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Impact 2023: Re-design the Horizon

Industry partners: Fortum, Kemira, Nordea, Otava, SUGAR ATTRACT Gardenin & Beekeeping, Port6, Mehta-Heino, Aalto Global Impact Uganda & Zambia & India

Impact 2023: Re-design the Horizon

IDBM Impact 2023: How to Innovate for Impact - Redefining the Horizon

IDBM Impact Gala 2023 was held at Sofia Future Farm, Helsinki on May 18, 2023. Among the 11 project teams we had leading large companies, scaleups, startups and societal good projects!

Teams and Projects

Fortum. Market entry - decarbonizing heating in the UK and Ireland. How can Fortum successfully enter the UK and Irish market with its District Heating Technologies to decarbonize the local heating markets?

On a mission to support Fortum's international expansion with Nordic district heating technologies, we were challenged with creating a traditional go-to-market plan for the countries of interest: Ireland and the UK, two countries which are more than 80% dependent on highly polluting oil or gas for heating, and severely lacking behind ambitious climate targets.

Driven by potential for impact and a shared passion for advancing positive change, our team conducted holistic primary and secondary research on the target markets, soon identifying that the bottleneck for a successful market entry lies in a good understanding of local stakeholders and their ngeds.

After an extensive field trip to both countries with over a dozen in-depth interviews across the key stakeholder groups and decision-makers, our team identified the pressing friction points within the two separate markets and developed innovative entry strategies tailored for the local environments and stakeholders, including tangible actions and an online prototype for Fortum's very own digital stakeholder platform.

Kemira. How do you turn sustainability transformation into a competitive advantage? Our partner Kemira, like most incumbent firms, is engaged in sustainability transformation and in a unique position to accelerate the adoption of new products that will reduce their client's carbon footprint, however, the sustainable value of their products is too complex to communicate.

Through an exhaustive research phase and a user centered approach, our team developed a concept for a sustainability impact calculator. This tool, aimed to be used by Kemira sales team, enables them to speak in their customers' language by communicating the sustainability impact of their products using their clients own KPI. In addition, data integration allows the value to be mapped in throught the value chain. Finally the solution summarizes the impact and financial benefits in a single page.

Nordea. Redesigned Mobile Banking for the Youth. While Nordea is already taking steps towards sustainability, they face the challenge of aligning customer perceptions with their actions. Our project aimed to address this challenge by developing a green banking offering for young consumers. With the users’ needs in mind, we integrate new features into daily banking to create a seamless mobile experience that supports young customers’ financial wellbeing and sustainability goals.

Our solution integrates two features: the Impact Hub and the Learning Hub.The Impact Hub helps users understand their sustainability with a personal impact score. Tips, comparisons, and global goals create a sense of community, making sustainability actionable. The impact score for Nordea shows their efforts on sustainability, making Nordea’s sustainability more tangible and transparent. The Learning Hub improves users' financial skills and sustainability knowledge through relevant bite-sized education. With gamified and interactive lessons, the Learning Hub makes financial education more engaging, while supporting users towards better banking.

By making personal sustainability actionable, Nordea's sustainability tangible, and providing relevant education on these topics, our solution can bridge the gap between Nordea and their customers. Nordea can differentiate itself by attracting sustainability-conscious young customers, positioning itself as a leader in promoting sustainability in banking.

Otava. How might we support Otava Learning in becoming more service-centric in its operations at the upper secondary school level? The key driving factor behind the teams' research was the exploration of services that would bring the most value to upper secondary school teachers and enhance the engagement of their user journey. Therefore, we developed an Al-based solution to support teachers in creating learning materials. This cutting-edge solution aims to ease the teachers' workload and transform the Finnish educational publishing industry.

SUGAR ATTRACT Gardening. How to scale up aerophonic potato farming? Aeroponic farming is highly efficient. In comparison to traditional methods, less nutritients are needed for higher yields. However, the problem of an aeroponic system, especially when it is scaled to common products like potatoes, is its fragility. Wrong treatment leads into plant losses within a couple of minutes.

Our solution is an internet-of-things based system which uses imaging technology to capture real time data from the plant roots. Our software transforms the data into insights and action recommendations for the farmer. The value for the user is created by our app, which enables fast reaction time and treatment for various issues that emerge in aeroponic farming process.

Port 6 (Doublepoint). Driving inclusivity with touch detection technology. The student team partnering with Doublepoint was sent on a mission to discover new opportunities for touch detection technology. The project was carried out in collaboration with the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT).

Doublepoint (previously Port 6) is a Finnish startup building touch interfaces for the extended reality realm. The company strives to make human-technology interaction more natural, intuitive, and ergonomic by introducing the sense of touch to future computing platforms. Doublepoint's first product is a machine learning algorithm enabling touch-based gesture tracking with smartwatches.

