As per most other industries, agriculture and the food industry are fast entering the era of platform economics powered by digital technologies. This transition offers huge potential to rethink how we design and operate our food systems; to change fundamental aspects of the industrial age centralized system towards a more decentralized and sustainable model relevant for the 21st century.
To enable this next generation of food system we envision a decentralized internet-based platform for organizing food systems in a new, more productive and sustainable way. The Si Food Platform is a digital infrastructure for connecting producers and consumers in a more direct and transparent fashion while operating on a full cost accounting system that ensures sustainable outcomes for all. This is realized on a technical level by a combination of decentralized computing technology, IoT devices, smart contracts, and adaptive algorithms.
Data & Computation
The Si food platform is built upon these emerging technologies of the next generation decentralized web. The decentralized web, also called web 3.0 is today emerging as a peer to peer network built around distributed technologies – such as blockchain – where users own their own data, data is portable, computing and storage resources are provided by end-users within distributed networks, apps run locally on end-user devices and platforms are decentralized and autonomous. Decentralized web technology will form the foundations of our computing platform.
Internet of Things
In order to realize a viable full cost accounting system in food a multiplicity of data forms and sources are needed, these need to be integrated, authenticated and made available on-demand to all and any in the supply chain. In order to attain this data a myriad of new IoT devices will form an integral part of the system. We need to capture data not just about production and distribution but also the overall environmental context within which the system exists to ensure a holistic accounting system is realized.
At the heart of this system is a distributed ledger that records the exchanges of value. These distributed ledgers can account for and validate the exchange of any form of value; it may be a currency, it may be property, it may be a kilowatt-hour of energy or, the number of followers a person has on social media. These distributed ledgers provide the infrastructure for building token economies. By using decentralized technology and distributed ledger the Si food platform will enable a food token economy as a decentralized way to record, store and exchange value within the ecosystem.
We see the food system of tomorrow as a complex service system integrating many diverse providers and consumers. To enable this nonlinear complex coordination the system needs to leverage the power of smart contracts to automate basic coordination across the network and between parties. Smart contract technology can remove the reliance on centralized systems and enable people to create their own contractual agreements that can be automatically enforced and executed by code.