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    IKEA releases instruction...
    Do you remember the times when building forts and castles with your blankets, pillows and sheets as a child? IKEA now released instructions for building such cozy castles.

    In cooperation with the advertising agency Instinct, the Russian branch of the furniture manufacturer IKEA has published various instructions for blanket castles that can be built with everyday objects. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, strict exit restrictions apply in Russia, which can be particularly stressful for parents working from home. To counteract this situation, the instructions have been developed in the classic IKEA design and, of course, with IKEA products. Children can choose from templates based around castles, caves and tepees, or be inspired for their own design.

    See more innovations here.

    AI Speaker gets to know i...
    With Alexa, Apple Home Pod and many other smart speakers conquering homes around the globe, artificial intelligence technology is gaining more and more importance in people’s lives. Therefore, progress in this field is accelerating recently.

    Researchers from Apple and Carnegie Mellon University have presented the “Listen Learner” technology, which allows AIs embedded in smart homes to learn about their environment independently without training data by listening to acoustic sounds, and to become smarter all the time. By asking specific questions about heard sounds and in interaction with humans, the system increasingly learns about the surrounding sounds and can derive actions from them. The technology could be used not only in smart home devices, but also in various wearables such as smart watches.

    Here you can find the research paper

    See more innovations here

    Contactless Dining

    In many countries lockdown measures are loosened up and restaurants are allowed to reopen. But social distancing laws still have to be met.  

    Therefore, Presto has launched a “Contactless Dining Kit” to help restaurants maintain social distance in the wake of the corona pandemic after reopening. In order to establish itself as a standard technology in the future, Presto is making the kit available free of charge, while supplying a mix of hardware and software that primarily supports the area of contactless ordering and payment. For example, restaurants can apply QR code stickers to tables, allowing guests to view the menu card and place orders via smartphone. We are curios, how innovations like these might change the near future of eating out.

    Read more about innovations during the Corona pandemic here.

    Space as a Service
    The range of options for using fully equipped premises is growing – more and more often, building space is rented from a provider, equipped for a specific purpose and then offered on the market.

    Space-as-a-service concepts take place in both private and commercial contexts. Here, apartments (Living as a Service) or shops (Retail as a Service) are completely furnished and equipped with the necessary technical infrastructure – and can thus be used by the tenant directly and for flexible periods of time. Living-as-a-service concepts are particularly exciting for high-income, mobile singles who, in the early stages of their careers, pass through various stations at different locations.

    Long-distance commuters who live away from their families during the week, but neither live in a hotel nor want to furnish a complete apartment, also represent a suitable target group.

    In the retail-as-a-service segment, entire retail spaces are fully equipped. The boundaries between offline and online are becoming increasingly blurred. Retail-as-a-service is an opportunity for existing online-only retailers to rent a fully equipped shop for a certain period of time on a trial basis and test their products in a physical environment. This enables them to significantly reduce an unmanageable financial risk. This is especially true for Instagram-only businesses, which come into real contact with their customers through pop-ups.

    Co-working space providers such as WeWork are of course pioneers in providing perfectly adapted office space for rent and are moving further into the retail sector, where they provide employees with display areas for product presentation. The provision of industrial co-working spaces and work kitchens are further Space-as-a-Service concepts.


    In this month’s “Start-Up Made In Austria” we want to introduce the innovative Viennese company “Robo Wunderkind“. One might know them from the Austrian TV-show “2 Minuten, 2 Millionen” or have found them on Kickstarter in the past. Their goal is to teach new technology and coding to young children through playing.

    Motivated by the vision of inspiring children at an early age for the future topics of robotics and coding, Ukrainian-born Anna Iarotska founded the Startup Robo Wunderkind with Yuri Levin in 2014. The robot sets of the Viennese start-up are now used by educators in more than 500 international schools and educational institutions and inspire more than 5,000 private users. Anna has received dozens of awards for Robo Wunderkind: last year, she won the Female Founder Award of the German Digital Prize – The Spark as well as the Digital Female Leader Award in the IT-Tech category, among others. In addition, the Robo Wunderkind kits were able to meet the strict criteria of the Education Alliance Finland and were awarded the “Certified Pedagogical Quality 2019” seal of approval. As a member of the Global Executive Panel on HolonIQ since August 2019, the 36-year-old founder is one of the top opinion leaders in digital education trends.

    This interview was held with Anna Iarotska, CEO & Co-founder of Robo Wunderkind.

    What does Robo Wunderkind do?

    We have developed a robot building set that improves the way children play, learn and create technology at school and at home with digital tools. With our modules, children between the ages of 5 and 14 build robots according to their own ideas and program them easily via app. The motors, switches, connection cubes or wheels can be plugged together as desired and connected with Lego bricks. So, there are no limits to creativity – and kids learn programming with lots of fun.

    When was your company founded? What were the biggest challenges to overcome then and what are now?

    Together with Rustem Akishbekov and Yuri Levin I founded Robo Wunderkind in 2013. With our EdTech company, we wanted to develop a new approach to cross-sectional technologies and education that would inspire kids as early as kindergarten age. In the year we founded the company, our biggest challenge was therefore the development of the prototype and the associated innovation loops: We underestimated how much time it would take to readjust the individual modules. From the very beginning, we paid attention to developing a high-quality learning toy. This has paid off – Robo Wunderkind has been awarded several times as a pedagogically valuable tool and has won many other prizes. Today, we strive to recruit talented people in engineering, marketing and sales to push the development of our products and our growth into new markets.

    How was the idea born?

    I worked in consulting and investment management for several years, followed by a second master’s degree at the London School of Economics. During my studies, I noticed how quickly technology changes the way we work. When I joined the organization team at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, I met my co-founders Rustem and Yuri and together we decided to work on a learning robot for children.

    Who is behind the start-up?

    Meanwhile our team consists of 15 employees from 9 countries. Among them are passionate educators, engineers, designers and sales and marketing specialists who share a common mission and vision to inspire children to be creative with technology. As CDO, Yuri is mainly working on the technical development of our robots. I frequently attend relevant EdTech events and international conferences to establish Robo Wunderkind in other countries.

    Who are your customers?

    Our Robo Kits are suitable for private use and for educational institutions. Thanks to the intuitive user interface, young and old can easily start programming at home. In school lessons, the kits can be used interactively with teaching materials developed by and for educators, without any previous IT knowledge being required. This is fun for students and teachers.

    What is your business model?

    With our online shop and sales partners such as Betzold or Christiani, we supply primary and secondary schools, kindergartens and youth hostels with Robo Wunderkind kits as well as teaching and learning materials. We also offer webinars and workshops for pupils, educators and parents. During the quarantine period, we have organized a free Makers Marathon: we code and tinker with kids and parents via digital live workshop and motivate them to take part in Home Challenges. All videos can also be watched afterwards on the Robo Wunderkind Youtube channel.

    How did your start-up grow?