Through a comprehensive design thinking process, including user interviews, discussions with accessibility specialists, and travel to the US and Tokyo, the team discovered opportunities in physiotherapy. The team developed a product concept aiming to make fine motor skill physiotherapy engaging through gesture-tracking and gamification. By building motoric capabilities, people with various disabilities (such as brain injury or motorneurone diseases) could live more independently. A working prototype of the game was also created and exhibited at the Impact Gala and at Service Design Day 2023.

AGI Uganda. Strengthening collective farming. The project is about identifying reasons for the inactivity of the agricultural cooperatives under the West Acholi Cooperative Union, followed by developing a feasible solution based on the findings.

West Acholi Cooperative Union is an umbrella organization of 101-member agricultural cooperatives in Northern Uganda that consists of about 11,000 smallholder farmers. As an organization, the Union aims to offer demand-driven services by providing various types of services to support the farmers' day-to-day needs, such as training, quality seeds, financial assistance, marketing, and more. Despite offering demand-driven services, the Union has ongoing challenges in keeping all the cooperatives active. Currently, there are 31 inactive cooperatives which are currently not doing business with the Union and rarely participate in the services provided by the Union.

Therefore, the aim of this project was to activate inactive cooperatives by motivating farmers to actively participate in the cooperative and the union. During the course of the project, we identified key factors that contribute to the level of members' participation: leadership, communication, and access to knowledge. Thus, we introduced the "Farmholder box" - a box containing shared resources for farmers, leaders, and the Union - to stimulate active participation in the cooperative by providing project management tool to help leaders, a feedback channel to establish direct communication to the leaders and the Union, and a small library to connect farmers to information at any time.

SUGAR ATTRACT Beekeeping. Fighting with the effects of climate change with novel technology. Beekeeping is a practice as old as time. But today, beekeepers across the world are struggling to keep their bees alive because of the climate change.

One of the biggest problems right now are the varroa mites - the little pests that climb on the bee making them weak. Riding the bees, the mites enter the beehive and infect the bee community with diseases. The second big problem is the climate change -originated temperature fluctuations: this leads bees leaving the hive too early in the spring.

To address these problems, our team created an easy-to-install modular device which allows bees to enter the hive, but keeps the varroa mites out. When the bees are entering the hive, the attached varroa mites react with our module, and jump away from the bee. This way, we have a varroa mite -free beehive. In addition, in the back of the device we have sensors which allow beekeepers to monitor beehive activity in the case of temperature fluctuations.

The device will be provided to the beekeepers through beekeeping associations, keeping the investments minimal for the independent entrepreneurs.

AGI Zambia. Redesigning Beans. The project brief sought for business development for a Zambian company, which produces precooked and dehydrated beans. With their innovative product, the company aims to tackle societal issues, such as malnutrition, stunting and deforestation. Currently the company is mostly selling to institutions and wants to enter the consumer market.

The team identified that even though the product is good for the b2b market, it might be too unfamiliar for consumers. The solution is a design probe study, which aims to learn more about how consumers interact and live with the product and how it would fit their cooking practices. The study has the potential to shape up the company's business model for a better consumer market fit in terms of the product's design, price point and packaging.

Mehta-Heino. Making high-quality 3D printing accessible. 3D printing has limitless potential for prototyping, but many companies struggle with unreliable hardware and the lack of know-how required to 3D print. Mehta Heino Industries manufactures high-quality and easy-to-use 3D printers but have struggled to get their foot in the market. Team Mehta Heino aimed to uncover how 3D printing could be made more accessible to professionals without compromising on quality. The team examined what makes or breaks the process of designing and prototyping for physical products.

After validating the value proposition and target segment of the product, a subscription service model was proposed to Mehta Heino to lower the barrier to using a high-quality 3D printer.

Aalto Global Impact (AGI) India. Exploring Silk Weaving. The Aalto Global Impact India team embarked on a mission to enhance the accessibility of Muga silk while preserving its cultural value and honouring the dedication of the skilled artisans behind the handicraft. The team went on a two-week field research trip to Sualkuchi village in Guwahati, India, to uncover the tensions and problems existing in the complex ecosystem of the Sualkuchi silk industry.

Through the field research, the team found out that Muga silk has strong cultural significance and unique qualities as it is naturally golden. However, the majority of Indians outside of the Assam region are not aware of the value and cultural heritage behind Muga silk. Due to its high price and rarity, Muga silk is also generally worn and purchased only by those who belong to a higher class. The making of Muga silk is a slow and tedious process, and as the silk is fragile and delicately reeled by hand from the Muga silkworm cocoons, it also breaks easily. These pieces of Muga thread that break are unusable for making Muga fabric and are usually thrown out.

Thus, the team aims to make Muga silk more accessible by proposing to utilise broken Muga threads by embroidering them as motifs on different types of clothing and products. In this way, Muga silk will be acknowledged, appreciated, and accessible.

See recorded presentations

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