Yet another amazing World Innovations Forum Conference, all online. Attendees from 59 countries and speakers from 22 countries made it a great event.

The conference started with the 10-year agenda of the World Innovations Forum Foundation. Our Chairman talked about the time it takes to make startups into big companies and how many are needed to turn a developing country into a prosper economy. The aim of the forum and its members from over 20 countries is to double the number of developed countries by the end of this decade – 2030. Later on he spoke about the Innovations age where currently 30 patents are registered every minute. By inspiring more innovation this number will grow exponentially in the next ten years.

WIForum Digital Conference_Day 1_Axel Schultze

A WHOLE GROUP OF ORGANIZATIONS ALIGNED

WIForum Digital Conference Fabio SeguraThe World Innovations Forum is not the only organization with big ambitions. Another organization in our ecosystem are helping entrepreneurs to thrive, create large number of jobs and get their country to prosperity is the Jacobs Foundation. Their contribution to 2030 is to help with education and embracing learning variability. From a one fits all education system to learner adjusted education.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT

WIForum Digital Conference_Entrepreneurs DevelopmentIn the following entrepreneurs round table, representatives from Tech in Africa, Axel Peyrier, the Happel foundation, Alexander Lanz and SwissContact, Teresa Widmer spoke about what it takes to actually inspire entrepreneurs, not telling them what to do. Great discussions and a variety of perspectives.

AMAZINGLY INNOVATIVE ENTREPRENEURS

We saw a total of 9 amazing startups and scaleups that only proves, that there are extraordinary and innovative startups in any country on Earth.

Owen Sakawa from RepairNet, Kenya, is building a platform for a roughly billion people market and their repair needs in Africa. And Eddy Richauvet from ShopRunBack in Cambodia is building possibly the most powerful addon to the e-commerce world, a complete “Return-Platform” including the logistics network for the 65% of the eCommerce market not covered by Amazon.

WIForum Digital Conference_Owen Sakawa_RepairNet

WIForum Digital Conference_Eddy Richauvet_ShopRunBack

 

 

 

 

Lin Hwang from Damogo, Indonesia is fighting food waste and how they turned on the heat in just a few months. Tobias Gunzenhauser, from Yamo, another Accelerator graduate, shared how he and his co-founders built Yamo into a super fast growing  baby-food powerhouse.

WIForum Digital Conference_Lin Hwang_DamoGo

WIForum Digital Conference_Tobias Gunzenhauser_Yamo

 

 

 

 

Agudor Agabas from AppCycle in Ghana presented their idea and how they transform waste to new products and use almost exclusively waste to produce everything from clothes to accessories in a very innovative way. A different innovator was Ibrahim Abdulmalik from Farmula in Kenya, he shared how they help revitalize the supply chain of farmers’ businesses, as it is to a large degree destroyed from western food business. Expired food from the developed nations are brought into Africa as “development aid” but ruins in some sections the entire local food chain. How can a chicken farmer compete with their free range chicken against chicken for free, even if it is already a bit rotten.

WIForum Digital Conference_Agudor Kwaku Agabas_AppCcylers

WIForum Digital Conference_Ibrahim Abdulmalik_Farmula

 

 

 

 

Moving virtually back to Asia, Phi Nguyen from sPhoton presented a new Artificial Intelligence based Corporate Communication System, taking modern voice interaction aka Alexa into the corporate world. It may not apply in the West, but the 6 billion Asian market with managers half the average age and hungry for digital experiences, is certainly a pristine market for it. Africa is seeking talents very much like Asia. Emmanuel Leslie, from TalentsInAfrica in Ghana presented another AI based solution for talent development and talent match. With a number of startups that exceed the number of Silicon Valley startups, Africa is moving extremely fast and talent acquisition is one of the limiting factors.

WIForum Digital Conference_Mutembei Kariuki_FastaggerWIForum Digital Conference_Peter Muchemi_Megashift

 

 

 

 

Two more innovators presented, Mutembei Kariuk from Fastagger in Kenya and Peter Muchemi from Megashift, also in Kenya. Last and definitely not least was a special highlight. Binay Raut, from Paaila in Nepal presented the first Artificial intelligence based Robot from Nepal. In less than a year, the team built a first greeting robot, then a more sophisticated robot for banks and was even able to export their robots to the US. During the pandemic, Paaila was the first to build a robot for hospitals, serving patience and reducing the risks for the care personnel. Just a few years ago, it was unthinkable to create AI based robots made in Nepal.

WIForum Digital Conference_Binay Raut_Paalia Technology

FINANCIAL COMPANY VALUATIONS

WIForum Digital Conference_Karim Raffa_Company ValuationThe most challenging finance question for startups is to create a meaningful and defensible company valuation. This challenge is the same, all over the planet. Karim Raffa, a finance expert, former entrepreneur and investor himself is educating startups to create valuations that attract investors but not ruining their capital. Karim is also helping investors to make meaningful offers, because asking for too much equity in the beginning may change the discussion quickly against both, investor and entrepreneur.

INVESTOR ROUND TABLE

WIForum Digital Conference_Fundraising PodiumWith investors from Cambodia [Christophe Forsinetti], Switzerland [Thomas Kern], and Vietnam [Duc Viet Nguyen], we had a great mix of representation from developing, fast emerging and developed nations. Investors from around the world look for gold nuggets. Average quality startups are nearing a million and have the highest risk. Lack of well structured FDI policies for equity foreign direct investments however still prohibit deep pocket investors to invest in these new countries. In Asia most startups move their HQs to Singapore and African companies to the UK, Singapore or Switzerland.