    We launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and have gained many fans and supporters in the recent past. Among them are investors and media who have reported about us or invited us to the Austrian Startup TV show 2 Minuten 2 Millionen. We didn’t get a deal there, but we did get the opportunity to introduce ourselves to a wide audience. Afterwards, we received a lot of test inquiries, including many curious and motivated educators. They liked the simple introduction with Robo Wunderkind, which can be integrated into any school subject – they have always been missing such a tool.

    What are you working on right now?

    Currently, the launch of our third product generation is imminent, which will include a new app and different levels of difficulty. In October last year we launched a second crowdfunding campaign to push our product development. The campaign was a huge success. We reached the desired sum of 50.000 USD in less than 13 days and with 342 supporters!

    How do you see your future? Which goals do you pursue?

    In the near future, we want to be the leading provider of EdTech toys in Europe and equip educational institutions nationwide with robotics kits to integrate programming languages as a fixed component in European curricula. We see the greatest potential especially in children from the age of 5 years on, as the cognitive awareness window is running at full speed at this age. Newly learned skills are stored particularly well and for the long term, and childlike curiosity unleashes endless fiddling fun.

    What should one know about entrepreneurship in Austria?

    Austria may be a small country, but it has a huge innovative power and large investor volumes. The start-up scene is booming. Austria is a pioneer and a role model for other European countries, especially in the education sector. The Austrian universities are very committed and bring teachers up to date with innovative solutions for teaching in numerous further and advanced training courses. Coding and robotics are no longer foreign words and are slowly finding their way into the classroom.

    Do you have any tips for someone who wants to be an entrepreneur?

    Simply start with your own project. Network with like-minded people, get feedback and grow with the project. It’s an indescribable feeling to see how your project develops – and you gradually acquire a certain expertise. For me there was no better school.

    Find more Start-ups made in Austria and recent innovation news here.

    Corona leads us to a new ...
    The forced pause mode in our own four walls caused by the corona virus, the contact restrictions and restrictions in almost all public areas of life make our everyday life a continuous “remote experience” or “Remote X”.  Videoconferencing is the new normality in both professional and private contexts. In addition, many everyday activities are replaced by digital processes or virtual experiences. The new cultural form of “Remote X” is emerging, which manifests itself in both private and professional life.

    Remote X manifests itself in two basic phenomena: Digital services, which existed before the Corona crisis, are now being used massively, e.g. online food shopping or the aforementioned example of video conferencing in private and professional environments. At the same time, everyday, analogue activities are being digitalized at a rapid pace and transformed into services, some of which are completely new. No matter whether a visit to the dentist from a distance, independent hair cutting guided by the hairdresser via video chat or a visit to a museum by robot. All these are characteristics of “Remote X”.

    In times of “Remote X”, product and service offerings must be revised and transformed as quickly as possible to ensure that they can be easily accessed and continuously used from home. There are no limits to creativity. The use of technology and innovative concepts makes it possible, among other things, to transfer restaurant visits to the home, to take advantage of medical care outside the practice, to experience a visit to the cinema and clubs with friends digitally or to visit sights virtually with a remote tour guide.

    “Remote X” also transforms certain forms of work and will in future enable new forms of working from home through the use of technologies such as cloud computing and robotic systems. In addition to the familiar remote working outside of office premises, laboratories for R&D purposes (Strateos) and semi-autonomous trucks (Einride) will be able to be remotely controlled in the future. Via new user interfaces, robots in production halls can also be operated by remote workers from home

    Read more about innovations triggered by the Coronacrisis here.

    AI helps to build remote ...
    Recruiting suitable talent for Start-Ups just became easier thanks to Artificial Intelligence technology

    The US company Terminal has developed an artificial intelligence-based platform to support Start-Ups in staffing remote engineering teams. The company uses an automated referral sourcing tool called Terminal Talent Graph, which can scan job descriptions and resumes to help recruiters identify suitable top talent in various integrated networks. Integrated communication tools are also used to get in touch with relevant candidates and initiate interviews.

    Read more about innovative ideas here

    Interactive work in the v...
    VR technology is becoming more and more common recently. Especially when a virus leads the whole world to lockdown digital solutions are emerging.

    The Danish company MeetinVR enables people to work together in digital space in an interactive way from home. The platform of the same name can be accessed via VR headset and can be redesigned as desired. In contrast to video conferencing, the environment in VR worlds appears more tangible and interactive, which increases the employees’ attention. In addition, every user has a virtual tablet at his or her disposal, which can be used to project presentations, spreadsheets or other files onto screens in the VR world. These can also be used on shared tablets to collect and discuss information.

    Read more about innovations in our blog here.

    A Glance Forward – The ...
    How will the near future look like? In how far will the Covid-19 pandemic affect our ways of living, working and interacting? In our new blog-series “A Glance Forward – The World After Coronavirus” we will deal with possible consequences and opportunities that may appear in the future. In this fourth and last post of this series, we want to provide an overview on how companies might have to act during and after the crisis to stay fit.
    The decade of resilience

    “Whatever it takes!” is the common slogan by the governments all over the world. The economy must be saved at all costs. To get everything back to the way it was. But this is exactly a one-dimensional approach – and therefore too little. The decisive factor in looking at post-corona ecology is a systemic-sustainable way of thinking that sees the economy as a sub-system of society and also examines the interdependencies with other sub-systems such as politics, science, law or religion. For the Corona crisis has not only massively affected the economy: all systems of society have been brought to their knees, in an unprecedented global simultaneity. The profound change that Corona is bringing to society also has an impact on the economy. And with the shift in society’s values, value creation is also changing. The phase of “Whatever it takes!” is therefore not automatically followed by the hoped-for “comeback”. Rather, the corona crisis initiates a protracted process of renewal. The 2020s will be a decade of resilience.

    Let the past go

    With the Corona Crisis, our world is now experiencing not only the much-cited process of “deceleration” – or, in the olden days, also: the emergency stop before the crash – but above all a gigantic deconstruction of everyday life with all its economic effects. It has become more visible what holds the world together – and what does not. What strengths we had – and what weaknesses. It is important to recognize this. But not for a linear future, because there is no going back into this world. The shutdown has triggered developments that are not reversible. Nostalgia is a private matter, but not a program for the future. Therefore, the motto “Let it go” applies: Let the world before Corona go. The continuation of the past is not our future.

    A time of opportunities

    In the phase of economic first aid and revision, companies are still beginning to seize new opportunities. In times of massive upheaval, gaps and opportunities arise that will not return so quickly. The phase of crisis becomes the most enterprising time of many decades. Because the Corona crisis affects all systems equally, now is the time for new entrepreneurial thinking and action. Because at the end or after a crisis is the time of visionaries. Every visionary idea of the world and economy is now in pole position. When the world asks, “When will it end?”, visionaries say, “We’re just getting started.” Many good designs can be observed where creative people have already implemented their ideas of another possible world. Anyone who has thought such ideas through, now has the best prerequisites for entrepreneurial success. Because the post-corona economy is developing new networks at a speed never imagined – and suddenly, what hardly anyone thought possible before is now possible:

    • A premium restaurant switched to drive-in service and delivery in no time. à
    • A cloud based software for hospitals was developed to enable remote monitoring of intensive care patients. à
    • In California, robots are delivering medical goods to hospitals in order to minimize human contacts. à
    • Many companies are using the time to for going digital, re-building their websites and adding online services to their portfolio etc.
    • Explainable Artificial Intelligence is used to protect health and privacy. In some regions of Europe, however, this technology is also being tested for monitoring citizens.

