Everyday there are millions of ideas which are born; Ideas which build upon each other,ideas which inspire mankind to do more,ideas which make this planet a great place to live.
These ideas neither have a boundary nor have a fixed pattern.Imagine how we could transform this world if we could derive insights from these ideas which originate from diverse backgrounds under different context. We call it 'Resonvate' thinking - the ability to build insights by resonating with different stories from dissimilar backgrounds and using them to drive innovation.
The circular economy is a generic term for an industrial economy that is producing no waste and pollution, by design or intention. It is more than just thinking green or promoting reuse. The core principles which drive the circular economy are :
– every thing comes from nature and hence it need to be given back in purest state to nature
– ‘design for restoration and regeneration’ and just recyling
– products should be designed to provide highest utility at all time Ellen Macarthur Foundation has been pioneering this concept and is playing active role in on-boarding corporates to think of new business models promoting circular economy.
Examples of Circular Economy in Action
REEP : Freedom to print REEP which calls itself as Digital office solution provider is pioneering a new model of erasing printed papers after storing the content in the cloud and allowing it to be reused. It is a disruptive approach to tackle the limited success of ‘ Go green.Go paperless’ campaigns widely adopted in several companies. They used the circular economy thinking to come up with a new innovative solution which allows the contents to be erased from printed papers and restores it for reprinting.
Scottish Government Circular Economy Strategy
The Scottish Government developed a strategy in 2016 to move the country towards a more circular economy, aligning its economic and environmental objectives. Their focus is on moving beverages,construction and energy industry towards Circular economy and driving benefits of ~£3 billion by 2020.
Patagonia :Worn Wear service Patgonia a leading clothing US retailer launched a innovative service to repair and sell worn clothes.
The premise of the service is based on circular economy thinking that worn clothes need not be thrown off but can be repaired to maximize its utility.They believe ‘Repair is a radical act’.
Resonvate Thought: Circular economy teaches us to rethink problems and solutions by asking key questions like,’What can I do to maximize value’, ‘how can I promote zero waste thinking’, ‘how can I make capital from waste’. Worth applying in the software development, marketing campaigns, products with use and throw cycle etc.
What happens when two global industry leaders join hands to solve a problem ? One would expect that,
– the problem to be solved has to be complex and gigantic
– the solution has to be innovative.
That’s what has exactly happened when the large reinsurance companies SwissRe and one of the biggest environment solution providers Veolia join hands.
Resiliency as opportunity area
The two global players realized that in an event of natural disaster or catastrophe like floods,earthquake the cities /governments go through a painful process to assess the damage, seek funding, claim insurance and start the rebuild activities.
Cities which are exposed to high risks are taking up Resiliency seriously .(Resiliency of a city is the ability of all its stakeholders to survive,adapt ,recover and grow irrespective of any breakdown of its critical infrastructure and operations). Working alongside the global initiative to make the cities more Resilient, the two corporate giants have come together on a strategy called as ‘Co-Construction’.
As part of this partnership, Swiss Re and Veolia will work with cities to understand the risk exposure of critical assets under current and future climate scenarios. Based on these assessments, cities can develop resilience plans to lessen the risk of these assets being affected, and simultaneously reduce their risk exposure over time.
As part of this package is the ‘Resilience Insurance product’ from SwissRe and a ‘Infrastructure Recovery solution’ from Veolia.
In addition the commercial interests,it also provides a great opportunities for cities with high risk exposure to improve their preparedness and also think of effective resilience measures.
A great win-win model at a big scale.
The solution is a good example of how different players can come together to create value by identifying a white space in a complex ecosystem. Can easily be applied in areas like Business Service Resiliency, IT Service Resiliency, Public Services and beyond.
Leading global organizations are all investing heavily to embed Design Thinking as part of their core execution strategy. Mynamar which is getting back to democracy after 50 years of military rule realizes that it has lot of work to do to build a strong economy and create a situation where the young people no more move to other countries for jobs.