INNOVATION OF NATIONS

WIForum Digital Conference_Ndubuisi Ekekwe_Building the Innovation of Nations

We heard an intellectually demanding but to the point speech from Ndubuisi Ekekwe, about the importance of innovation for each nation as a key to competitiveness and prosperity. He talked about how good policies can unleash the power of innovation or limit them, and what economic frameworks can do to empower entrepreneurship to thrive and create jobs or disable their abilities and make them possibly leave their countries. He essentially delivered the recipe for politicians to make their countries thrive.

DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA

Emmanuel Ndonga spoke about the unique opportunities for Africa. Almost 60% of the African population is under the age of 25 with untapped opportunities for growth and development. But Africa is not a country with a culture, it is continent 54 sovereign countries and a total population of 1.3 Billion with a fast growing number of university graduates. Emmanuel presented an amazing list of activities for governments and the population to get up and get autonomous, reducing external influence and becoming innovative – because they can. Similarly a great presentation from Ashwin Ravichandran who spent many years in Africa, and helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build their businesses and thrive. Africa has changed dramatically in the past 10 years and the biggest shift is yet to come.

THE INFLUENCE OF EDUCATION

WIForum Digital Conference_Dr. Ram Shrestha_Innovation in NepalEducation, in particular education for innovative thinking, like it is practices in Switzerland, was addressed by Dr. Ram Shrestha Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of the Kathmandu University. He gave insights into how and why Nepal should accelerate their motivation to more entrepreneurship in Nepal. Later on Dr. Matthes Fleck, Ph.D. from the University for Science and Arts in Lucerne spoke about the talent development of entrepreneurs from western universities and the importance for startups to get access to those talents early on.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP GENDER NEUTRAL

WIForum Digital Conference_Female Entrepreneurship PodiumWIForum Chair and co-founder Marita Schultze organized a round table where female entrepreneurs including Clarisse Iribagiza from Rwanda, Sophie Meas from Cambodia and Prativa Pandey, Ph.D. from Nepal had a partly controversial discussion about the role women in entrepreneurship. In some countries it is not even a discussion about the gender sensitivity, yet in others societies, women are still discriminated in so many ways, like in Nepal, so that the entrepreneurship aspect is just a side effect.

NEURO IDEATION

WIForum Digital Conference_Neuro IdeationThe most advanced technique to create innovative and disruptive ideas and turn them into reality is Neuro Ideation. Attendees learned how the brain actually composes ideas and how they are processed so that innovation can happen. The concept of Neuro Ideation is brand new and puts emerging countries and developed countries on a even playing level. Rapid idea development, accompanied by a disruptive business model can happen as quickly as 3 weeks but no longer than 6 months. The Deep Innovation Design method, with neuro ideation at its core fundamentally changes the act of innovation and disrupts innovation itself. The world Innovations Forum, together with the Society3 Group will be empowering entrepreneurs independent of which country they are from.

INNOVATION FIGHTING PANDEMICS

WIForum Digital Conference_Cafer Tosun_Innovate Fighting PandemicsAnother highly innovation related topic, that is very timely as well, was presented by Cafer Tosun, an SAP executive and Advisory Board Member to the WIForum. Innovation Fighting Pandemic, is an initiative, led by Cafer Tosun, leveraging the innovative spirit to fight covid-19. After a short but intense campaign to wear a mask, the campaign was reduced in intensity after 62 countries announced masks are mandatory or at least highly recommended. He shared some details about a new project where innovative thinking was applied in its truest sense. A concept to eradicate covid-19 neither by vaccines or treatment but by mass testing and stopping the transfer of the virus. The method and concept to do so came neither from the technology sector nor from the medical sector, but from the genetics space. There is a good chance to test millions of people per day and up to 5 billion in a week. We will be providing updates after the next tests in a few days.

THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE VISION IN EACH COUNTRY

During the three days we also heard from our Country Ambassadors: Dung Trung Nguyen [Vietnam], Khem Lakai [Nepal], Christella Uwamahoro [Rwanda],  Eunice Nyandat [Kenya] and MacCarthy Mac-Gbathy [Ghana]. With each of them we discussed what is attractive in their country for those seeking entrepreneurship opportunities, how fast they develop and what the possibilities are for foreigner who may help build their respecting nations. History has shown that there have been many “Lands of Opportunity” in the past: Egypt, Greece, Rome, the UK, the US to name just a few. All have been nearly world dominating – none have ever seen true world domination. Now, there are many different lands of opportunities popping up almost at the same time. Maybe it is the time humankind realizes that we can only reach our best potential when all other nations reach their best potential as well.

WIForum Digital Conference_Vietnam AmbassadorWIForum Digital Conference_Nepal Ambassador

WIForum Digital Conference_Rwanda AmbassadorWIForum Digital Conference_Kenya Ambassador

 

 

 

 

WIForum Digital Conference_Ghana Ambassador

THE FUTURE OF NATIONS

It is no longer a futuristic vision, that emerging countries will become a significant contributor to our global economy. Well aware of what worked and what didn’t in the past, most entrepreneurs of the future are very well aware that companies with 100,000+ employees are most likely not the future of the global economy but highly agile specialists connecting and collaborating with each other. The makers movement in China has already proven that millions of people are producing a small number of unique components faster, better and less expensive than any other nation. The advantage is not the cheap labor as labor cost rises in Shenzhen very quickly as well – the advantage is an unparalleled agility. The other mega challenge is global energy consumption. As more and more emerging countries are rising, so is their energy hunger. Also here, ingenuity and unique entrepreneurs working on various energy related projects such as geothermal energy development in Kenya, where 40% of Kenya’s energy consumption is generated by that technology. Geothermal development in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda will provide much-needed environmentally sustainable energy, maybe one day for all of us. Similarly is the development in South East Asia rapidly moving towards better technology, far more automation than in any other area in the World. Singapore can be called the most advanced nation in the world with an unseen before balance between human development, nature protection, sustainable planning for the future and a nowhere else achieved lifestyle. The 4.4 Billion Asians plus 1.4 billion Africans represent not only by far the largest markets on earth but also the most agile development and most innovation hungry young generation. The biggest advantage of this 5.8 billion population (75% of all people) is their low level of protectionism, bureaucracy and innovation blocking interest groups.

