Week 2 - Kick-Off

July 29, 2020

First Arena Experience and the Kick-Off Pitch - 28.07.2020

Hi there,

We’re back! Let’s pull the curtains and see what our teams have been up to last week.

Now that everyone's fully onboarded, it is time to perform. The beginning of the week was all about pitch training. With experienced coaches/judges from Bain & Company, Futury and Founders Intelligence, our teams were in good hands. The closer it got to Thursday, the more nervous and at the same time excited our pitchers got... Imagine pitching your ideas in front of an A-level audience for the first time..! Palms were sweating, but there was no turning back – ready, set, pitch!

On Thursday, it was time for the teams to head off to Munich. Our main corporate partners, FC Bayern München and Allianz Arena, kindly hosted the first milestone event because where else better to pitch the teams’ ideas than in the arena itself? Moreover, the teams got to pitch in the famous press conference room of the arena, just a few meters away from the football pitch (pun intended 😉). Our arrival at the stadium was quite epic – we came by bus, and not just a bus, but the signature red FCB bus!

Upon arrival, all teams and partners finally met for the first time, and we started the official part of the event. Andreas Jung, FC Bayern’s Executive Board Member and Jürgen Muth, Managing Director of the Allianz Arena, joined a panel discussion hosted by Charlie Müller to discuss the project and their expectations from it. Our teams and our live stream audience had the chance to ask their questions as well.

Before we gave the stage to the teams, two very special guests joined us online to address the talents. Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), joined us from Stockholm via live stream. His empowering keynote speech highlighted the importance of the project and the effort our teams put into their innovative ideas for a sustainable future. Giovanni Donaldson, Partner of Founders Intelligence, shared his insights on what sports can learn from other industries in terms of sustainable innovation.

After a short break, it was time to get things rolling. Vanessa Kämpf welcomed 5 presenters on stage to pitch on behalf of their teams and give the audience a brief overview of what they’re going to work on for the next 12 weeks. With five unique ideas in five different innovation fields, our teams covered topics such as the fans’ commute to the stadium, energy consumption, community engagement, waste management and more. The talents convinced the corporate partners with their young spirit, entrepreneurial mindset and the willingness to challenge the status quo.

We asked our talent, Lynn Knapp from #TeamRating, to describe her experience at the Kick-Off and here’s what she has shared with us.

“After the amazing and insightful first onboarding week, where we got to know each other, met the Futury members and partners from Bain and Company and developed our first ideas, the first milestone event was ahead of us: The Kick-Off pitch on site at the Allianz Arena with all corporate partners involved in the project. The main focus of the day was – for most of us – on the team pitches and the exchange of ideas with our corporate partners, but for me, there was another very special highlight that I had been looking forward to for days: the keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström.

I have been studying business administration and environmental science in two parallel bachelors for the last four years. Throughout my studies, Prof. Dr. Rockström, his colleagues and the sustainability frameworks that they’ve developed, such as e.g., the Planetary Boundaries, were part of my daily university content. Therefore, I got very excited when Dr. Tobias Raffel announced during our sustainability workshop session with Werte-Stiftung that Prof. Dr. Rockström is going to hold one of the keynote speeches. I was excited to see Prof. Dr. Rockström speak to us “in person”, as I have been studying his ideas for quite some time.

The keynote speech fulfilled all of my expectations. The input and insights that he provided us with were not restricted to a scientific perspective. Instead, they were very structured and supported with the clear argument that sustainability is something worth thriving for. As Prof. Dr. Rockström showed us during his presentation, we need to find new ways to combine social prosperity and high living standards with the ecological systems of the Earth – the Planetary Boundaries.

For me, the most important take-away from his keynote speech is that it’s our job to make the idea of sustainability “cool”. Prof. Dr. Rockström’s key advice to anyone who wants to engage in sustainability in everyday life is to talk to people you know and inspire them. Instead of linking sustainability to restrictions and compromises, create an atmosphere where people want to be sustainable because it is cool. In the end, it is our responsibility to make changes happen and strive towards a more sustainable future.”

Within the deep-dive sessions with the corporate partners, our teams had the opportunity to reflect on their current ideas and receive helpful feedback to set the next steps towards great innovative solutions. We must say, the view out of the meeting rooms was quite… mind-blowing. With the arena in its full grace right in front of them, the teams’ motivation and determination were as high as ever.  

To wrap up the day, our hosts invited us to an exciting arena tour! Everyone enjoyed having the Allianz Arena just for themselves, as it’s normally packed with up to 75.000 visitors on a regular match day.

At this point, we’d like to thank our generous hosts - FC Bayern München and Allianz Arena – for this fantastic experience. A big thank you to “SPORTS – Be Sustainable” corporate partners as well - Allianz, Audi, Siemens, HypoVereinsbank, Handelsblatt, PreZero, Bain & Company and Arabesque – thank you for your active participation and feedback! We’re thrilled to have you on our teams’ side as they develop future-oriented solutions that will put Allianz Arena at the forefront of the sustainability movement in the whole sports industry.

What a journey it has been so far, and it’s just the beginning! We are looking forward to seeing how the project and the teams’ innovative ideas unfold and get into shape. Stay tuned to catch up with all the developments – there is so much more to come.

Show must go on!


Shannon & Laura


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