TM4 - Week 5

December 10, 2020

The Sustainable Innovation Framework

As you all know, we expect our teams to develop innovative, feasible, and sustainable ideas. Focusing on just one of those dimensions would have made our teams' efforts much easier, but our project is called Mission for a reason 😉.

This week was all about integrating one of most important component, the sustainability component, into the teams' solutions.

Since sustainability is a very broad topic and is sometimes not so easy to focus on a specific sustainable idea, the teams are supported by experts.

Tobias Raffel from the Wertestiftung already knows the teams from the onboarding week, where he hold a value workshop together with them. This week, he is back as a sustainability expert. Together with Jannis and our partner PIK (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), he is working on a Sustainable Innovation Framework, which will enable companies and institutions to implement sustainability in their operations. This session was about professionally introducing the teams to this important component and challenging their ideas on the topic of sustainability. The session started with a presentation on current sustainability concepts being discussed in politics and institutions.

The rest of the workshop was structured in three parts:

1. Formulate your sustainable idea

Teams kicked off the session by defining exactly the positive impact their ideas will have and the 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

In this step, the teams developed their own sustainability personas for their initial thoughts. This resulted in various great personas, such as an angry mother, who in this case represents the earth with all its diversity and creatures, who is upset about how people deal with her resources.

3. Operationalize how you measure sustainability.

In the next step, the teams looked at their idea from their different personas' point of view and came up with new, incredibly more sustainable approaches. 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 them in their decision-making process.

After the long workshop with a lot of new input for the teams, they drafted a plan together with Jannis and Tobias to put all the new insights into practice. Many teams started a second ideation phase in the following week; and they are doing a lot of market research and defining the idea for the interim pitch, which will come soon!

Come back next week to find out more! 😊


Julia & Team


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