By 2030 we can expect developed nations will be doubling and by 2040 doubling again, which means more than half of the nations are having a status of developed country.

WIForum Digital Conference_Axel Schultze

Axel Schultze, the World Innovations Forum chairman closes by saying “Even the world’s strongest nation will unfold it’s biggest potential, at the day every other country has reached theirs”.

The next World Innovations Forum Global Conference is scheduled to be held in June 2022.

The whole WIForum Team in Switzerland as well as all our national teams in the respective countries like to thank everybody for their amazing contribution and participation in this years event.

 

By Cafer Tosun, Alyssa King, Axel Schultze

May 10, 2020

On Mother’s Day, May 10th, 2020, a total of 62 countries have made wearing a mask compulsory the one way or the other due to the corona virus. The total population of all the “mask” countries together stands at 5.67 billion people. This means we are well ahead with our initially targeted timetable. While the KnockOut 19 campaign supported generating awareness, it was more the necessity to contain the virus, which made the governments to impose wearing masks in public. And the insight that as long as there is no medicine or vaccination available to keep safe, wearing masks and keeping a distance are two effective measures to help contain the virus.

We have put together a list of all countries in which wearing a mask is recommended or made mandatory. And yet, there are still some countries missing in the list.

Please reach out to the World Innovations Forum, if you need support with convincing your government or with initiating a campaign in your country to wear a mask. We are more than happy to work with you to create the necessary awareness.

You can contact us at  innovate.fighting.pandemics@wiforum.org

Use Hashtag #kout19
Please use it on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, WhatsApp, messenger – anywhere.

Thank you for your support and a happy Mother’s Day.

List of countries making wearing masks compulsory one way or the other:

Masks and terminology

While simply covering your mouth and nose will work to reduce the probability of becoming infected. There are various types of masks, which you might be interested to know about. Masks are available in various protection levels – called FFP with a number, i.e. FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3. FFP stands for filtering face piece. The numbering defines the various protection levels. The higher the number the higher the protection level. FFP3 has the highest level of protection. The equivalent in US for FFP2 masks are the N95, which is a comparable classification of air filtration. N95 means that it filters at least 95% of airborne particles. There are N99 and N100, where the number provides you with the efficiency of the mask, meaning the minimum percentage for filtering airborne particles.

Since there is global shortage for these types of masks and they should be primarily used by healthcare workers, you can use homemade masks too. That’s why some countries are hesitant with asking the public to wear masks. They are afraid they’ll run out of masks for their healthcare workers. To avoid that you can find below some links and suggestions for how to make masks at home. Or just use a scarf or bandana to cover your mouth and nose.

 

Instructions on how to make masks yourself – Do it yourself (DIY) masks:

https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-diy-coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-covid/

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJWhZJZoAe4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IiT9cSD-Ec

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUasSmReIVo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIuQMZ1Iw5M

https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-diy-coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-covid/

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/

 

And many more instructions on YouTube!

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What the World Innovations Forum asks you is: be creative and let the world know about your ideas and best practices to fight the pandemic.

Find out more about the initiative at: https://wiforum.org/innovate-fighting-pandemics/

Start participating in the conversation and join one of our dedicated groups:

 

The World Innovation Forum provides you a platform to share, engage, accelerate the adoption and scale your innovation with its global network of innovative minds. Be part of the innovation acceleration to fight the pandemic.

Thank you!

The World Innovation Forum

PS: Do you want to be part of the team? It is a global initiative driven by volunteers around the world. It is a growing effort. We need more volunteers to work with us on the innovation acceleration initiative of the World Innovation Forum. If you are interested to support us with your time and network, please send us an email to innovate.fighting.pandemics@wiforum.org and include a few words about yourself and what you can contribute to the initiative.

Covid-19 is only one crisis of many in our near past – and you will learn to live with crises in the future. Moreover, you should make your startup crisis resistant.

With the track record below you can almost be sure there will be yet another problem lurking around the corner and you need to be ready to take it. My personal recommendation: “DO NOT SPEND A HUGE AMOUNT OF EFFORT IN PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS FOR A FUTURE CRISIS”  but be aware that it can happen every day again and it can be completely different than anything we have seen so far.

  • Oil crisis early 1980’s
    It was the first big rush into the startup world. Comdex started in 1979 and the tech startups flourished. But for most other firms it was a year of financial trouble. The oil crisis had it’s peak. We were looking for funding for Computer 2000 – not much luck initially.
  • Bubble burst 2000
    The stock exchanges collapsed under the Internet Bubble burst. Extreme speculation caused a huge financial crisis. Several investors even committed suicide. Thereafter there was no funding for any startup whatsoever. We were 4 weeks away from our IPO, spent all the money on it, and then boom. How to survive? Today the company doomed to die does nearly a billion in revenue.
  • September 11, 2001
    The Internet Bubble seemed to be fading out, and the next big crisis followed right on their heels. And again no funding, no support, nothing that could keep a startup alive unless they found their own way. It was the day of our very first investor pitch at a new startup BueRoads. Obviously it did not happen. Five years later we were the market leader in our space.
  • US economy meltdown in 2008
    The prime rate disaster killed the entire US economy. Startups – again – had nowhere to go. And again cash conservation was the call of that time. Only the best survived. We were just launching the Social Media Academy. Five years later we had the highest reputation in the Social Media education space.
  • Refugee crisis in 2015
    Millions of refugees from the middle east and north Africa had to leave everything back and migrated to other countries. Those who tried to start a business in the North African belt had to start all over – in foreign countries with no connections. We started a refugee accelerator to help migrating entrepreneurs to start a business in Germany – where nearly a million refugees entered. Five years later, 12 companies survived and created over 100 jobs.
  • Corona in 2020
    And again, yet a different type of crisis but the same effects: Startups run out of money and either find a way to survive or go out of business. And again the best will survive and the weak ones will die.
  • TBD 20XX
    With that history, we, entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurs to come will need to deal with it. All entrepreneurs have to consider an incident that may cause their crash and go through it. Disaster Recovery is not only an IT term or for economies but for every business no matter how small or large.

