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Exploring Themes for Business Impact

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This week OpenIDEO met with a team of advisors from the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value to review our community's inspirations and select Themes.
During our Business Impact Challenge Inspiration phase, our global, switched-on community surfaced over 450 stories, insights and examples to help us all learn more about the opportunities for businesses to innovate for world benefit. Now it's time to dive into the ever-collaborative Concepting phase, and to help you get started, we thought we'd share a bit more about our Challenge Themes.
Themes are opportunity areas for our ideas: How will you use these challenge Themes to kick-start your own concepts?

Measuring Success

Our conversation and insights in the Inspiration phase uncovered an important underlying question: How do we measure and value a company’s actions for world benefit?
  • How might our concepts help companies create – and meet – tangible milestones that can be shared publicly with consumers and other stakeholders?
  • What criteria might we design to value a company’s innovations for world benefit?

Surfacing + Selecting

As our challenge sponsor looks to create its own program to recognise business innovations for world benefit, how might our concepts help them identify the best examples worth celebrating?
  • What might be some possible mechanisms or tools that can aid the search for the best world benefit innovations globally?
  • How might we catalyse diverse, global networks to nominate the stories and innovations they find most inspiring – regardless of language, location, economic status or other factors?

Incentives + Motivations

One common question that arose during Inspiration was why a company would feel motivated to focus its innovation efforts on creating world benefit, in addition to creating profit? What might we design to catalyse businesses to innovate for world benefit?
  • What external badges, signals or rewards might we offer to companies who innovate in this way?
  • How might we inspire CEOs, leadership teams or employees at all levels to move their own organisations toward innovating for world benefit?

Partnership for Momentum

In the Inspiration phase we surfaced insights from all sectors: nonprofits, governments, the media, students, global associations, the world of celebrities and more. How can for-profit businesses partner with these groups to achieve more impact?
  • Who might be business’s best advocate and partner in advancing this goal of innovating for world benefit? How might they work together?
  • What unique or different partnerships might we design to help businesses succeed – and what might each partner bring to and receive from the relationship?
  • How can we harness the power of network effects, digital technology and social media to accelerate this movement?

Enabling New Innovators

During Inspiration we shared examples of the companies we believe are leading the way in innovating for world benefit. Yet an interesting, parallel thread emerged: enabling a new generation of companies to join this movement.
  • What toolkits or guides might we create to help people lead change within their own organisations?
  • How might we connect established business leaders with newcomers to exchange learnings and set these innovators for world benefit on the right path?

Celebrating + Spreading

At its core, our challenge is about stories. But what makes a story sticky or shareable? How do we help stories of world benefit get told and retold – to ultimately inspire and generate even more stories?
  • What platforms or mechanisms can we create to highlight, curate and disperse these kinds of stories around the world?
  • How can we use social media, apps, books or tools to make these stories tangible and shareable?
What ideas will these Themes spark for you? We're eager to hear what you come up with in our Concepting phase.
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Business Impact Challenge