Hertie School MPP alumna wins Google Impact Challenge award

Karina and her team win the Google Impact Challenge in Argentina.

Karina Campos develops app connecting food surpluses to community kitchens; project moves on to regional finals.

Karina Campos (MPP 2013) and her Argentinean-based team won $350,000 as the recipient of the Google Impact Challenge award. Her project, Nilus, is an app which uses crowd-sourcing and geolocation technology to avoid food waste by connecting donors with community kitchens through rented drivers.

As millions worldwide suffer from hunger, nearly 40 percent of food that is produced in the world is wasted. While working for the World Bank in 2015, Karina became passionate about the topic as she coordinated an initiative in Argentina to develop municipal strategies to fight against food waste. “I became passionate about the topic and was sure that I wanted to be part of the solution,” says Karina.

The seed of inspiration was planted, and Nilus began to grow roots when Karina was contacted about the idea of creating an app. The project is currently being piloted with the Rosario Food Bank, in the Rosario region of central Argentina. A donor uses the app to post a donation, and a community kitchen is notified. Drivers who sign up for the programme then act as the liaison, picking up and delivering the food. Drivers are paid for their work, which is funded by a fee charged for delivery.

Nilus now moves on to the Google Impact Challenge regional final for the chance to represent Argentina and potentially win another $250,000 in funding, in addition to mentoring from Google. Karina’s goal is to scale up the project to other cities in Argentina and then other countries of the region. In five years Nilus hopes to benefit 10,000 community kitchens in four countries, providing food for 1.5 million people.

You can vote for Karina’s project Nilus to represent Argentina in the regional finals here. Voting closes 16 October 2017.