The Big Advantage

Today we have a huge advantage over previous times: Healthy businesses can switch to a digital continuation plan within days. Home offices, fully connected employees can access even the mainframes through digital connections to the corporate main frames or local networks, video conferences can connect us with virtually anybody, we don’t need fax or paper, we don’t need to travel, and with a two- or three-week time lack we “could” go back to full production. The biggest issue is still coordinating an entire country to do the right things at the right time. And education is key. This current crisis has demonstrated to perfection where our weaknesses and opportunities are. As posted before: We will never get back to what was in the past. Business already did and will continue to massively shift towards a digital life far beyond what we have today.

Startups here and now

You have been at school for any of the previous crisis or not even alive back then. But there is quite a learning. The questions basically are:
What did startups do in the economic crisis 2001?
– With innovative ideas, maximum cash conservation, alternative funding and more.

How did refugees build a business with nothing?

– With an unbendable willpower to survive and the dream to get their families into safety and build a new existence.

How to structure a business during a crisis?

– Forgetting growth and every mundane drive forward but move into survival mode and never give up on the big and bold vision of a different future that made the company start in the first place.

How to turn a business to profitability in 30 days?

– By taking any available creativity to get cost down to zero and maximize the effort to get revenue.

What resources are still available in bad times?

– Every positive thinking human is more open to help than ever before – just ask!

What funding options, other than investors exist?

– There are at least 10 alternative ways to get funding from friends, partners, crowdfunding, banks, grants, service sales, pre-production sales, and more.

The best startups have always been those who survived a crisis.

If you are fully “digital & social”, social in the sense of social media, you have a huge advantage right now. But if the next crisis is a cyber-war, energy attack that leaves us with no power and no Internet? What would we do? There will be a startup with cool solutions as well :)

Please join us on our online call for entrepreneurs: “Surviving a crisis

Also please share your own tips, experiences, and suggestions.

 

By Cafer Tosun, Alyssa King, Axel Schultze

Everyone from young to old, wants to know when this pandemic is going to be over. We need a plan to end Covid-19. There are many companies and researchers around the world working feverishly to find a cure. Some vaccines companies in various countries have started their clinical trial phases. It will be the fastest in history to enter the market for a vaccine. And yet there is no concrete plan when this will be. It might take one, two or more years. With KnockOut-19 we have started a campaign to end the Covid-19 pandemic in 19 weeks.

Campaign – KnockOut-19

Yes, in 19 weeks! In about 5 months this could be over. And it doesn’t take much. If everyone wore a mask. Covid-19 could be over, because there would be no host for the virus. With no host there will be no virus. It’s that simple. This is where we need you to support the campaign. The goal of the campaign is that we are faster in getting everyone to wear a mask than the virus can spread. We need you to join the campaign, wear a mask and ask your friends to do the same. If you get only 3 friends within a week to wear a mask, and your friends do the same, we could reach the entire world population of 7.8 Billion people in 19 weeks, based on pure math. And if everyone wears a mask it significantly reduces the probability of becoming infected with the coronavirus. The good thing is that this works even if it is a simple mask or a scarf, with which you cover your mouth and nose.

Probability of Contagion

Join the campaign KnockOut-19 by wearing a mask, give our Facebook site a like and ask 3 of your friends to do the same. By doing so you will create a chain which will be faster than the virus can spread, and the Covid-19 pandemic can be knocked out in 19 weeks’ timeframe. Hence the campaign name KnockOut-19. If everyone protects everyone else by wearing a mask the virus will have less chance to spread and may well disappear. See illustration Probability of Contagion.

Here is the message we want you to pass over to your friends:

“Wear a mask – keep a distance”
No host – no virus
Tell anybody you know – we will spread faster than the virus.
And ask them to like fb.com/kout19 to count supporters.

 

Wear a Mask

If you don’t have a mask. Don’t worry it is not difficult to make masks.  You can find more info about masks further below. Spread the word, be part of KnockOut-19! There are plenty of instructions on YouTube on how to make masks yourself. Some we have listed below. Share these with your friends.  Make sure your friends wear the masks and join the initiative too. In 19 weeks Covid19 could be knocked-out. Sounds too easy to be true. Give it a try and see what happens. You can make the difference.

Knockout-19 Timeline

Be part of the KnockOut-19 challenge! Take a picture with your friends wearing the mask and send it to the World Innovation Forum. As a token of appreciation, you will receive your electronic KnockOut-19 certificate from the World Innovation Forum.

World population 7.8 Billion as of May 2020: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

Wearing a mask might not protect you from getting infected, but it will protect others from becoming infected. Now, imagine if everyone wears a mask, then the spread of the virus can be stopped no one will be infected. And as a result, Covid-19 is knocked out and we save many lives!

Make sure you give the KnockOut-19 campaign a like on fb.com/kout19 to count the friends numbers.

Use Hashtag #kout19
Please use it on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, WhatsApp, messenger – anywhere.

Thank you for caring about your friends!

Masks and Terminology

While simply covering your mouth and nose will work to reduce the probability of becoming infected. There are various types of masks, which you might be interested to know about. Masks are available in various protection levels – called FFP with a number, i.e. FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3. FFP stands for filtering face piece. The numbering defines the various protection levels. The higher the number the higher the protection level. FFP3 has the highest level of protection. The equivalent in US for FFP2 masks are the N95, which is a comparable classification of air filtration. N95 means that it filters at least 95% of airborne particles. There are N99 and N100, where the number provides you with the efficiency of the mask, meaning the minimum percentage for filtering airborne particles.