    Stay in the game

    In order to stay in the business world after Corona, companies need the ability to adapt as a basic competence. They must equip themselves for this structurally, strategically and culturally.

    Structurally: Self-organization of the employees is the order of the day. This also requires trust. Managers who believe they have to control everything will end up in burnout within weeks. But self-organization is not an end in itself. The purpose of the company provides the framework. It is within this framework that people move and structure their work. Glocal, digital and equipped with models and tools of complexity.

    Culturally: The basis of modern organizations – and the basis for self-organization of employees – is trust. Exchange, meta-communication and intelligent handling of resistance are also crucial for success. Self-organization is not a brave new world. There are always conflicts and diverse opinions.

    Strategically: The strategy uses future business models to remain integrative and situational. The necessary adjustments require “rough data” (based on the definition of Harald Katzmair) – data that is not always detailed and not exclusively computer generated, but well-founded and above all: thought out in context. The strategy is about thinking and mindsets, about context and understanding feedback. Future business models must take this into account in order to achieve strategic effectiveness. Strategy is a perpetual design process whose product is decisions. The quality of strategic decisions is measured by their connectivity. Every decision must be able to refer to previous decisions and enable further decisions. Strategy is the flow of the employees in making decisions.

    Act now and act smart

    Companies are there to solve problems: What problems do we solve now and in the future? Entrepreneurial identity, including vision and concerns, is becoming a prerequisite to avoid stumbling. Because: If you are only quick, you can also quickly do the wrong thing. But now it’s all about doing the right thing quickly. Therefore, the idea of this time is to act fast – but always with an eye to the bigger picture. It’s a question of attitude and mindset, not just commercial skill. “Ingenuity, not just financial muscle, will become a source of advantage, allowing cleverer firms to operate closer to full speed,” writes the Economist (Economist 2020). Ingenuity is the source of the future. Ideas are needed – but not just any ideas.

    Click here to get to PART 1 | PART 2PART 3.

    Sources: Zukunftsinstitut, Economist, FASresearch

    Filling a virtual keg
    Many bars and pubs around the world are closed due to measures taken against Coronavirus. Struggling to stay solvent, Carlsberg started a campaign to help them.

    The Danish brewer Carlsberg has published an advertising campaign calling on people to fill a virtual keg that can be enjoyed in their favorite bar after the relaxation of the lockdown. The campaign aims to provide financial support to small bars and pubs to help them cope with the Covid 19 pandemic. Those interested can drink a Carlsberg beer in their own four walls and scan the barcode. Four scanned codes are equivalent to a virtual keg, which can be drunk free of charge in the preferred bar when the doors open again.

    Read more about innovations during the Corona pandemic here.

    A Glance Forward – The ...
    How will the near future look like? In how far will the Covid-19 pandemic affect our ways of living, working and interacting? In our new blog-series “A Glance Forward – The World After Coronavirus” we will deal with possible consequences and opportunities that may appear in the future. In this third post, we want to provide an overview about how consumption might look like after overcoming the pandemic.
    Mindful Consumption and Solidarity

    In the view of the disruptive effects that the corona virus has had on society, the economy and culture, it seems unlikely that the post-crisis period will be marked by a “now-or-never” mentality. Rather, the crisis experience has unleashed a deep need for more conscious, social enjoyment – not at the expense of others, but in common with others. This new focus is an expression of a return to what really counts and what is important to you.

    This does not mean that post-Corona consumption will express itself in a radical minimalism – but in the recognition that a pleasurable, fulfilled life does not depend on the number of consumer goods one owns or uses. Consumption for the sake of consumption will therefore fade into the background in the future. The Corona crisis freed consumption from its compensatory component to a certain extent: The function of the act of purchase as a kind of frustration, which one primarily practices to feel less lonely or to reward oneself, is increasingly becoming a phase-out model.

    This is also due to the fact that in the time of the crisis a new level of solidarity developed, a new self-confident “we-culture”. People helped each other, went shopping for at-risk groups, sang and played music from their balconies and windows while in lockdown and made face masks on sewing machines at home. Companies produced disinfectants instead of alcoholic drinks or perfumes, made their IT solutions available to the general public and opened their source codes and networks. Everyone made a contribution, no matter how big or small, in order to make the situation more pleasant. The initial restrictions obliged people to show mutual consideration. The Corona crisis made it unmistakably clear that people are not alone in the fight against the virus and its consequences, but as part of a group, as part of society.

    An Era of new Ecosystems

    Even before the Corona crisis, the competition online versus offline had largely dissolved, as it had long since become clear that the interdependencies are highly complex and that either-or-thinking makes no sense at all. This process was strongly driven by the Corona crisis. After the crisis, we will therefore see more and more vital ecosystems in which the various players, small and large, local and global, cross-sector and closely networked, work together – even with supposed competitors.

    This will also mean an upswing for all possible forms of community concepts, for example shops that not only sell goods, but are also event venues, repair workshops or co-working spaces. After the crisis, hybrid concepts that combine sales and experience locations and with new office concepts will increasingly be found everywhere. As the crisis has made it clear that hybrid concepts are more resilient, industry segments such as retail, gastronomy, event and office will increasingly merge. At the same time, the goodwill between them will grow: People appreciate and recommend each other.

    Social Distancing as Trigger for new Consumer Behavior

    The crisis fueled the trend towards contactless payments without having to hand over cash or swipe a card. Even before the crisis, there were already plenty of innovative concepts and solutions for making payments on the fly – in the future they will become more and more a part of everyday life. Even in countries such as Austria or Germany where people love to carry cash.

    Technological innovations, automatization, Artificial Intelligence and digital tools have been showing their strengths during the crisis. They did not distance people from each other, but helped us to stay close to each other even over the distance – and to organize our consumption too. Supply chains have been optimized, click & collect saved us time when shopping, and bicycle couriers will continue to ensure local and fast last mile delivery.

    Small shops and service providers in particular were able to use digital tools to create a new proximity to their customers. It became clear that it is often only about the most basic function of action – chatting as social interaction. After the Corona crisis, technology will be understood even more as a lever for human encounters.

    Building Relationships is the Key

    In a crisis, the true character of people and companies is revealed. After the Corona crisis, it will be more important than ever for companies to get close to their customers and consumers and to enter into dialogue with them – also with the help of technological and digital solutions that were developed in the context of the crisis and must now be implemented sustainably. Even during the crisis, the signal was decisive: We are here for you, we will go through these hard times together – and we will be by your side even after the crisis is over. This promise must now be kept. After the pandemic, it will be crucial for manufacturers and brands to continue to play an important role as important pillars of society and make a real contribution to society.

