Food security has become an increasingly important issue in our globalized economy. What do we know about our food? And how do we feed our world's growing population? What does it mean that our farming practises are becoming less and less distributed? Within the BigPicnic project, 18 European partners (including 15 botanical gardens from Europe and Uganda) worked together to bring 'food security' to the attention of their city's citizens. These gardens consciously chose to take an active position in this urgent debate. 

Ensuring availability of and access to sufficient amounts of, safe, and nutritious food is a key priority for all EU citizens. This project aims to increase public understanding of food security issues. It also enables people of all ages across Europe and in Uganda to debate and articulate their views concerning this issue to their peers, scientists, and policy makers.


Waag is an expert partner in the field of co-creation and trained the gardens to provide their public with a participatory design role in this debate. The 15 botanical gardens across Europe and Uganda collaborated with research partners and Waag to design, host, and harvest a number of co-created activities for the people in their communities. For this purpose, Waag made use of an earlier developed co-creation tools.

The title 'BigPicnic' is a metaphor for the rich selection of co-creative methods (just as picnic baskets are filled with a rich variety of flavours), which the gardens acquired through a educational journey guided by Waag. The project as a whole aimed to contribute to the Responsible Research and Innovation agenda and tools of the European Union.

> Resources of BigPicnic: six policy briefs

Project partners

Universität Innsbruck, Austria
University College London, United Kingdom
Agentschap Plantentuin Meise, Belgium
Comune di Bergamo, Italy
Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, the Netherlands
Uniwersytet Warszawski, Warsaw, Poland
Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Hellinikos Georgikos Organismos - Dimitra, Athens, Greece
Sofiiski Universitet Sveti Kliment Ohridski, Sofia, Bulgaria
Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain
Universidad de Alcala, Madrid, Spain
Landeshauptstadt Hannover, Germany
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Wissenschaftsladen Bonn, Germany
Universitetet i Oslo, Norway
Tooro Botanical Gardens, Fort Portal, Uganda
Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Project duration

1 May 2016 - 30 Apr 2019




EU - Horizon 2020 programme
EU official flag

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 710780.