Week 5 - Ideation

August 20, 2020

Sustainable Innovation Framework - 20.08.2020

From the get-go, we expect our teams to develop ideas that are innovative, feasible and sustainable. Focusing on just one of those dimensions would have made our teams’ efforts much easier, but our project is called a Mission for a reason 😉. 

In the creative ideation process, the dimension that feels the most constraining is usually the sustainability one. But for our teams, creating innovative solutions that bring an added value to many different stakeholders, including the planet, is a challenge worth taking. 

To support our teams on that journey and make sure our they are on the right track, our experts Jannis Röthemeier (Futury) and Tobias Raffel (Werte-Stiftung), came back to check-in on our innovators and their ideas. Jannis and Tobias had met the teams back in the Onboarding week when the project ideas were just beginning to unfold. It has been five weeks since then. Teams have done plenty of research, came up with a hypothesis for their products and services, and obtained a clearer vision for their final results. Right now, they are in the process of surveying potential users to prove or disprove their hypothesis. 

In the first values workshop, teams were introduced to the Sustainable Innovation Framework and discussed each talents’ personal motivation to participate in the project. In the second workshop, the goal was to dive deeper into the process of sustainable idea development. Jannis and Tobias broke down the sustainable idea development process into three steps:

1. Formulate your sustainable idea

Teams kicked off the session by defining exactly what positive impact their ideas will have and what sustainable goals they’re trying to pursue. The goals could be based on existing sustainability concepts like the Sustainable Development Goals or the Planetary Boundaries concept. How can they include those goals in the business models of their ideas? What’s their vision? The brainstorming began... 

2. Challenge the sustainability of your idea

So far, teams have been adjusting the solutions to their potential users and customers’ wants and needs.  To simplify the process, teams developed unique Personas that resemble the typical characteristics and habits of someone who could benefit from their sustainable solutions. 

Since every idea affects various stakeholders, the teams were challenged to think about possible trade-offs their sustainable ideas might face. This time, teams had to adjust their solutions to a very special new persona. Meet Terra: 

What does she think of our teams’ ideas? Will she have an added value from them as well? This exercise helped our teams visualize a clear goal – to create a viable business solution that would make Terra happy. As Viktoria Unger from Team Rating has put it: “With our sustainable idea, we want to give Terra a voice. We want her to be heard.”

3. Operationalize how you measure sustainability. 

What are the teams ready to sacrifice to reach their goals? To help them quantify and track the idea’s sustainable impact, teams were asked to set sustainable benchmarks and KPIs in three dimensions:

- ecological (e.g. what material do we use?);

- social (who do we work with?);

- governance (where do we get our data from?). 

These metrics should help our teams in their decision-making process. 

Based on all the input and discussion of the workshop, our teams have outlined a plan with key topics to tackle in the next weeks. In just a few days, our talents will present their business plans and sustainability strategies to the partners of “SPORTS – Be Sustainable”. After experiencing the teams “in action” for the second time, Tobias has no worries about their results: “I am absolutely convinced that the teams will manage to develop ideas that are not only innovative and economically convincing but also sustainable.”

Our teams have a very busy time ahead of them. But what do they do when they’re not brainstorming, researching, surveying, pitching? 

Come back next week to find out 😊




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