1BLives – SAP Idea Factory for Local Champions
In 2016, SAP launched the One Billion Lives (1BLives) initiative, with the goal of improving the lives of 1 billion people by the year 2020, through leveraging the power of SAP technology to provide solutions for societal issues. As part of this initiative, employees are encouraged to come up with innovative proposals that can contribute meaningfully to the social sector through a span of three phases: Ideate, Validate, Accelerate. As a part of Phase 1, ‘Ideate’, an Idea Factory design thinking workshop was organised on 12 April to gather like-minded employees into teams and develop ideas together. At this event, we at Conjunct had the privilege to share our experience on managing a social enterprise, along with the opportunities and potential challenges.
The workshop started off with an introductory overview of the 1BLives Initiative. Immediately after, followed a talk by Samantha Lee, President, Conjunct Consulting. Samantha talked about the work we do, and our role as a vital bridge between social organisations and receiving beneficiaries. In order to give participants a better sense of running a social enterprise, she also talked about the process of establishing Conjunct, the development of new strategies and ideas to accommodate various social needs.
For the workshop itself, participants were divided into groups with a topic of interest of their choice to work on during the breakout sessions. The topics included society’s most pressing issues today: Healthcare, Environment and Education.
Stage 1: Share Your Passion
To begin with, participants were asked to brainstorm any ideas on a social challenge that they are passionate about. They were then given some time to discuss their ideas with one another and then agree on a common area that they would like to work on. Many creative suggestions emerged. In the Environmental group, some ideas raised were to leverage on Singapore’s current clean water technologies; build the infrastructure in less developed countries, and provide more efficient technological tools to aid in disaster relief.
Stage 2: Impacting Lives
In this stage, teams were given an ‘Empathy Map’. This allowed them to put themselves into the shoes of various stakeholders and consider how they would ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘think and feel’, and ‘say and do’. The enthusiastic participants were hard at work and many thoughts emerged as they imagined themselves as real social entrepreneurs.
Stage 3: Big Ideas & Stage 4: Value Proposition
After sharing ideas, participants were then given ample time to draft a final solution that would align with the goals which they wished to fulfil. A storyboarding map was provided, requiring them to come up with a short write-up on their ideas that starts from the social problem faced until the desired results after the solution implementation.
Stage 5: Prepare your Pitch
After an entire process of ideating, the various groups had to showcase their work to the rest. During the preparation, participants made use of their creative skills to put up both an informative and engaging booth. It was no doubt a fun session as participants had the rare opportunity to unleash their artistic talents and present their ideas in the best way possible.
During the presentations at different booths, one could see the combination of hard work and innovative ideas developed within the teams. In the Healthcare group, the group members came out with an innovative mobile application that aims to help Diabetic patients develop healthy eating habits as they could take pictures of their food and track their diet. In the age of social media where it is commonplace for netizens to post their #foodporn, it is refreshing to use the same for social causes.
The event wrapped with a feedback session, and a pizza party (J)that everyone had been looking forward to!
To summarise, the workshop enabled the participants to gain new and refreshing perspectives on social enterprises and developing multiple solutions for the social sector. Driven by passion and a commitment to give, it was heartening to see the SAP employees all working hard to achieve the one common goal together. Ng Chun Leng, who is part of the Business Operations team in SAP, said: “We believe in what we do and we do what we believe.” While making a difference to the lives of 1 billion people by the year 2020 seems like a mammoth task at face value, for team SAP, no goal is too ambitious or hard when there is heart work put in.
If you would like to volunteer as a Professional with Conjunct, please take a look at our volunteer page here.