Since there is global shortage for these types of masks and they should be primarily used by healthcare workers, you can use homemade masks too. That’s why some countries are hesitant asking the public to wear masks. They are afraid they’ll run out of masks for their healthcare workers. To avoid that you can find below some links and suggestions for how to make masks at home. Or just use a scarf or bandana to cover your mouth and nose.

Instructions on how to make masks yourself – Do it yourself (DIY) masks:

https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-diy-coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-covid/

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJWhZJZoAe4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IiT9cSD-Ec

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUasSmReIVo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRfhuRNua_E 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIuQMZ1Iw5M

https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-diy-coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-covid/

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/

And many more instructions on YouTube!

 


 

What the World Innovations Forum asks you is: be creative and let the world know about your ideas and best practices to fight the pandemic.

Find out more about the initiative at: https://wiforum.org/innovate-fighting-pandemics/

Start participating in the conversation and join one of our dedicated groups:

LinkedIn Facebook

The World Innovation Forum provides you a platform to share, engage, accelerate the adoption and scale your innovation with its global network of innovative minds. Be part of the innovation acceleration to fight the pandemic.

Thank you!

The World Innovation Forum

PS: Do you want to be part of the team? It is a global initiative driven by volunteers around the world. It is a growing effort. We need more volunteers to work with us on the innovation acceleration initiative of the World Innovation Forum. If you are interested to support us with your time and network, please send us an email to innovate.fighting.pandemics@wiforum.org and include a few words about yourself and what you can contribute to the initiative.

The world is introduced to two more ways to be divided. In the past we divide between east and west, north and south, good and mediocre education, blue collar and white collar, religious and non religious and so forth. The digital divide has been discussed more on a local level and language divide is an almost none issue.

In just 4 months however, the digital divide became a global topic and the discussions around the language divide has moved from scientific and sociologic discussions to a global divide of English and Non-English speaking groups.

LANGUAGE DIVIDE

Politicians with less English language capabilities have less global insights in the virus development and take much longer to respond. Those, who are fluently speaking English have usually a faster response time, with a few exceptions. The German chancellor for instance explored all globally available date and decided with a very clear answer and very well educated. We see the late start but the radical results. And even within countries one can experience the divide based on language skills or the lack thereof.

DIGITAL DIVIDE

Rapidly setup digital home office or not. Using conference calls or not. Business continuation plans or not. Staying connected or not. Remaining social or being isolated. What was “BAD” and having potentially long term negative impact –  all of a sudden became a social LIFE SAVER.

Even most stubborn businesses or governments rationalized that we are divided in two worlds: the digitally connected and the physically connected. One can switch behavior and work modi in an instant others not at all.

And we learned more: Those who work from home over a longer period of time, now either start working later and really sleep in – but are usually up later in the evening and vice versa. I realized getting emails from some people already at 6am, long before I usually be up and have even phone calls at 11pm because that is more like my time :) Funny – it not only doesn’t hurt – it actually makes life much more natural.Everybody can live their life by their inner clock. Did I mention daylight savings time? NO I actually get only disrupted by the change of my clock – but not my inner cycle.

COMBiNATION OF BOTH

Both together: the digital and the language divide are a powerful couple or a serious threat. When running innovation development programs with participants from literally around the world we realized a phenomenal effect: NO matter whether the participants are from Ghana, Vietnam, South Korea, California or Switzerland, the digitally literate and fluently English speaking attendees show no sign of any difference. Even not when one comes from one of the top universities and others from mid level education. Innovators seem to speak a universal language of fearlessness, creativity, curiosity and ambition.

In the end, all the good intention and experiments to bring more equality to the world, with at least moderate impact pushed a 0.3 micron small virus rapidly forward. Only time will tell the real impact past corona. For now the degree of unification however shows amazing progress.

 

As part of the WIForum Initiative “Innovate Fighting Pandemics” we discussed ourselves what would we do if we ran a production company with thousands of employees and are forced to shut down. What would we do if we have no tools and no resources? We started to calculate:

The incubation time is approximately 2, sometimes 3 weeks. We are home for three weeks and “experience” for ourselves, that we feel safe and had zero contact to anybody. We do not show any symptoms and are most likely not infected. So we and friends of ours with the same pattern: 3 weeks in quarantine and no symptoms could meet. If we had a tester we could do a quick test and have a party – totally safe.

How about elevating that thought to a production company.

Employees who have bin in quarantine for three weeks with no symptoms could go back to work, assuming they don’t use public transportation, don’t stop anywhere and commute  in “tunnel mode”, very much like their VPN to get safely into the network of their office.

GROUP A
A first group of let’s say 1/3 of the employees could be carefully selected in a way that production could be fired up.
They start 3 weeks after breakout assuming they were in quarantine and have no symptoms.
Ideally each employee gets tested as they re-enter the factory/offices
Two weeks later they pause again and group B starts. The first SHIFT.

GROUP B
Like starts after after Group A pauses and another group, one third of the company continues for two week. The company has at least now a 1/3 production power under in continuation mode. Also Group B pauses after 2 weeks – to make sure that all employees stay disciplined and be safe. The second big shift

GROUP C+A
The last group and the third 1/3 of the company takes over the shift of Group B. By now Group C was the first three weeks plus another  4 weeks in Quarantine. So we can assume they are really ok. Therefor Group A joines back the team and now 2/3 of the company are back in production mode. They work also for 2 weeks. Another Megashift.

GROUP A+B+C
Nine weeks later everybody is back in business. Depending on the discipline of the society and the law enforcement of the government, the whole nation may still be extremely cautious, but have their business life back and with it a larger part back in a regular situation, economy is back and supplies are relatively back depending on foreign material.
The Megashift MOdel is nothing more than huge – long single shifts. Instead of hours it’s abut weeks.

