Launched in 2018, our program annually inspires students within vocational education across the Netherlands to tackle the critical issue of food waste through real-world problem solving and innovative education.













National Food Waste Challenge

Launched in 2018, our program annually inspires students within vocational education across the Netherlands to tackle the critical issue of food waste through real-world problem solving and innovative education.

At the heart of vocational education innovation, the National "MBO Challenge Voedselverspilling" embarks on a transformative journey to integrate sustainability deeply into the curriculum. Launched in 2018, our program annually inspires MBO students across the Netherlands to tackle the critical issue of food waste through real-world problem solving and innovative education.

As we celebrated our fifth anniversary in 2023-2024, we extended our focus to "Working towards a Sustainable Food Chain without Waste."

By collaborating with a diverse network of partners—including educational institutions, industry leaders, and governmental bodies—we aim to cultivate not only awareness but also active engagement in sustainable practices. Our program is designed to equip students with practical skills and critical thinking abilities by involving them in impactful projects that connect educational outcomes with community and industry needs. Through workshops, guest lectures, and a series of engaging webinars, we bring together experts and enthusiasts to share knowledge, discuss challenges, and explore innovative solutions using our Design Thinking methodology.


Started in 2018 and continues to the present with annual cycles. The 5th anniversary year was in 2023-2024.


As innovation strategist and transition expert within the DOON U.A. cooperative, I 'm involved in and advise on the strategic development and implementation of the programme. My role includes facilitating the transition to sustainable practices within vocational education by applying transitiondesign and innovation strategies. Bridging the societal issues from a healthy and durable food ecosystem and daily practices within education, entrepeneurs and public and private partnerships.
Together with my partners within DOON we coordinate the development of the programme, conduct impact measurements, and actively involve more education domains within the challenge. We provide guest lectures and workshops to promote cooperation between education and business and and we coach professionals applying Design Thinking and Ecosystem Design methodologies effectively. Furthermore we host different webinars aimed at sharing knowledge, promoting network interactions and presenting innovative solutions within the theme of the challenge.


The main goal is to increase knowledge and awareness of food waste and sustainability within mbo education, challenging students to develop practical solutions that contribute to a sustainable food chain. Creating a nation wide regional-oriented network of public private partnerships.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Develop the annual programme and strategic expansion into sustainable food chains.
Conduct impact measurement and action research to evaluate the effectiveness of the challenge.
Facilitate knowledge exchange between educational institutions and business through workshops and webinars.
Implement innovative teaching methods such as Design Based Education and challenge based education based on principles of i.e. Design Thinking and Real Life Learning.

Core Values in Practice

Creating fair opportunities for all involved, transparency in evaluation and results.
Building respectful relationships with partners, consistently working towards common sustainable goals.
Enabling the courage, self-direction/regulation and daring to implement new methods, encouraging students to be independent and innovative.

Impact and Results

Increased knowledge and awareness of food waste and sustainability.
Successful integration of sustainability principles in curricula of vocational education.
Strong collaboration between educational institutions and companies, resulting in practical solutions.

Learning moments

Insights into educational innovation and collaboration. throughout different domains on a national level and distributed regional networks. Aligning regional needs with a nation wide mission.


Programme management, strategic planning, educational innovation, collaboration facilitation, and expertise in transit science and Design Thinking.


The MBO Challenge Food Waste website for comprehensive programme information and updates.
Published impact studies and reports on the results of the challenge.

Close cooperation partners

Jong Leren Eten - Initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) to teach children and young people more about food.
Stichting Samen Tegen Voedselverspilling (Foundation Together Against Food Waste) - Works to reduce food waste in the Netherlands.
Leren voor Morgen (Learning for Tomorrow) - National ambassador for SDG4 in the Netherlands. Network committed to sustainable education.
Coöperatie DOON U.A. - Innovation platform bringing education and entrepreneurship together.
Aeres Hogeschool Wageningen - University of Applied Sciences with a focus on education in green and social sectors.
Groenpact - Partnership aimed at strengthening green education and research.
CIV Groen - Centre for Innovative Craftsmanship in the field of green education.
Yuverta - Largest green education centre in the Netherlands, offering vocational education, training and courses.
Top Sector Agri & Food - Partnership of business, government and knowledge institutions in the agrifood sector.
SVH Foundation - Dutch educational, examination and branch institute for catering education.
Katapult - Network of public-private partnerships in vocational education.
Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) - Government body that develops policy for food quality, nature management and fisheries. - Knowledge platform of Wageningen University & Research that shares knowledge for professionals in the green sector.