Put Your Thinking Caps On
In my time in The Netherlands, I have already seen a number of examples of how different ventures or groups organize co-creation events to pose key questions to their community to physically come together and create solutions as a group. This usually comes in the early development stages of a product, service or idea to crowdsource input from relevant groups on what they envision as an ideal outcome to the challenge in question. Below is a re-cap of some of these co-creation events.
Human Growth Exchange
Human Growth Exchange is a platform for experimentation of new models of social investment, jointly organized by Metabolic Lab and The HUB Amsterdam. They organize bi-monthly meetings to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and other groups in the realm of social investing. Started in January 2013, Human Growth Exchange is still at an early stage having framed the key challenges but hope to ultimately create concrete social investment models for pilot and validation. For example, the issue of share pooling (dilution of ownership with additional funding rounds) was one topic touched upon when considering new models. For those interested, the third meeting will be held on 15th May in Amsterdam – registration form here.
Mundo Den Haag
Mundo Den Haag is an office space under development in the center of The Hague which will be a vibrant work space for innovative entrepreneurs, NGOs and NPOs offering affordable and flexible offices, hot desks, incubator space and meeting rooms. Currently in a bare shell state, the developer Ethical Property Nederland and their designer have engaged future tenants in co-creation events to hear what the future occupants of the space would like to see in their ideal work environment. In the third co-creation event, the participants used various images to create mood board inspirations and generate new ideas (for example, using food and communal lunches to draw tenants together through fun events such as growing ingredients for their own salad bar in the café area). In addition to engaging end users from the beginning, Ethical Property Nederlands also will be renovating the space to sustainable and standards to demonstrate their commitment to a truly ethical property space.
World Changing Questions
World Changing Questions is a monthly event organized by Enviu and Rotterdamse Schouwburg. Each month focuses on a different theme (e.g. water, health care) and the invites entrepreneurs in that sector to explain the development of their ventures and pose a question of a current challenge they are facing to the audience, who then brainstorms in groups and presents their ideas to everyone. The theme of last month’s event was ‘eco-fashion’ (up-cycling, sustainable materials, slow fashion, etc.) which included a presentation by Rag Bag (bags made from recycled plastic in India) and a fashion show featuring pieces from Greenthisseason.com (a retailer that supports designers for green fashion). The question posed that evening was how maintain profitability for Green This Season, whilst encouraging slow fashion (i.e. eliminating the idea of spring/summer and fall/winter collections to wean off of the mindset of following trends and always purchasing new pieces of clothing by seasonality instead of need). Ideas were plentiful – from leasing clothing (similar to the concept of MUD Jeans) to having high street brands to introduce a separate slow fashion brand marketed similar to the concept of the ‘little black dress’, paying a higher price for a classic piece that will never go out of fashion.
What Idea Can You Share?
The most encouraging element of these events is the level of engagement the community can have in being part of solving a problem. Often, a sense of ownership of having contributed to an issue, offering an idea or the ‘aha’ moment of cross-collaboration allows individuals to be closer to a cause. So what ideas do you have to share with the world?