Can one day be a precursor to team creation and open-ended collaboration?
On a sunny weekend in Berlin, strangers met under the umbrella of GreenBuzz, to participate in the first ever Sustainability Labs. They all had two things in common: a deep interest in sustainability topics and a drive to create a new venture.
In Berlin, it is easy to feel lost in the crowd, to feel the need to connect with others. However, finding people with the same interest is an arduous task – especially as a foreigner. The GreenBuzz Berlin’s Sustainability Lab was a place that connected all kinds of people from all kinds of fields on a deeper level than traditional networking events. Indeed, participants had the chance to work in teams on one challenge that united them through their common interest: renewable energy sources.
Bryce Felmingham, co-founder of Suncrafter and Australian entrepreneur brought with him the challenge of “How to find a way to help e-commuters feel comfortable in the city and reduce CO2 levels in Kreuzberg through the use of Suncrafter’s Urban Solar Power hardware?”. With this intangible challenge, he also brought real solar panels which could be used to instantly prototype solutions.
We had the team (thanks participants), we had the place (thanks GreenBuzz), and we had the challenge (thanks Bryce). What to do next? You might have guessed it: the team went through the Design Thinking process thanks to the guidance of Protellus co-founder, Aurélie Ferron, supported by Design Thinking coach Laurène Descamps.
Design Thinking was a perfect tool for this event, as the challenge was very open to creative solutions: the team quickly realized that e-commuters could not be their target group and shifted their focus to freelancers (#soBerlin).
The day was energetic, a learning experience for all, and most importantly, left everyone with a feeling of excitement for the future. These accomplished feelings nearly always conclude Design Thinking workshops, however, the momentum can be lost as soon as the crowd disperses. But not with this team! We met again 2 weeks later to create an action plan for the first pilot project.