Realizing the potential and the benefits delivered by Design Thinking, Mynamar is supporting the policy makers, activists and change agents to adopt newer techniques to bring about the change.
Design Thinking Center
Mynamar has thus created The Design-Thinking Center for Community Engagement with support from by pointB, frog design, the Myanmar Ministry of Education,Mawlamyine University and local civil society organizations.
One of the valuable asset from the program is the Collective Action Toolkit from Frog Design which provides a summary of effective Design Thinking techniques that can be used by anyone interested.
Short video on the initiative :
Application of corporate thinking and adopting corporate practices can only do a great deal of good to government initiatives, social and community programs.
Fairebel is a milk co-operative society started in Belgium in 2009 with more than 500 farms as its members.The main goal under which Fairebel was started was to operate diary business in a fair way ensuring all the stakeholders in the diary chain are paid properly. It focused on farmers getting fair share unlike traditional diary distribution model where the bulk of profits went to distributors or the brands selling the milk.
COWfunding : Another form of Crowdfunding
One of the successful initiative launched by Fairebel is the COWfunding model. In this model any end consumer can buy Fairebel share called Share B for an amount ranging between 50- 5000 Euros. At the end of financial year, the shareholders are then rewarded with dividends in form of Fairebel vouchers which can be exchanged for Fairebel products.
This scheme has been hugely successful and has also been awarded as one of the best innovations in the World Diary events.
A great model which has interesting practices for organizations and initiatives which want to and directly earn a name for itself. It has some resemblance to the success the big retailers have through their private label products.
Humankind has been smart enough to find innovative solutions by at times converting the source of the problem itself as the inspiration for solution. It is very true when it comes to leveraging the way nature has designed the animal lifecyle – where the inherent traits of one set of animals is used to solve the problems created by another set of animals.
Two such stories which has got attention in recent times :
Australian island killer Dingo dogs to protect land from feral goats
A Queensland council in central Australia is releasing dingoes onto a Great Barrier Reef island to kill feral goats that are destroying its endangered ecosystem.The goats have literally taken out all the understory species of vegetation and that has allowed all the soils to be exposed and to be washed away and trampled down the mountain by goats. Interestingly dogs handpicked and trained for the jobs are fitted with radio tags to be identified and gunned by the government officials once they have done their assigned task to hunt down the goats. The shooting of dogs is done to avoid they in turn becoming a menace to the island. It has been estimated 4 dogs can kill approximately 400 goats.
Israeli BioBee solutions to manage pests
Israeli company BioBee Biological Systems has developed an innovative solution that uses ‘predatory good bug’ to kill the bad bugs /pests. The company already has several customers across the world and is promoting BioBee as nature’s way to improve the agriculture yield
Without getting into the ethical and moral side of the actions, these stories present an interesting pattern on using innovative ways of solutions by using the inherent traits of an entity. This thinking when applied with diligence can provide an channel for solving some challenging solutions.
Denmark consistently ranks in the Top 10 list of countries with most happy people and their Healthcare system is one integral part in making that happen.
Denmark has been a leader in Healthcare innovation and the results they have achieved is a proof to their success.
Among the EU nations,Denmark has the lowest number of hospital stay for patients at an average of 4.5 days
Denmark has consistently increased the hospital productivity while decreasing the overall health expenditure
Watch this amazing video to know on ‘Innovative Hospital Solutions in Denmark’.
The practice of making GPs highly effective can provide valuable lessons for industries like IT Support, Hospitality,Retail some valuable lessons on how to make the first line of contact with customer highly effective. Integrating and making data effective for use is more easily said than done.Denmark’s integrated IT has lot to teach for business irrespective of industries.
Every ambitious person wants to achieve something in the world and make their mark.However does everyone possess the required talent to achieve their goals? This question has always been a subject of interest to philosophers over generations and leads us to the interesting debate about, ‘Nature vs. Nurture’.