    The Corona crisis suddenly accelerates a trend that has been going on for years and is turning the markets of the future into more meaningful markets: purpose and resonance are increasingly becoming the new brand currency. Strong brands will form anchor points in a volatile world by providing orientation and making real resonance relationships tangible. More than ever, the focus will be on creating purpose, integrity and responsibility as well as addressing current social issues. Brands will see themselves more and more as “value creators” who are connected to people through shared sets of meaning and values. Touch Points will become Trust Points.

    While the old brand world was strongly oriented towards the individual, collective identities are becoming increasingly relevant after the pandemic. Those brands which know how to bind people to brand collectives and build as well as activate communities around shared values and interests will be successful. All in all, brands are thus given a new task and a new purpose: they are no longer just part of the new, but an active driver of it. In the economy of meaning and enabling, brands themselves are becoming facilitators and constructive agents of social change, making social concerns tangible and tangible for consumers. Brands that face up to this new responsibility as enablers will be more powerful than ever in the post-Corona economy.

    Haven’t read the first two parts of the series? Click here: PART 1| PART 2

    Source: Janine Seitz, 2020, Zukunftsinstitut

    Bringing art home via Aug...
    Exhibitions, galleries and museums are closed due to the ongoing pandemic. But technology enables us to bring art into our homes virtually.

    With “All World“, the artists Sebastian Errazuriz and Zander Eckblad have developed an online gallery where artworks can be viewed in augmented reality. “All World” invites artists to post their works and offer them for sale. Smartphone users can use augmented reality to display the art pieces in their personal environment and see what they look like in their home. If interested in purchasing, they can contact the artist. During the pandemic, “All World” is intended to offer an alternative to physical galleries where art is normally admired and purchased.

    Read more about innovations triggered by the Coronacrisis here.

    Robots are delivering med...

    The US start-up for autonomous delivery vehicles “Nuro” has revised the software for the vehicles to help medical personnel in California contain Covid-19. The vehicles, called R2, are fully autonomous and can be opened to take food deliveries by entering a code on the vehicle’s exterior touch screen. Currently, however, the vehicles are delivering medical supplies to and from large sports facilities that have been temporarily converted into medical centers. A hand signal is now sufficient to open the loading flaps, as one employee is connected via livestream.

    Read more about innovations triggered by the Corona outbreak here.

    Virtual Team-building in ...
    The ongoing pandemic pushes innovations and drives companies to come up with new products and ways of working. Virtual team-building from home office is one of them.

    The US provider of team-building events Wildly Different has launched solutions to support team-building in remote teams. Wildly Different reacts to the increasing number of companies that offer home office or whose employees work in different branches of the company. The teambuilding specialist offers game shows adapted to the needs of interested company as well as the game “Manor House Murder”, in which a murder case has to be solved together in teams. In the course of the Corona pandemic, the company also launched the game “Getting To Know You”, which is designed to break the ice between employees in video conferences.

    Read more about innovations during the coronacrisis here.

    A Glance Forward – The ...
    How will the near future look like? In how far will the Covid-19 pandemic affect our ways of living, working and interacting? In our blog-series “A Glance Forward – The World After Coronavirus” we will deal with possible consequences and opportunities that may appear in the future. In this second post, we want to provide an overview how working and cooperate culture might change due to the pandemic.

    The Corona crisis came unexpectedly and hit markets that had previously appeared healthy in substance. Unlike the 2008 financial crisis, the problem was not home-made – and it hit the real economy. The society was confronted with a massive supply crisis. People wanted to work and consume, but factories, shops and restaurants were closed, supply chains interrupted. The Corona crisis was an extraordinary event in terms of its force and scope. Even in growth markets and completely healthy companies the bubble of their own invulnerability was burst. It would be absurd to keep a company in a permanent state of alarm in order to be prepared precisely for the unlikely event of such an event. However, serious changes often cast their shadows: not visibly, but indirectly, in the form of weak signals. Therefore, anyone who was paying attention had already recognized before Corona that a new kind of economy was on the horizon: that digitization was causing industries to whirl around, that unlimited growth and the solution to the climate crisis would be impossible to match, that young generations had completely different ideas about successful careers. In short: things cannot go on as they are.

    Agility is an attitude

    The Corona crisis suddenly changed everything: toilet paper was suddenly in demand like never before, and the demand for face masks brought explosive demand from long-established rubber band producers. In addition, the imbalances in supply and demand led to unusual shifts: Formula 1 manufacturer McLaren was building ventilators instead of engines, manufacturer of spirits switched to sanitizer, luxury manufacturers such as Gucci, Armani and Prada were suddenly producing face masks, protective suits and disinfectants, and McDonald’s was placing its compulsively idle employees in the service of food retailers, where they were desperately seeking reinforcements.

    When everything is thrown together and nothing seems certain any more, rapid reaction patterns are called for, pragmatic action, taking unusual paths. The crisis made it clear how fragile our systems are and how fatal it can be to rely on established processes. But also: how flexible people are. Because the crisis showed that too:

    It is not the organizational structures that are the decisive factor, but a management culture that allows freedom and relies on the competence of the employees. Agility is not a final result, nor a structural state, but an attitude. The dynamics of the world derive from its unpredictability. What will be needed in the time after Corona is not more knowledge, but rather talent, courage and pioneering spirit.

    Resilience is more important than efficiency

    Situations that cannot be explained with cause-and-effect principles lead the executive floors of even the best-run companies onto brittle terrain. In the search for clarity, sophisticated planning, budgeting and production models are brought to life and hosts of employees are assigned to them. The mission is always the same: to ensure future viability by perfecting the previous approach. As understandable as it is to focus on efficiency and restructuring in uncertain markets and fluctuating economic cycles, it is also short-sighted. The hot Corona-bomb showed: the ability to survive, depends on apparently unnecessary abundance, on intermediate storage, detours, redundancies. Diversity instead of streamlining.

    Home Office and remote meetings aren’t that bad at all

    What had been under discussion for years suddenly became relevant due to the Corona restrictions and lockdowns: the end of compulsory attendance in the corporate world. Corona proved to be a test bed for the New Work – and showed how steep the learning curve of companies can be in some cases. Online meetings and webinars were tested in a hurry, and it quickly became clear that the decisive factor for success is not so much technology as for changing social behavior.

    The quick implementation of Home office solutions is accompanied by a crash course in the use of technology. While the online meeting service Zoom had about 10 million users daily at the beginning of the year, by April it had already reached 200 million. The forced isolation puts an end to long cherished ideological issues. While working at home was avoided for years because of trust issues between managers and employees, it has now become a reality overnight. This crash course has many side effects: More and more can be imagined digitally. The use of digital whiteboards or automated research processes is no longer a problem. The crisis is the strongest digitalization catalyst we have seen so far.