As countries have rules and regulations how to enforce the quarantine – this model needs to be synched up with the government of course.

Stay safe – everybody
Our thoughts are with the thousands of people who passed away and with their relatives.

Innovate Fighting Pandemics

If you have any ideas, know tools, best practices or want to develop something, join us

Axel Schultze
Chairman

 

 

Innovate Fighting Pandemics – The power of us!

By Cafer Tosun, Jaideep Adhvaryu, Alyssa King, Axel Schultze  

The Coronavirus COVID-19 has brought our life globally to a halt. While all current measures are necessary to prevent the virus from spreading to most of the population, we must accelerate innovation to get our life back to normal and save people’s life. The virus is taking human life hour by hour. Time is critical and we must put our minds together to accelerate innovation on a global scale. The World Innovation Forum has taken the leadership to bring innovative minds throughout the world together to fight the pandemics. Since the virus doesn’t care about borders, we must do the same. We are stronger together. We are not bound to borders and can win faster when we collaborate. Currently, we see uncoordinated local leadership and no globally coordinated efforts to fight the pandemics. The measures are driven by the local outbreak numbers. And even worse countries are fighting over medical supplies. 

We already see many fantastic local innovations happening around the world to ease the situation and fight the pandemic. My favorite examples are when Italian engineers have turned scuba diving masks into ventilators to support hospitals. And published the how-to in a YouTube video to share with the rest of the world. Or when local breweries in Tampa switch from producing alcoholic beverages to produce hand Sanitzer, for which there is a huge demand. When South Korea has scaled testing the virus by setting up drive-thru clinics. And when car manufacturers stop production and produce medical supply to fight the Virus. The list can go on and you can be part of it!

More importantly, the innovation and out-of-box thinking is required not just in the medical sphere. We need impactful solutions and agile approaches to identify, communicate, respond, recover and repair communities  in near-real time speed and at global scale while optimizing limited knowledge, resources and people.

What the World Innovations Forum asks you is: be creative and let the world know about your ideas and best practices to fight the pandemic. 

Find out more about the initiative at: https://wiforum.org/innovate-fighting-pandemics/

The World Innovation Forum provides you a platform to share, engage, accelerate the adoption and scale your innovation with its global network of innovative minds. Be part of the innovation acceleration to fight the pandemic. We are stronger together!

Start participating in the conversation and join one of our dedicated groups: 

Thank you!

The World Innovation Forum

PS: Do you want to be part of the team? It is a global initiative driven by volunteers around the world. It is a growing effort. We need more volunteers to work with us on the innovation acceleration initiative of the World Innovation Forum. If you are interested to support us with your time and network, please send us an email at innovate.fighting.pandemics@wiforum.org and include a few words about yourself and what you can contribute to the initiative.

This virus clearly hit humanity pretty hard in many ways. First and foremost the losses of lives. And it comes hand in hand with a very saddened human behavior: “oh the ones that died were already so old and already ill…” did we give up on the value of life? The value of currently 25,000 lives? Over 500,000 are infected. And obviously our general life is fundamentally narrowed down to the apartment we live in. If we have an apartment. 75% of people have not. The people in large parts of Africa, Asia and quite some parts in Latin America have not. They live on a daily income of $5 or less. They have to go out and work whatever is available. We learned from our friends in Uganda, Kenya and other nations: Most of their people have two options: starving to death or getting the virus that they most likely survive – the decision is simple. That is the decision about 1 billion people have to make right now. So corona is no joke, no hype and no conspiracy.

However, we also will learn more from Corona, than most think today:

1) The importance of the English Language

Many of us read the news and daily updates from around the world every morning. We know already what worked and what didn’t from China, from South Korea, from Singapore and many other Asian countries. But this is only if you speak English or are digital savvy enough to automatically translate everything into your language. In recent discussions we learned that far more than half of the governments in the world do not speak english. They are dependent of what others tell them what is happening. Also those who are looking for test equipment, treatment, best practices, what type of hygiene measures they may consider long before the rest of the word slowly woke up. The English language no longer is the universal language for doing business around the globe, it is the number one language of communication also in any kind of crisis. Speaking one common language – at least as a second language – is paramount for our survival, not only in business but also in our general life. And it will also closing the gap between rich and poor, My proposal for the United Nation: Making “English as a common language on earth” the SDG #18.

2) Digital Empowerment

In only 10 weeks the world has turned to digital faster than all the efforts of even the most powerful governments on earth in the last 10 years. Companies with a home office concept could almost seamlessly transition from their office buildings to home offices. But going digital is not only an emergency action to stay in business: In the past few weeks we had far more client interactions online than ever before. Trying to setup a meeting, finally finding a convenient day and time, traveling an hour to do a meeting for another hour is over.  TODAY: “Do you have a moment?” – “Sure – give me 5 minute” – “How can I help” – We have this and that issue … Ok ….”  15 minute later, everything was done. And not next week – but immediately. We accelerated work by 2.5 hours and reduced the “problem to solution” time by maybe a week. In our particular case run so called demo days after each startup acceleration program. We rent a venue invite investors and let our entrepreneurs present in front of approximately 15 to 25 investors sometimes a little more. This year we just invited 800 investors from around the world and have already more registrations than ever before. This year, the Demo Day is digital and everybody can join it on April 8, from wherever they are. A huge advantage. Of course this is no real substitute for face to face meetings but it is a powerful option that we will consider in the future. And we also have our global 3 day WIForum Digital 2020 Conference this year in June. 3 days and we expect 2,000 people from over 40 countries. Of course it is fully digital. In countries where Corona may have been enough contained we will do – like last time – public viewings in the respective cities, have about 40 – 50 speakers, including governments, universities and many top talented innovative businesses. All digital, and on top of all, no Co² emission, no travel no energy expenditure, maximum cost reduction and more. Even after corona is contained our work life will never be like it was. We learned to become more independent and far more efficient if we put our old “protocols” aside and spend time for meetings when and wherever, get problems solved immediately and build relations that go far deeper than ever before. However what is an advantage for some will become an even bigger disadvantage for the slow and far less agile businesses.

