Max Dekker is studying Finance & Technology at the VU in Amsterdam and would like to contribute to a sustainable future. “Change starts with you, but I believe the companies in our society can definitely play a central role in this too. That’s why I’m participating with this challenge.”
Are you all managing to work together effectively, as everything has to be done remotely?
“Everything is done online, as we pretty much all live in different parts of the country. We only got together during the Innovation Lab, which gave us the opportunity to come up with a fantastic idea. That was definitely a great deal more fun than simply sitting behind the PC. But it was certainly a little odd too, as we had never met each other in real life before, yet we all felt like we knew each other. Working together with ForFarmers has also gone really smoothly. We received a lovely welcome pack and are also provided with expert advice and assistance every time we express a need for this. However, we do all agree on the fact that it’s a real shame we haven’t been able to visit the feed mill in Lochem.”
Is the challenge satisfying your expectations?
“I started the challenge with a multitude of different ideas in my head and was keen to instantly get going. It soon became apparent we needed to start with taking a step back, to look at the issue from a different angle and to use other methods to come up with appropriate solutions. Making that switch wasn’t all that easy to start with, but it eventually definitely resulted in better and more original ideas.”
What have you enjoyed the most so far?
“The actual case! My dad is a goat farmer and cheese maker and even though I ended up studying something completely different and (probably) won't opt for farming as my career, I am still hugely enjoying doing something in an area I’m familiar with due to my ‘farming background’. Plus it is also really interesting that another team member also has a great deal of affinity with the agricultural sector, whilst the other two team members don’t. This allowed us to look at this issue from various different angles.”
Is your team going to come up with the winning idea?
“Absolutely! But what’s most important to us is that we present an idea which is interesting to all parties. A simple, effective and original idea which can be introduced and implemented in the short-term. Our eventual idea actually originated from a joke. Once we were done laughing at someone’s comment, we all sort of sat back and thought: actually, that’s a pretty good idea! But of course I’m not going to tell you what that is just yet!”