Food as fuel for creativity and innovation
by Vivienne Neale, MSc Entrepreneurship lecturer
Can we affect our creativity through our choice of food?
This is something we took into consideration when we gathered 40 of the most innovative minds in Cornwall, for our first Techstars Start Up Weekend in May 2022.
We all know that when we feel better, we certainly increase our curiosity and creativity - most people would agree with that. When we are down or even overloaded by the worst carb culprits, our thinking can be impaired. Look around the office any time after 2pm to test this! In many cases sleep is the only creative option available.
We all know the physical benefits of a diet high in fibre, vitamins, and beneficial nutrients. Those feelings of well-being and energy promotes a general feeling of happiness and even satisfaction with life. Although granted, right now that fruit smoothie needs some pretty serious superpowers to counteract everything that’s going on in the world. However, filthy fries is not going to provide a solution either!
It’s probably more important than ever that we take our own happiness and creativity more seriously
This is especially true in such stressful times because psychological resilience does help our physical health. This is salient if we are aiming to utilise and develop our eudaemonic well-being. If you are unfamiliar with that specific term; it’s the best state where you don’t just feel good or satisfied about life. Eudaemonic well-being is when we truly feel very engaged with everything around us. We get our purpose in life and can really sense the meaning of the world around us and our place within it.
You can sense when you are on track because your curiosity is heightened, and creativity starts to emerge. It’s like a perfect flow. You know, when things fall into place, patterns appear, answers show up and engagement in all kinds of activities is much easier. Curiosity is such an important part of life and then you can grow your own self-determination because you have the capacity and energy to do things. That’s the sweet spot where good stuff happens, and innovation takes hold.
What did we do?
We designed a truly inspirational weekend menu. Working with local producers meant we had access to freshly prepared and hyper local food that maintained its nutritious content.
It has been said that creativity is a tangible by-product of eudaemonic conditions. Therefore, the pressure was on for us to facilitate those perfect state and feed our innovators, creatives, and entrepreneurs the most inspirational, fresh, exciting and nutritious food available in Cornwall.
If you are thinking of catering for a creative event, we’d love to recommend Fal Falafel. They provided salad boxes that are home made, locally sourced, vegan, gluten free and provide a light, tasty and spicy pick me up when the brain is in need of some help.
Poke bowls from Bango Kitchen in Penryn were a super popular choice. They offered salmon, or vegan friendly and are so nutritious. Certainly, we needed these to avoid the dip as Saturday’s intensity ramped up! We watched people’s eyes light up when lunch and dinner were served. The smiles were proof enough we had succeeded.
Can you reach a ‘eudy’ state?
Entrepreneurs worked into the night to perfect their pitches ready for Sunday. Our buffet included hummus crudites, mini chocolate cake with a concentrated sugar fix for energy and in the evening, we celebrated with the Bangers on the Go food van parked right outside the door offering, veggie burgers, vegan hot dogs and associated grilled food. There was always plenty of fruit and water to hand throughout the weekend. For just £30 everyone was well fed and had a fab opportunity to test creativity, curiosity, innovation and reach that “eudy” state.
Did people move from ideation to concept in just 54 hours?
You bet they did. One group are already incorporated and have just launched. We take the credit and know they are powered by veg!