our workshop. This process does not only teach us about cost efficiency, but also about how the design can be improved to ensure a simple and fast production method and material properties.
04. Assembling team!
With the first test-plots in sight, the last prototypes needed to be assembled on time for the journey to Uganda. A team of friends and family came to the rescue!
05. GLF Nairobi
We had the opportunity to present our Ecosystem Kickstarter project during a landscape talk in Nairobi. Many key organisations and government institutions are present at this conference to get in contact with new innovations. The Global landscape forum has become powerful movement for a greener world.
06. Feasibility study Uganda
We travelled to Uganda and took the first prototypes with us in the rainy season to observe the effects of water runoff and accelerated decomposition in humid circumstances. The presence of our prototypes turned out to be a great way to get in contact with local stakeholders and to get a first insight in every link of the chain of
07. School of Agricultural Sciences
Testing our product on the Makerere University plot was a great way to get in contact with the students and teachers. Direct feedback and tips from local agricultural experts was extremely valuable for our project.
08. Kiteezi Landfill
To get an idea of the necessity of a sustainable solution we visited a big landfill near Kampala. This is the place where non-degradable material is dumped and will stay for the next decades. The visit offered insights in the current recycling and collection methods and showed us the huge potential and need for a new way of using our resources.
09. Presenting at Padova University
Presenting our project at the Padova University in Italy at a seminar on Sustainable land Management.
10. GLF Bonn
During the Global Landscape Forum 2018 in Bonn we had the opportunity to be a part of the CIFOR youth workshop. Meeting wonderful young people from all over the globe, motivated to change the world. Given the opportunity to present our project during the conference got us in contact with many interesting NGO’s and people within the landscape restoration network.
11. Workshop Bududa
Giving a workshop in the Bududa district together with Laurie van Reemst gave us a lot of insights. Using the PIP approach helped us to focus on intrinsic motivation of the farmers. The PIP approach is an innovative way of transforming small-scale subsistence farm households into more productive and sustainable farms. It is based on a visionary Integrated Farm Plan (PIP in French acronyms) which is developed and drawn on a map by all family- or community members, as well as a concrete action plan how to realize that vision.
12. Gathering our dreamteam
After getting to know a lot of great entrepreneurs we will start partnering up with two new start-up buddies to reenforce our team.
13. Designing the low-tech production cycle
We are working on the new prototype and will start building our low-tech production machine soon.
14. Winning a year of funding!
After concluding the feasibility research and presenting our future plan for the project, the funding for the next phase is granted by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and we are able to invest a full year in developing the project and proving our impact!!
15. Steam pan brainstorm session
The team took a dive into the nature in the East of the Netherlands and locked itself into a high-pressure pan brainstorm session. We discussed our shared vision and targets for this year and developed the business plans further.
16. Wageningen University Greenhouse Experiments
In the greenhouses at Wageningen University and Research, we have started to develop various experiments to monitor all kind of variables to better design the Ecokick. For example, we monitor root development over time for different plant species. Come have a look if you want!
17. Implementation in Uganda
We visit the field locations in Uganda to test the product together with our local consultants and interns. The main goal of the experiment is to measure the impact on soil erosion reduction of the Ecokick.
18. Prototype production in Amsterdam-Noord
In our workshop in Amsterdam-Noord, the first prototypes of 2019 are being developed. These versions of the Ecokick will be implemented in the field in two different locations in Uganda in August 2019. We’re excited to dig them in the soil!
19. Partos Innovation Festival
We are very happy to announce that we are shortlisted for the Partos Innovation Spindle Award. During the Festival our team had the chance to give a pitch about Ecokick and we met plenty of people from different organisations that could be relevant to cooperate in the (near) future..
20. Dutch Design Week 2019
The Ecokick is present at the Dutch Design Week 2019! On top of that, the Dutch National TV program ‘De Toekomstbouwers’ (VPRO) dedicated one full episode to the Ecosystem Kickstarter, in which they interviewed Thom as designer of the product.