3) Social Distancing

One of the new key words. People are isolated at home and lack of social interactions. Its a very uncomfortable situation to be alone – not only in times of an pandemic. Yet. also here we quickly learned to hang out with friends online. And not just adults but also kids – at least those who have been online before. Multi Player Games and all the other digital entertainment out there comes extremely hande when a whole family stays home. BUT not only to shut of the kids – but to to give them an opportunity to learn about social connections in the digital world. I have been working in the social media world since its inception in 2003. Today, 17 years later, I have an equal amount of friends that I never met face to face in my entire life. From some I know far more what is going on in their lives than from some of my family members. My old friend Des Walsh, who I never met in person but have been connected for 10 years now, is older than 99% of my oldest local friends who never touched Facebook. Social Distancing is a problem that we can overcome. And those who have the experience for years, learned about digital body language, read the mind of somebody not by seeing their facial expressions but writing style would certainly not suffer social distancing at all. Whether in business or in our private lives, we learned already so much about others from the daily interactions in the online world that we get a completely different perspective of the media.

4) Accelerating the innovative mind

Another aspect of life is our ability to innovate. In times of a crisis innovation pops right and left. Companies that seem to unable to innovate get all of a sudden very creative. Instead of building car parts they build facial masks to protect people because they know how to build filters. Others get great ideas to build simple but globally accessible apps showing latest discoveries about the virus and best practices to protect one another. We created an initiative “Innovate Fighting Pandemics” to inspire innovative mind, from all trades to share their ideas so that others can find solutions to problems they may have. What we all learned is that innovation is not a reserved domain for highly educated scientists but we all are innovative, as long as we give our mind the free space to think. And in times like now it is simply accelerating for survival – why not always give our mind the freedom to go crazy.

5) Business & Production Processes

Another learning we already can envision is to make our business processes and production structures far more flexible in thinking and in operation. Right now, today Mar 27, many companies ca no longer produce because people are at home for their own safety and cannot produce an automobile from their home office. But why is it that brutal? Because we think in maximum “employee utilisation”. The production runs are so hyper optimized that there is not even a “Plan B”. Instead of stopping the motion to zero, we can get a bit smarter. We can already today let 50% of the employees come back who have for sure no symptoms. Ask them to avoid mass transportation and go with individual transportation to the manufacturing plant. Likely hood that they catch a virus is low and cross contamination with those who have been healthy at home for two weeks extremely low. Two weeks later we run the second “mega-shift” and ask the other group to go back to work. Four weeks later we most likely are back to full production.Obviously it takes some major co-ordination, super machine and workplace cleaning in between shift but also during the shifts, orchestrating the right people for a half production load and so forth but that Plan B is probably with millions of dollars per day worth of business loss. Post Corona we will never go back to static operations but will want to consider more flexibility, driving more agility and giving the organization a better competitiveness.

6) Small Business Stagnation

Small businesses, shops, retailer, reseller, and so forth have been struggling to stay alive, not able competing against the big e-commerce giants. For many it will be a sad ending as they just could not decide to think about smart alternatives they can offer to their customers. The retail market has changed, consumer behavior and desires advanced, but their payer did not. At the same time many, very fortunately, finally understood what customers want and shifted towards online offerings, home delivery, better logistics, better return policies so that ended up become far more competitive and customers find better services. Some countries blocked any innovation that put their small retailers in jeopardy. In times like right now is fires back badly. They have to spend more money to support the failing businesses and have missed the development they couldn’t stop anyway. E-commerce, fast home delivery, return policies and processes have improved more and faster  in the past 10 weeks than in the last five years. Countries with weird import regulations, difficult taxation and more see their self sufficiency rate go much faster down than in other countries. Again – life post corona will never go back to what it was before.

There are probably countless more examples about changes that will not go back to what it was. And we all, would love to hear from you. Share your experiences here in the comment section for others to learn from!

 

THE QUEST FOR MORE INNOVATION

The last five to ten years, pretty much any business and any government was pushing for more innovation. But if somebody was asked “How do I innovate? Tell me step by step”, there was no tangible answer. When I was asked that very question, in particular the “step by step” part, it daunted to me, that there was simply no answer that could satisfy this question. Tens of thousands of consultants help people to “open their mind”, other use the “design thinking” model to process ideas – actually very well. But the question remains: “How do you CREATE those innovative ideas” that you can then process in a design thinking model!

INNOVATION ON DEMAND

Innovation was an accidental event – a combination of many instances, experiences and the brain pushed out an idea. Mostly it was big enough to warrant starting a whole new business. NOW – today we have a situation where we don’t want to have an accidental brain flash leading to a possible innovation. In times where we have a crisis we actually would want to have solutions on demand.  But as long as we don’t even know how ideas are created, we are far away from creating ideas on demand.

THE BIG SHIFT IN INNOVATION HISTORY

Neuroscientists helped me understand that human beings are not really creative – we can only COMPOSE ideas from past experiences, from whatever we saw, heard, felt and so forth. All new experiences are actually get associated with existing experiences and create some interesting IDEAS of which we actually don’t really know. The biggest idea machine is our mind when we sleep. There is much to explain but the net of it is: We are not creative and we create ideas by the millions. So what is the problem?

Our life, our culture, our education and our brain itself, are all conditioned to allow only the most obvious and the least demanding deas to pop up. ONly 1 in a trillion or less is actually making it from our right brain to the left and stimulates a communication between the two that forms a “thought” that may break through all the other barriers. And once we understand that process, we have the foundation for creating innovation on demand, like we create a house or bridge or as simple as a paper plane.