    After the Corona-home-office-marathon, offices will not be closed en masse or space reduced. Rather, new working models have been agreed upon and have become a standard operation. This has also highlighted the need to catch up in terms of competence and culture – and with it a number of to-dos in the area of HR and organizational development. Technologies that were taken for granted, but were still considered exotic in many companies, have now been introduced and are being further optimized – and will not disappear in the future.

    The pandemic as a wakening call for innovation

    For the time after Corona, it will become clear that many new things should be tried and approved again and again in the area of new working models. The spontaneous transformation not only boosted our ability to work from the kitchen table at home, it also made us very aware of what we missed at the office – and what we didn’t. On the contrary: only since then, there has been a real sensitivity to what modern offices can and must achieve and what we need to be productive – individually, for ourselves and in collaboration with others.

    The Corona crisis made clear that even seemingly invulnerable companies should never be lulled into the false sense of security of being immune to disruption. Companies that want to emerge stronger from this crisis therefore need to have willingness and confidence to actively shape the future. Challenging times are always a fertile ground for fresh ideas – in this sense, the crisis was also the beginning of an almost prototypical period of awakening. It may sound paradoxical, but it is important to think and act courageously at this time and drive innovations further.

    Read Part 1 (Four future scenarios for society after the pandemic) HERE

    Source: Zukunftsinstitut

    Ford tests wristbands for...

    The US car manufacturer Ford has equipped a test group of workers at a factory in Michigan with vibrating wristbands that alert the wearer if they are too close to other workers. The wearables were made by Samsung and use software from Radiant, which uses RFID technology and Bluetooth to register the distance between the individual wristbands. Employees are also alerted to the number of interactions by means of colored indicators. The data can be viewed by supervisors and evaluated regarding the effectiveness of distance control.

    Read more about innovations during the Coronacrisis here.

    Lending employees to over...

    Start-Ups now can lend their employees to each other in order to prevent redundancies.

    The ongoing pandemic hits the world economy heavily. In order to overcome economic difficulties in the start-up scene, the US start-up Deployee offers other start-ups the opportunity to lend their employees to each other. Through the online site, start-ups that may be in financial distress or temporarily unable to provide jobs for some of their employees, can loan those employees to other start-ups for a limited period of time. In this way, employees can be protected from redundancy or similar situations, and start-ups in urgent need of reinforcements can easily hire talented people from the same industry on a project-by-project basis.

    Read more about innovations during the Coronacrisis here.

    A Glance Forward – The ...

    How will the near future look like? In how far will the Covid-19 pandemic affect our ways of living, working and interacting? In our new blog-series “A Glance Forward – The World After Coronavirus” we will deal with possible consequences and opportunities that may appear in the future. In this first post we want to provide an overview of possible scenarios that we might have to face after this pandemic.

    The corona virus has shaken the foundations of our social and economic coexistence – indefinitely. We experience an uncontrollable collapse of our everyday life and the world as we knew it. Governments have turned to proven public health measures, such as social distancing, to physically disrupt the contagion. Yet, doing so has severed the flow of goods and people, stalled economies, and is in the process of delivering a global recession. Economic contagion is now spreading as fast as the disease itself. Now, the first thing we all need to do is to come to terms with this new exceptional situation – as the first step to overcoming this crisis. But what will happen afterwards?

    The paper “The Corona Effect – Four Future Scenarios” by the Zukunftsinstitut (Institute of Future) suggests four possible scenarios that might appear in some ways after overcoming this crisis:

    • Total Isolation: Everyone against everyone
    • System Crash: Permanent crisis mode
    • Neo-Tribes: The retreat into the private sphere
    • Adaption: The resilient society

    All four scenarios differ in terms of acting globally or locally and being optimistic or pessimistic.

    The first pessimistic scenario “Total Isolation: Everyone against everyone” describes a locally oriented society.

    Countries are all focused on themselves and nationalism is flourishing. Governments use all available measures to protect their citizens – even if that means stirring up deep-rooted fears or artificially scarifying foreign food. People therefore use all possible open spaces to grow their own fruit and vegetables. De-Urbanization results from the need of people to harvest their own food and supplying cities for good money. Agriculture and the manufacturing industry have experienced an enormous upswing, nearshoring has been put into practice.

    The Germophobia we are experiencing right now will be even more distinctive. Food is disinfected and public gatherings with more than 10 people are not common anymore. Events are experienced with friends via everyone sitting at home in front of screens connected by virtual chatrooms – maybe with the help of VR technology.

    The second pessimistic scenario “System Crash: Permanent crisis mode” is characterized by a high amount of uncertainty and distrust between countries. Neo-nationalism is uprising and nearshoring becomes a political-ideological premise. At the same time however, dependence on international trade relations and commodity flows remain. Glocalization is more common than ever.

    The use of Big Data becomes an essential tool. Collecting huge amounts of data and analyzing it with the help of artificial intelligence is being intensified especially for the simulation of crisis scenarios. Cybercrime therefore is also increasing. Data privacy is reduced tremendously in order to meet the needs of federal and global measures in data analysis. More and more people are relying on personal health responsibility, digital health, continuous self-tracking and the monitoring of their vital signs by smart devices that feed personal health data into government databases at any time.

    The third scenario “Neo-Tribes: The retreat into the private sphere” is more optimistic and focused on individuality. People no longer trust state actors and supranational alliances. The turning away from the global world community leads to a particularized we-culture and the increased formation of neo-tribes.

    The fear of infection has spurred a retreat into the private sphere and the rediscovery of domesticity. There are practically no major events where people are gathering anymore. Streaming and experiencing events via VR while sitting on the sofa is the way to go.

    Neighborhood help is a top priority, and there are fixed structures for helping each other in a crisis. Supplies are shared or exchanged, special attention is paid to the old and weak. De-Urbanization is also trending. Concepts such as Cradle to Cradle or post-growthare naturally embedded in people’s everyday lives. The regional economy functions completely autonomously.

    Also, working has changed since the pandemic. Home office became an essential part of every corporate culture. Meeting and conferences are held via VR and contracts are concluded via blockchain technology.

    The fourth and last scenario “Adaption: The resilient society” describes a globally society that has learned from the past and has developed resilient, adaptive systems to overcome future crises.

    The Corona virus has triggered a self-purification of the markets. A new pattern of consumption arose which is oriented towards stationary trade and regional products. Not only has a sensible balance between offline and online been achieved but also local and global trade are balanced out.

    The pandemic has caused that health no longer is seen as something that concerns only the individual body and behavior. Rather, health is now viewed more holistically: Environment, city, politics, global community became more focused-on factors for maintaining a healthy society.

    Glocalization is triggered by the need of quick problem solving: Local problems can be solved quickly and creatively, and global risks can be identified more quickly and tackled cooperatively. Overall, since the pandemic, humanity has perceived itself more strongly as a global community that must solve challenges together. Also, climate change is tackled in this way.

