Our talents are finally here. Last Monday, we welcomed five teams of highly innovative individuals in Frankfurt with an eventful onboarding week, preparing them for the experience of a lifetime.
We kicked off the week with an intro session and a warm welcome speech from Vanessa Kämpf (Program Director) and Lara Dodd (Project Manager). Once all talents introduced themselves, it was time for them to warm up and enjoy the sunny weather in an outdoor team-building workshop with our long-time friend Nelson Mejia from weSpark. Nelson showed our teams how they could emphasize each other's strengths and improve their weaknesses by supporting and helping one other with a set of fun exercises. For our Frankfurt Newcomers, it was also an excellent way to get familiar with the city.
The day continued with an introduction to the project’s organizational setting - teams geared up with tools, programs and guidelines for optimal working experience in the TechQuartier.
The second day was even more exciting, as our teams met the corporate partners for the first time! Walther von Schultzendorff (Arabesque S-Ray) started the day with an insight into “A new Perspective to ESG” and how his company tackles it. Then it was time to learn more about the main topic of the project - the Allianz Arena. Alexander Blank (FC Bayern München) and Uwe Stadler (Allianz Arena) brought some stats and key facts about the arena and its commitment to sustainability. Notes were taken, questions reserved for the forthcoming session (there were a looot of questions – the teams came prepared!).
The second half of the day was all about taking the input from the morning sessions and brainstorming on it in a Design Thinking workshop with our experts from Bain & Company. Both teams and corporate partners worked together to define personas and come up with their problem statements. These personas will serve as a basis for the innovative ideas of the teams.
As a part of our new tradition, we have organized a special fireside chat with our Alumni Vivian Loftin, Christian Knobloch, Naima Volz, Niklas Schaefer and Markus Kupfer to share their experiences in and after “The Mission.” Starting off, everyone reflected on their first days of the program, how they managed to grow together as a team, and the best way possible to build trust in the relationship with the corporate partners. Then Team Recyda (The Mission I) shared the process of founding their own company and what difficulties they’ve encountered along the way. Team Budge, who have gone a different way after finishing the project, spoke about their current adventure in “The Mission Accelerator Program.” Hendrik Jandel from Founders Intelligence, who supports Budge in the program, also joined our session and explained our teams what options and possibilities there are upon completing the project. As someone who continues his own career path after finishing ‘Banking Be Green", ‘Markus gave the teams a perspective on taking the most out of the project as an opportunity to grow professionally and personally. To enhance the team-alumni relationship and promote active exchange between them, these five Alumni will join “SPORTS – Be Sustainable” as Alumni Mentors!
On the third day, teams continued “design thinking” on their own. It was indeed an amazing opportunity for the teams to collaborate with our strategic partner Bain - an expert in transforming businesses for a sustainable economy. By that time, the teams covered the first three steps of Bain’s Design Thinking Approach: #Discovery, #Ideation and #Creation. They learned how to develop a problem statement, practiced how to generate innovative ideas and created prototypes for their first ideas.
As always, the Werte-Stiftung (Value-Foundation) was part of the onboarding week as well. On day four, Dr. Tobias Raffel joined the teams to lead an interactive workshop on the topic of values. The teams had the opportunity to discuss which values are most important to each of them and set a common ground for their “Code of Values” for three months. And here are the five key values for the project the teams have agreed upon: responsibility, trust, respect, goal orientation, sustainability and openness.
Our senior project manager, Jannis Röthemeier, was also part of the day and held a workshop on our “Sustainable Innovation Framework” - a pilot within this project. The “Sustainable Innovation Framework” is aiming to help the teams reflect and direct the innovation process towards sustainability and connect their ideas with SDGs and the “Planetary Boundaries” concept. A key task at the end of the project will be to make our sustainable impact measurable and transparent. Jannis and Tobias will continue supporting the teams with follow-up workshops throughout the whole project to make our ambitious goal happen.
On the last day of our crazy onboarding week, pitch training, as well as presentation and storytelling basics were on the agenda. One of the most important tasks of the day was to define the roles and responsibilities of each team member within the team.
To ensure a fair distribution of office space among the teams and close off the week on a fun note, teams had to battle in a Futury Foosball Tournament! The winning team got to enjoy “priority boarding” and could choose their working space first. We’ll close off this week’s blog with a quote from Lara Dodd, who planned and organized this successful onboarding week: The teams all enjoyed the workshops under the motto “this was the most productive week of my life.”
While we’re writing this blog, our teams finalize their “pitch-perfect” pitches for the big Kick-Off event at the Allianz Arena. Follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram to keep up with the teams “on-the-go” and come back here in a week for a full recap.
See you soon!
Shannon & Laura