DEEP INNOVATION DESIGN

in 2016 we began our first careful attempts to help startups to come up with disruptive business models. What was a one of a million chance we were able to get more than 50% of the startups coming up with disruptive models. Creating, what we call a “Disruptive Moment” was defined as an innovative idea that will push competitors to change their course in order to catch up with these startups. It was an early attempt to get this done. in the past two years we went deeper into the “mechanics of our mind” to learn what we need to actually DO to play with our billions of neurons and synapses to form those innovative ideas. After two years of work we found an early concept that works well enough to come up with innovative solutions whenever we want, using the deep innovation design method:

Four ‘T”s one “M” of Deep Innovation Design

1) TALENT
We need talents that are talented for creating innovation like others are talented to play music, paint pictures, drive race cars, cook amazing meals, create fashion, help others or simply entertain people.
2) TEAM
Like a music band, or a football team, innovation is a team sport – if you do it alone you end up waiting for accidental ideas. And one of the most important player in the “Innovation Play”, are the affected people: Customers, users, victimes, if you start the game without them you are doomed to lose. And if your actors (innovators) are all of the same trade, you will lose as well. Diversity is the magic formula. Understanding that part makes it also very obvious why enterprises CANNOT be innovative. They try to surprise the customer with their ideas and the ideas come from a mono culture called R&D center, engineering teams or other experts.
3) TRAINING
Our brain is an old machine with lots of upgrades. More upgrades than any other organ in our human apparatus. It is also the most adaptive body part. To overcome some of the 300,000 year old habits and some even go back 5 million years we need to train our brain. I often wonder how long our children would crawl if we never help them to walk. We need to train our bran in opening a treasure chest that is heavily guarded by about 200 million nerve strands or Axons, our so called Corpus Callosum.
With good talents and a great team we actually can.
4) TOOLS
You know the say “I think my head explodes”- right. And that is always when you reach your capacity limits of learning or thinking, or comprehending – or – innovating. In an interesting way, it’s all the same. Since the last 12,000 years we experience this more and more often and we built more and more tools and ever bigger teams to deal with exactly that problem. And so also we developed tools, methods and finally technology that shall help us to go through this rather demanding process. And guess what – it is no different from what athletes perform in their contests, musicians on stage, race driver on the street or on the water, and so forth. We realized that we can easily loos one or two Kilo of body weight, during such processes.
5) MARKET
Here is when the rubber meets the road. There are an estimated 100 Million patents in drawers that have been never used. The initial value of an innovation is exactly ZERO. The value then grows with the size of its distribution. We can be as innovative as we want – if we can make it available to a market or the market is not interesting, the value remains to be zero. In the end, sales channels, creative marketing, service and support organizations, transport (and if it the Internet) are ky to the success of any innovation. This success is seen best, when we look through the macroeconomic lense: A company creates a product. It is sold through distribution and dealer channels, it is shipped across all oceans, it is serviced locally, maybe education organizations provide training, maybe consulting companies help apply the product. At the same time new ideas pop up from companies that build add-ons to that product and create the same sub-market and all of a sudden a company with 5,000 employees actually creates 50,000 indirect jobs.

How to start from here

On April 23, the Society3 Group who worked on the Deep Innovation Design Model for four years is providing a free online seminar (webinar) and explaining how the Deep Innovation Design Model works, where you can get trained and how you get involved in this new model. www.society3.com/webinars/. The World Innovations Forum is providing the training programs and support in emerging countries and is able to provide stipends for talented innovators to learn how to be extremely innovative.

The 7 virtues of idea validation

  1. The absolute very first people you go to, are your potential customers. Listen very carefully what they say.
  2. Never ever fear that anybody can “steal” your idea. This is a myth that seem to never go away under first time entrepreneurs. That fear, by the way, is the no.1 reason why millions of great ideas vanish away and never see the light of day. Don’t bother your future clients with NDAs or other legal confrontation. This makes no sense.
  3. Interview your target audience BEFORE you spend a single penny or minute in prototyping or writing your first lines of code. Everything you do prior to speaking with them is pre-conditioning your thoughts. That bears the risk that you may start arguing with your contact.
  4. Structure the interview around 3 strategically craft questions:
    a) “How would the proposed idea help you?” Let them tell you their possible story, don’t “sell” your idea.
    b) “If you would build it, what would you charge, where would you see a good price point”. Find out what value they see.
    c) “What would you do 9 month later, if I would tell you the product is no longer available. What would be your alternative?” Find out if you have just a nice to have or it would be a serious problem when your idea is not maturing.
  5. Put yourself in a state of “very awake meditation”. Meaning you are hyper carefully listen, you never argue even a tiny bit, and you document not only what they say but also the emotions you noticed. Consider yourself an emotionless AI based Robot. When they don’t get what you say, make a note and trim your presentation.
  6. Don’t ever bother ‘potential customers’ with any type of faceless survey.
  7. Make sure you speak with at least 42 people. That number is important:
    – it has some undocumented statistical value
    – it forces you to find enough potential customers to start with
    – if you find only less than 42, it indicates that it will never warrant a business
    – you get the necessary feedback to decide your MVP functionality
    – it helps you understand how much time you spend to find, reach and talk with your audience – first indication for customer acquisition cost.
    – if you can’t get at least 20 positive feedbacks, continue until you have 20,

This is called idea & first market validation and is a key process in every top notch startup – BEFORE it was a real startup.

Most people just go and run. They fail but fail far later and have a 90% failure rate. Even though every startup entrepreneur today knows, that they ave only a 10% chance to win, they are sloppy right out of the gate :)

I get about 5 questions like that every day. And since I’m rather lazy, I wrote this post :)

Hope it’s helpful.