    Big data and artificial intelligence will be used to predict and analyze future crises and challenges as well as providing suitable measures to contain them. Everyone is equipped with health tracking devices because the global exchange of up-to-date health data allows risks to be detected early on. The continuous learning from each other in a multitude of functioning networks creates global resilience. This new way of thinking also shapes the media landscape: Spreading alarmism and fake news are neglected and yield to constructive journalism focused on solutions.

    We are aware that those scenarios might sound like extracted from science fiction novels. But when looking at single components such as VR-meetings, home office as a common way of working, AI and big data, Glocalization, individual health monitoring community-building and many more, one can recognize that we already are using these today. How the future after the corona crisis will look like surely nobody can tell at this moment, however, thinking about speculative scenarios like the four above might trigger innovations and give us a first taste of what could happen down the road.

    Sources: Harvard Business Review, Zukunftsinstitut

    Navigating through the pa...

    Google’s navigation app “Waze” offers additional information to help users in times of the Corona pandemic.

    In the USA, Google’s navigation service Waze displays centres for corona testing and around 30,000 food distribution points such as restaurants and grocery stores. Thanks to the cooperation of voluntary map editors, quarantine-related blockages are also displayed. Restaurants that provide drive-throughs and takeaway food will also be marked in the near future. To encourage users to travel as little as possible, the app reminds users of local restrictions and recommends that they stay at home.

    Read more about innovations during the Corona pandemic here.

    Implementing Corona-based...

    Czech software company Integromat integrated data about the coronavirus pandemic into their product.

    The Czech software company Integromat has developed an integrated COVID 19 application for their automation software, which incorporates data on the spread of the pandemic into various work processes. Integromat itself acts as a link between web-based services and as an automation tool. It can independently carry out various work processes, such as creating and updating order lists in Excel. Companies that work with the data of the Corona pandemic or have to make decisions based on this data can now automatically integrate this into their workflows.

    Read more about innovations during the corona crisis here!

    Visiting the cinema virtu...

    Twitter enables film studios to show their movies in “Twitter-Watch-Parties” during the Corona outbreak.

    With the help of “Twitter-Watch-Parties“, film studios and film fans try to bridge the cinema-free time during the Corona pandemic by means of virtual film evenings. First, organizers determine a common starting time for a certain film and announce a hashtag. Users can then buy the corresponding film on a video-on-demand portal matching the film and watch it simultaneously at a fixed time. The hashtag also allows fans to enter a conversation among themselves in order to discuss the film together in real time.

    Read more about innovations during the Corona pandemic here

    Monitoring Covid-19 patie...

    A new software helps medical staff monitor Covid-19-patients in intensive care units.  

    GE Healthcare and Microsoft have developed “Mural Virtual Care Solution“, a cloud-based software that allows Covid-19 patients in intensive care units to be monitored remotely and detect early warning signs of deterioration. The solution integrates data from multiple systems such as ventilators, electrical medical records or laboratories into one hub. Hospital staff can monitor patients remotely from this hub, reducing the workload on doctors and nurses and limiting personal contact with infected patients. This became even more important since thousands of people working in the medical sector were infected due to their work.

    Read more about innovation triggered by the Corona crisis, click here.

    Today is World Creativity...

    World Creativity and Innovation Day is celebrated globally every year on April 21st. This day was established by the United Nations to honor the creative and innovative activities of people around the world.

    In response to the “creativity crisis” in Canada, Marci Segal, a creative expert, created with the help of colleagues the World Creativity and Innovation Day in April 2002. Their goal was creating a way that encourages people to be creative and use their imagination to come up with new ideas that may change the world. Following its success among the community, many other countries around the world joined celebrating this day. In 2006, World Creativity and Innovation Week was established. Starting from Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday on April 15th and ending on April 21st which marks the World Creativity and Innovation Day. The international feast encourages people to let go their creativity and use of new ideas to make the world a better place to live.

    As an innovation consulting firm, we always aim to discover the new on a daily basis and are happily celebrating this day. We are glad to be a part of this community and thrive when we develop and use creative ways to help our clients.

    If you want to read more about innovations click here!

    Working in a virtual offi...

    Home office is the way to go for most of the companies right now since the Covid-19 outbreak. But there is a new way to hang out with your colleagues in an office space.

    The London-based company Sine Wave Entertainment has created Breakroom, a three-dimensional virtual meeting place for remote teams. With Breakroom, remote teams can meet, work or relax together in shared virtual spaces. It combines videoconferencing and meeting rooms as well as casual games, live events and multiplayer meeting places that have more of a team-building character. To explore the world, you either use your own webcam video transmission, or you create an animated avatar of yourself.

    If you want to read more about Innovations triggered by the corona crisis, click here.

    ZARA-models are shooting ...

    The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic forces the majority of people around the globe to stay at home. Fashion label ZARA reacted quickly and is sending their new collections to the homes of hired models for at-home-shootings.

    The Spanish fashion house ZARA, like many other companies, is currently unable to advertise its products in the traditional way due to the Corona pandemic. For this reason, the company has sent individual fashion pieces from the new collection directly to the selected models at home. They then did photo shoots in their private homes so that the products can continue to be advertised with familiar faces in ZARA’s online store instead of just showing the product. The self-made Influencer shoots not only saved costs but also a lot of CO2 due to cancelled trips.

    Read more about innovations triggered by the corona pandemic here.


    In this month’s “Start-Up made in Austria” we want to introduce you to the Viennese start-up “rapid user feedback“. We have met them at the Austrian Innovation Forum 2020 and reached out to them later on.

    What does rapid user feedback do?

    Rapid user feedback tests the usability, user experience and acceptance of users on apps, platforms, hardware, software and games. We are working with early-state prototypes as well as mature products which need to be developed further on. We have our own user-lab in which we invite our test-users. In order to generate real insights and results we pay a lot of attention to developing an as natural as possible testing-environment. Our research-activities consist of interviews, workshops and user tests. We are also a company that does a lot of research. We are for example working on a method that quantifies and measures perceived product quality and user experience.

    When was your company founded? What were the biggest challenges to overcome then and what are now?

    We were founded at the beginning of 2020. The biggest challenges on the one hand lied in the fact that our fields of research are quite complex and we continuously and critically reflect our way we communicate our results. On the other hand, our business strategy is divided into two segments: in-house research and providing services to our clients. Fulfilling both in a rather small team is a challenge.

    How was the idea born?

    We knew that there were many tools to measure product-quality and UX (user experience). However, we didn’t find a product that fits the needs of customers. Fast and reliable processes to measure user feedback can’t be found on the market right now. User research in general is currently offered only by a handful of companies.

    Who is behind the Start-Up?

    Marco della Schiava, a business economist with affinity for design and technology and Marc Busch, a psychologist who is highly interested in statistical methods and research.

    Who are your customers?

    We are working with big international companies as well as established SMEs or start-ups.

    What is your business model?