For example ,what makes West Africans excel in sprints while East Africans excel in endurance running ?
This brings in the dilemma – is genes /natural instinct reasons for success (Nature) or is every born equal and the training /nurturing that makes the difference (Nurture) . Some of the interesting perspectives on this topic is summarized in the mindmap below.
As ever such topics cannot have a clear conclusion.Can they ?
The debate on ‘Nature vs Nurture’, can provide great insights for personal coaching,executive coaching,change management,motivation and seekers of freedom from compulsions like drinking,smoking,racing and gambling !
Short sea shipping is one of the key challenges that face the shipping industry due to the complexity in meeting quick transportation time,varying customer demand, cost of operations and associated inefficiencies.
A quick look at the Finnish Shipping industry gives us a interesting perspective.Some of the key measures of performance for Finnish Shipping in the last few years have been :
Ships spend 40% of time in ports loading and unloading
Ships sail 40 % of time sailing without cargos
Huge level of emissions created from empty sailing
16-18 actors involved in one consignment
These measures are true for shipping industries across the globe.
Finland has taken the lead to solve this problem and has been pioneering innovations in Short Sea Shipping.
Why Finland ?
80% of logistics is executed by sea and hence the need for innovating to remain competitive was of parmount importance for the Finland Shipping industry.
Slack has really stormed the communication and collaboration market with their neat and
clean messaging app.Their success story is phenomenal. One of the reasons attributed to their success is their simple and effective pricing model.
Slack has realized the importance of billing simplicity and have come up with innovative Pricing and Billing strategy. The Fair Billing policy and the immediate credit adjustment if an user is inactive (irrespective of being paid user to Slack) has won the hearts of customers.
Imagine how will you feel if you get a mail every month from a service provider stating,” Three of your users for whom you have a paid subscription with us have not used solution for more than 90 days.Hence we would like to classify them as ‘inactive’ and credit you the amount for the unused time.” ! Yes, this is what Slack is providing to its customers. Read the excerpt from their Fair Billing Policy.
It is not just the product and business model innovation that matters. Small innovation in pricing model can still make any business new or old highly competitive.
Remember the ‘Power by hour’ pricing innovation by Rolls Royce ! Yes, even before today’s modern trend of ‘as-a-service’ gaining popularity,Rolls Royce started charging customers for the ‘uptime and power generated from their jet engines’ rather than selling the jet engine as a whole.
It is not just the private organizations who are taking skill development seriously. Several leading countries who are abreast with the disruptive business models and proliferation of technology across the business are taking skill development seriously to improve the overall productivity with an aim to remain competitive in the global market place.
To address the need for skill development, some of the interesting initiatives are as follows:
Singapore : Pays Citizen to develop skills
Singapore as part of their ‘Skills Future’ program have launched an initiative called ‘Skills Future Credit’.SkillsFuture Credit aims to encourage individual ownership of skills development and lifelong learning. All Singaporeans aged 25 and above will receive an opening credit of S$5000 every year which they can use to build their skills by enorling in programs approved by the Singapore agencies.Skills across basic trade to advanced digital technologies have been identified as core skills for citizens and primarily focused on mid-career workforce.
Saudi Arabia : Leverage MOOC to improve English Proficiency
Saudi Arabia has realized the importance on English Proficiency and has set up arrangement with British Council and enouraging citizens to learn English through the Massive Open Online Course(MOOC) channel. British Council has reported huge success with nearly 150,000 members signing up since 2015.
Australia : Focus on STEM
As the mining boom comes to an end, Australia has realized the importance of upskilling its education system and is focusing on Science,Technology,Engineering and Mathematics(STEM) to remain competitive in the global economy.Government has launched series of innovative initiatives to improve STEM competencies across the country.
The initiatives taken by governments at macro level can provide useful insights for human resources teams to develop and maintain skills in their respective organizations. The innovative practices also provides interesting solutions to other areas like heathcare, social safety e.g : mandatory training for women in martial arts in developing economies.
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