The winners of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, projects, and concepts that pursue innovation for the good of society and the planet. I’m delighted to announce that Crisp has been named an honorable mention in the AI and Data Category for the second year in a row.
This year, we’ve needed world-changing ideas more than ever: innovations in technology, business, and design that address the many challenges we face across health and climate crises, social injustice, and economic inequality. Crisp is proud to be one such company, with a mission to reduce food waste by introducing the world’s first programmatic commerce platform for the retail industry.
One of the world’s biggest industries with $8 trillion in revenue, the food system is incredibly complex. There are over 200,000 companies trading with each other, 3.7 million farms, and 45,000 grocery stores. There is incomplete, disconnected information between them, which impedes the supply chain’s agility and ability to efficiently meet consumer demand. Data silos built on outdated technologies led to shortages like the ones we saw in 2020, creating financial losses across the supply chain. These losses include food waste: it’s estimated that one third of food is wasted before it reaches the consumer, making food waste the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
In response to these challenges, Crisp is working to transform food commerce from a disjointed web into a seamless programmatic commerce model. This new system leverages big data to improve real-time, predictive understanding of supply and demand and allows the supply chain to respond swiftly and accurately to the needs of each moment. By facilitating the free flow of data between food brands, distributors and retailers, Crisp will allow the food system to stay ahead of rapidly evolving consumer behavior, identify potential supply chain disruptions, predict store and online traffic, track inventory, understand store conditions, and replenish shelves at speed and scale. Crisp’s open-data platform already includes integrations connecting to 80% of the top retail brands in the US, covering $500B in sales, and we’re just getting started.
The categories with the greatest number of World-Changing Ideas entries this year reflect the times: Health and Wellness and AI & Data, the category in which Crisp is honored. We now have magnitudes more data than ever before, and Crisp believes that harnessing that data is at the heart of digital transformation in the retail industry. A data-led culture supported by a strong data infrastructure, AI, and Machine Learning is foundational to programmatic commerce’s ability to delight consumers and build a resilient, efficient supply chain.
With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential, helps them expand their reach, and motivates others to start working on solving problems that affect us all. Just looking at the other projects honored this year is inspiring, with ideas that include a lifesaving bassinet; the world’s largest carbon sink, thanks to carbon-eating concrete; 3D-printed schools; an at-home COVID-19 testing kit; a mobile voting app; and the world’s cleanest milk. We’re honored to be among the incredible organizations listed, and energized about the work we can all do to change the world for the better.
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