    We generate our revenue through consulting and different kinds of services in the fields of user research: We do interviews, user tests and workshops with test-users about new digital products. This enables us to finance our in-house research for which we also apply for federal research funding.

    How did your start-up grow?

    Right now, we are 3 full-time working people at rapid user feedback.

    What are you working on right now?

    We are currently developing new exciting contexts for our research topics: At the moment, we are interested in opportunities to use digital tools in cleanrooms (rooms which are mostly particle-free and used in production processes).

    How do you see your future? Which goals do you pursue?

    We not only want to collect information about the needs and requirements of young and middle-aged users but also pursue the goal to include elders and people who are not used to technology in the developing process of digital products. We are currently building a network of organizations and companies in order to make this possible.

    What should one know about entrepreneurship in Austria?

    There are many helpful offerings, info events and workshops by the Wirtschaftskammer or Wirtschaftsagentur Wien (for Viennese firms). Austria offers a good ecosystem for entrepreneurs. However, one should consider delays and waiting times during the founding process.

    Do you have any tips for someone who wants to be an entrepreneur? Read a lot and ask questions!

    Find more Start-ups made in Austria here

    Will the corona crisis af...

    The commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield based in Amsterdam already transformed their office based on a new concept that enables social distancing and better hygiene.

    Dutch real estate company Cushman & Wakefieldhas helped 10.000 companies and organizations in China to move nearly 1mio people back to their offices. By using learnings they gathered during their work in China along with data provided by the WHO and advice from medical specialists, they reorganized their entire office in Amsterdam. They took measures such as printing markers on the floor, reorganizing the positions of their desks and workspaces, encouraging people to go only clockwise around the office space and even installing beacons to track the movements of employees. As the most important thing to install, they mention air filters in the HVAC system in order to stop gems to spread indoors.

    Read more here

    If you want to see more innovations triggered by the coronavirus CLICK HERE!

    VR is showing the impact ...

    Doctors at the George Washington University Hospital are now using VR-tools to display the effect of Sars-CoV-2 on their patient’s lungs.

    The George Washington Hospital now is using Virtual Reality (VR) technology in the fight against COVID-19. VR technology enables the medical team to see into the patient’s lungs. What they have seen has been quite concerning. By visualizing the effect of the virus to the lungs, the doctors want to raise awareness to how severe the consequences can be if one is infected with the virus. Using new technology and innovative approaches like this can help to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more here

    Read more about innovations during triggered by the coronavirus HERE.

    Free webshops for German ...

    Lozuka, a German IT-platform is now offering free webshop environments for retailers in quarantine-areas.

    Since the global outbreak of the new form of coronavirus, many areas or even countries are under quarantine. In Germany, some regions are more affected than others and therefore put in quarantine. In order to secure the grocery supply of people in these areas, the online platform Lozuka is now offering their online shop environment for free to retailers in the affected areas. They promise to set up a working webshop environment within 24 hours if needed in a specific area. Working with local taxi companies and authorities, delivery of the ordered goods is ensured.

    If you want to read more about innovations triggered by the corona pandemic, click HERE.

    Catching CO2 and using it...

    New York Start-Up “Air Co” switched from producing Vodka to hand sanitizer made from atmospheric CO2, helping NY authorities overcome the shortage of hand sanitizer.

    The number of Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing in the USA with New York City being one of the main hotspots. In order to tackle the shortage of hand sanitizer in New York, the Start-UP Air Co  adapted their production facilities. Air Co invented a process that enables producing ethanol by using industry-emitted CO2 in the air.Normally producing Vodka, they now started to use their factories for hand sanitizer production. Working together with authorities, they are distributing their disinfectants to facilities who need them the most.

    If you want to read more about innovations in times of the coronacrisis click HERE!

    4 behaviors leaders shoul...

    How should leaders react and act during a crisis? Harvard Business Review states 4 behaviors a crisis-fit leader should exhibit.

    Behavior 1: Decide with speed over precision.

    The situation is changing by the day — even by the hour. The best leaders quickly process available information, rapidly determine what matters most, and make decisions with conviction.

    Leaders should:

    • Define priorities.
    • Make smart trade-offs.
    • Name the decision makers.
    • Embrace action, and don’t punish mistakes. Punishment slows down or even blocks innovation.

    Behavior 2: Adapt boldly.

    Strong leaders get ahead of changing circumstances. They seek input and information from diverse sources, are not afraid to admit what they don’t know, and bring in outside expertise when needed.

    Leaders should:

    • Decide what not to do.
    • Throw out yesterday’s playbook. The actions that previously drove results may no longer be relevant.
    • Strengthen (or build) direct connections to the front line.

    Behavior 3: Reliably deliver.

    The best leaders take personal ownership in a crisis, even though many challenges and factors lie outside their control. They align team focus, establish new metrics to monitor performance, and create a culture of accountability.

    Leaders should:

    • Stay alert to and aligned on a daily dashboard of priorities.
    • Review and update your “hit list” at the end of each day or week.
    • Set KPIs and other metrics to measure performance.
    • Keep mind and body in fighting shape.

    Behavior 4: Engage for impact.

    In times of crisis, no job is more important than taking care of your team. Your leaders need to reiterate new priorities frequently to ensure continued alignment in this time of constant and stressful change.

    Leaders should:

    • Connect with individual team members. Reach out daily for a “pulse check”
    • Dig deep to engage your teams.
    • Ask for help as needed. The best leaders know they can’t do everything themselves.
    • Ensure a focus on both customers and employees. To support customers: Reach out, but first do no harm. To support employees: Lead with empathy and a focus on safety and health.
    • Collect and amplify positive messages —successes, acts of kindness, obstacles that have been overcome.

    Read more about innovation during Coronacrisis HERE

    (source: Harvard Business Review)

    10 Types of Corporate Inn...

    Large, established companies are trying on various programs to generate new innovations in order to navigate their ship in a new direction. Using mostly ten types of innovation programs.

    1. Dedicated Innovation Team: Corporations often start with staffing an innovation team within the company of full time employees dedicated to developing the strategy, managing, and activating innovation programs.

    2. Innovation Center of Excellence: Innovation can’t happen in a single group; without broader institutional digestion, new ideas will falter and fall. Some corporations are setting up cross-functional, multi-disciplinary groups to share knowledge throughout the company.

    3. Intrapreneur Program: Rather than rely solely on external programs, internal employees — dubbed “intrapreneurs” — are given a platform and resources to innovate. These programs invest in employees’ ideas and passions to unlock everything from customer experience improvements to product enhancements and full-blown internal startups that are then launched from within the company.

    4. Open Innovation: Hosted Accelerator or Corporate Incubator Hosted inside a corporate office, large corporations invite startups to embed at their physical locations and provide them funding, corporate support, and other perks. This brings innovative startups inside a large company for everything from overnight hackathons to long-term programs.

