Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Sustainable innovation with Enactus Morocco

The second project on my Green Sense Tour was with Enactus Morocco. Enactus is an international student organization which empowers students to take entrepreneurial action in order to bring positive social and environmental change. Adnane and Touria, two of the driving forces behind Enactus Morocco, asked me to develop a workshop which would tackle the following needs of these amazing student entrepreneurs:
  • Teach students to start from an existing need rather than from an existing innovation
  • Give them a true understanding of sustainability
  • Provide them with an easy step-by-step tool to go through the innovation process

In a week of intensive work I developed the workshop. Correction. I co-developed the workshop with the help of several friends around the world. Especially my two friends called Jan and Jan, Benoit and a bunch of other MakeSense Gangsters gave me valuable inputs. What came out was an open-source workshop. You can read its description hereunder: 

Sustainable innovations in ABCD

The workshop will be a practical and interactive journey to learn how to create an innovative solution starting from an existing need, keeping sustainability criteria on the forefront. Some things in life can be almost as easy as ABC and so is the tool presented: it is called ABCD.

ABCD stands for the four phases of the tool. In the (A) ‘Awareness phase’, we understand the need, the context, the current solution and its dynamics. In the (B) ‘Baseline assessment phase’, we look at today’s reality by analyzing where violations of the principles for sustainability occur by the current solution. On the basis of this, we get to work in the (C) ‘Create solutions phase’. By digging into the problem, we identify potential solutions. In the (D) ‘Decide on priorities phase’ we evaluate the ideas developed in (C), prioritize them and think of how our solution looks like in the most basic form (minimal viable product).

Together we will tackle a real-life challenge of housing in a village in Burkina Faso. Because of deforestation and climate change, there is no wood available anymore for traditional housing. People are forced to live in low-quality, badly insulated and unsafe houses for which the materials deprive them from much-needed money for schooling, health and food. During the workshop we will apply the ABCD-tool together on this challenge. Also, there will be time to apply the tool in each team on the team’s challenge.

A few of the participants
of the first workshop in Casablanca
Throughout January I travelled around Morocco with this workshop. I gave it in 5 cities: Casablanca, Rabat, Settat, Fes and Tanger. Each time I gave the workshop I asked for feedback of the participants, asked for input from my co-creators and integrated the improvements for the next workshop. The final workshop in Tanger clearly was the best one. Not only there was a great atmosphere with a lot of participants, also the process and the content of the workshop was the most streamlined and fun. 

Watch the final presentation here: 

In each of the cities I took the time to meet the project teams and to help them with more personal advice on their environmentally related project. This advice was about the general concept of specific project, project management and community building. What I experienced was a variety of inventive projects, of amazingly driven student teams and the incredible Moroccan hospitality in many different ways. 

The Enactus team of FST Settat
treated me on an amazing couscous

Enactus Morocco has 62 student teams around the country. Each of those teams has one to six projects. The total number of Moroccan students involved exceeds 2000. Enactus is an engine of development for Morocco. I believe that in three to five years this will result in an amazing new generation of social entrepreneurs who will be working to make Morocco a better place. 

  • Co-creation is more fun, effective and efficient.
  • Enactus is a perfect way to create change and to ‘create’ social entrepreneurs.
  • In order to empower students in an entrepreneurial process it is best to start from an existing need and to search a solution for that need. 
  • Moroccan hospitality is unbeatable. 

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