Demo Day: Showcasing our prototypes

Demo Day: Showcasing our prototypes

After the design workshop in early November the four teams were fully engaged with prototyping their four solutions to foster a circular economy transition. On November 22nd we presented these four prototypes for the first time to a public audience, in view of receiving valuable feedback to continue iterating.

Caption: Today the four teams present their prototypes for to first time to a public audience.

Where have we come from?

Over the last weeks the participants of this Social Lab have (re)framed the problem they are tackling, defined who they are designing a solution for, and deconstructed the solution into manageable pieces for more focused action. Overall, we have taken significant steps together in this innovation process, letting go of the old, and we are now in the midst of the Co-Creating phase, where we let come and prototype the new.

“I see things coming together and I feel we create a movement here.”

“I enjoy this open and non-judgemental space we created here.”

“Important is not the objective but the whole journey that we went through together.”

Demo Day: Approaching a wider public

Time to Demo! The cohort gathered at Impact Hub Lausanne already in the morning to prepare their presentations for the afternoon. After the check-in and a mindfulness session we received a pitching training by Marloes, one of the co-creators. It involved aspects on how to speak, where to stand and also some basic acting principles – all to capture an audience and to transfer a message.

Caption: While the public event has started (first floor) our cohorts prepare themselves for their presentations (basement).

The remaining preparation time ended quickly and at shortly before 5pm the first guests arrived. Teams started to feel excited and some maybe even a bit nervous. The evening began with a short introduction about this social lab and the overall topic of social innovation, followed by a longer scientific input by Dr. Prof. Darya Gerasimenko on this approach applied to circular economy transformation, as well as a presentation by logistics industry leader Max Schachinger.

After individual presentations by Darya and Max, they moved to the format of Generative Dialogue around the topic of sustainability transformation processes in society, reflecting on both challenges and opportunities. Max shared experiences from his logistics business in Austria with the focus on what challenges his company encountered to advance on sustainable practices and what were the results of those business innovations. Darya continued with her vision on sustainable transformation from a perspective of innovative education in the area of circular/sustainable economy, building on her teaching experience from both Switzerland and Russia. To make this format more intriguing and engaging, they split along the pessimist and optimist approaches. Max took a “pessimist position” with respect to the success of such a transformation on the level of a corporate sustainability. Darya challenged him by sharing how she overcame such barriers in her own work within existing high education systems. This intellectual debate in a warm and friendly atmosphere made this Generative Dialogue format a very dynamic and engaging experience for all participants, who actively asked question and shared experiences to enrich the discussion.

Caption: Darya Gerasimenko and Max Schachinger in a generative Dialogue on sustainability transition in a logistics company.

Finally, the stage was open for the teams: One after another they presented the current state of their prototypes to the audience. They shared about an existing problem, what solution they are bringing, how this solution would be implemented and what resources are currently still missing to move forward. Each group gave a seven minute pitch and and were granted a few minutes of question and answer. This included also a political commentary by Adèle Thorens (Member of the National Council for the Green party) and Prof. Dr. Bruno Oberle (former director of the Federal Office for the Environment) on the following aspects:

  • Degree of innovation in relation to political and public debates of the last years
  • Possibility/opportunity to develop proposed solution in the current policy framework
  • Necessity/relevance of modifying current legal bases to enable the pursuit of proposed solutions
  • Institutional level concerned (communes, cantons or Confederation)
  • Analysis of political and administrative feasibility, in case of the necessity of modifying policy frameworks

You can watch the whole event on our facebook live stream!

Caption: Prof. Dr. Bruno Oberle and Adèle Thorens give feedback on a team’s presentation.

To receive further inputs from the audience, there where four flip charts distributed in the room where the audience could leave comments and feedback. The evening was rounded off by an apero and ongoing interesting conversations between lab co-creators and the audience.

Caption: Feedback given from the public to one of our cohort’s prototypes.

The members of our cohort will now take the inputs given through this Demo Day with them and further develop their prototype solutions. We will gather again on December 9th to go a step further and present the redefined prototypes to political and public sector actors. Read more about this experience in the next blog post!

Where are we on the U process

We are currently still in the prototyping phase upwards on the right side of the U where an idea or a concept is translated into experimentation action, the new that wants to emerge. What is crucial here, is generating feedback to responsibly adapt the prototypes to fit the needs of its users.






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