    5. Innovation Tours: Frequently inspiration comes from outside, not within. Corporate leaders tour innovative organizations, companies, and regions to discover trends in various industries, learn from speakers, meet partners, and be inspired as they immerse themselves in innovation culture.

    6. Innovation Outpost: A dedicated physical office, such as in Silicon Valley or wherever innovation happens in their market, staffed with corporate innovation professionals whose job is to sense what’s occurring in a market, connect with local startups, and integrate programs back into the corporate HQ. Some of them host partners, events, and startups, thereby spreading the function to Internal Accelerator programs. An Innovation Outpost is typically managed by employees — unlike an External Accelerator, which is run by a third party.

    7. External Accelerator: Corporations partner with third-party accelerators to provide sponsorship and/or funding in exchange for relationships with startups and integration opportunities. Corporate innovation professionals often embed themselves in Accelerator offices, fostering relationships with local startups. These External Accelerators are run by third parties — unlike Innovation Outposts, which are managed by employees.

    8. Technology Education: University Partnership Corporations can tap into new graduates, early-stage projects and companies, and the network of an established educational institution.

    9. Investment: Many corporations place bets among the startup ecosystem, with both small amounts for early-stage startups and larger amounts of corporate funding that yields market data, creates opportunities for follow-on investments, and blocks competitors.

    10. Acquisition: Rather than build innovation from the inside, many corporations acquire successful startups and then integrate. While often expensive, the startup is often already successful, and the acquisition can help the startup scale further.

    If you want to read about Innovation triggered in times of the COVID-19 crisis, CLICK HERE.

    (source: huffopost)

    From sustainable fashion ...

    Adapting to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Geiger a traditional Tyrolian (Austria) Fashion manufacturer is now using its workforce to produce face masks.

    Revenues in the fashion industry plummeted due to the measures against COVID-19. Smaller manufacturers are fighting for maintaining their employees or even their economic survival.

    Geiger, normally manufacturing sustainable fashion pieces, responded to this crisis by adapting quickly, now making sustainable cotton face masks.

    The fabric is produced in Vorarlberg (Austria) and certification is worked on by Standortagentur Tirol. The masks are reusable, washable and designed after the requirements by Dr. Lass-Flörl.  Priced at 6,60€ carriage free and before taxes you can CLICK HERE to order per mail. First come first served.

    Read more about companies adapting to the corona crisis HERE.

    Chaos accelerates Innovat...

    The current Covid-19 outbreak pushes companies and their managements to the limits and forces them to react unconventionally. This pressure can trigger an innovation-process.

    Catastrophic events in the past have led to many innovative ideas. The platform “Meetup” for example was founded by Scott Heiferman after the events of 9/11, which connects people with similar interests.

    After the severe earthquake 2015 in Nepal, Facebook introduced the “I’m safe” feature which since then evolved into a global newsfeed for catastrophes.

    In our recent blog posts we have mentioned many more innovative ideas and solutions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Even in a short period of time lots of people and companies have been coming up with innovations that help people in affected areas, fighting the virus itself or even transformed their business models in no time to adapt to the changed circumstances. This shows that forced experimentation can bring about change for the better. It can challenge us to seek solutions and develop workarounds we most likely would not find under normal circumstances.

    Attending school from hom...

    Innovative solutions for teaching children remotely in their homes are becoming more important since the global corona outbreak. The AI-supported platform “Century” is one of them.

    Since COVID-19 is spreading across the globe, many countries have closed their schools and universities. Ever since, Distance learning became an important method for teaching students remotely in their homes. Teachers and professors are mainly using applications and platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Team etc. But there are also holistic tools such as Century, which transforms teaching into an AI-supported and data driven process. Allowing teachers to discover individual needs of students even during distance learning periods. This enables an individually adapted learning process without teachers even being personally present.

    If you want to read more about innovations during the corona pandemic, click here.

    Finding the COVID-19 vacc...

    At the University of Washington scientists developed the puzzle game “Foldit” which can help find a vaccine for COVID-19

    By solving puzzles using and altering virtual amino acids, the game previously helped fighting against HIV or Alzheimer.

    Now, players can test their skills on COVID-19 as well. Foldit can be downloaded for free by anyone. The most promising solutions players come up with will be manufactured and tested at the University of Washington Institute for Protein Design in Seattle and could therefore be used for fighting the ongoing pandemic.

    If you want to know more, CLICK HERE!

    Remote Engagement

    “When shit happens, turn it into fertilizer.”

    Covid-19 has turned our way of working upside down, literally overnight. Employees work from home, sales forces are grounded and business has almost completely shifted to a virtual environment. 

    How can we engage with our customers in times of social distancing? 
    How can we remotely leverage our employees’ ideas to tackle challenges arising from the Corona Crisis?

    Our solutions:

    #1_Virtual co-creation sessions
    Now is the time for new solutions. The challenge is to involve customers quickly in the creation and testing of new ideas. 

    Remote workshop-sessions with customer panels to create & iterate new products & services are a quick and cost-effective way of achieving the desired results. 

    We use a combination of 2 virtual tools, miro.com & zoom.us, to create an appealing experience for the participants while maximizing output.

    #2_Remote innovation challenges

    With employees working from home, the challenge is to keep them engaged and motivated, as well as to leverage their creative thinking.

    Remote innovation challenges where employees can share their ideas on how to address issues arising from the crisis, are a fantastic tool to achieve all of the above.

    We can help you define the challenge, create easy-to-use idea template and curate the idea evaluation and selection.

    How to set it up:

    Let’s schedule a remote meeting to discuss your current situation and we will place a customized offer within 24 hours. 

    Large companies’ agile ...

    To fight against the spreading coronavirus, big companies are starting to repurpose their factories. Instead of producing i.e. fragrances or cars, they switched to hand sanitizers and ventilators.

    Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he is willing to start producing ventilators for patients with severe symptoms in NYC if there appears a shortage. Using Tesla’s and SpaceX’s factory infrastructure.

    Since March 17th the French luxury firm LVMH is producing hand sanitizer in three of their perfume manufacturing facilities. Before COVID-19 the factories where making make-up and perfume for Dior and Givenchy.

    Also, German car manufacturers Volkswagen and Daimler are currently building up capacities for making medical supplies such as masks, ventilators and temperature measuring devices.

    Quick reactions like these may become a crucial part in the fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    Read more here: Tesla, LVMH, Germany

    Tracking the Coronavirus ...

    COVID-19 is spreading across the globe rapidly and invisible for our eyes. But the open source app Private Kit: Safe Paths can help us track the virus down.

    People from Harvard and the MIT as well as engineers at companies such as Facebook and Uber, developed an app that helps tracking down corona-hotspots by sharing encrypted location data between users. People who tested positive on COVID-19 can share their locations without others knowing their identity. This lets other users know if they may have crossed paths with someone carrying the virus and helps them take appropriate measures. There is also an option to share your location data with health officials, if you are tested positive. If enough people use Private Kit: Safe Paths, it could make a difference in containing coronavirus.

    Click here to read more