Imagine a world in 2030: How the SDGs can inspire concrete ideas for sustainable mobility solutions
Imagine a world in 2030 that is largely sustainable – from society, to planet and economy. This is the vision that the United Nations have for our world. It is a great and very necessary vision! The guideposts that were created to lead our way into this bright future are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
These goals are predicated on the result of our irresponsible living of the past 100 years, during which time we created many challenges, ranging from poverty and inequality, to climate change, waste and the systematic exploitation of the planets natural resources. If we want to save our world and preserve it for next generations, it is crucially important that we start acting now.
To help us achieve this, the SDGs provide us with a very clear set of objectives. Signed in 2015 by 194 countries in the world, the catalogue of 17 goals form a uniformed benchmark for sustainable development priorities and objectives to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs are designed not only for developing countries or developed countries, but for all countries worldwide. Since the publication of those goals, many states worldwide developed national and very tangible action plans. Our Federal Government of Germany for example, has developed so-called “Deutsche Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie” with a clear set of objectives for Germany.
Companies have a lot of power to change the world for the better
The global SDGs also call for actions executed by societies and companies. We, the Sharkbite Innovation team, believe that companies – from multinationals to startups - own a special role in how they address sustainability. Companies have the products, the power, the financial means and the knowledge to not only support more sustainable actions, but also to adjust their own products and services, their ways of production and consumption of material and natural resources towards a more sustainable approach. And it is also their employees with their personal social conscience and their visions for a sustainable future who can make a difference.
We recently had the pleasure to experience this power with our own eyes, when we co-hosted a Meet-up with the DB Intrapreneurs team to present the SDGs to a great crowd of visionary employees of Deutsche Bahn and other interested entrepreneurial minds. Our goal was to design new solutions for one of our main challenges in European cities: sustainable mobility. But how can you turn such a broad challenge into concrete solutions? How can you take the first step if you are committed to make a difference – but also look at this huge challenge with a lot of respect? That is the main question that we answered together at this event, by applying the concept of design thinking and having great participants who were just eager to exchange ideas and to brainstorm solutions also after 8 PM in the evening.
From SDG 11 to very concrete solutions in 90 minutes
After a short introduction by Anne Blaschke (DB Intrapreneurs) and a presentation by our Sharks Giulia Hauck and Laura Kohler, we used SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, as a basis for defining two very concrete challenges:
“How can we inspire more sustainable mobility in cities?”
“How can we design better connections from rural to urban areas”
Based on those two main questions we used the principle of a mini design challenge to make those challenges tangible, to let the participants discuss with potential customers and to brainstorm, select, fine-tune and pitch ideas in just 90 minutes.
“We were pleased to experience how committed and creative our crowd were in addressing these two main questions after the informative and inspirational input of Sharkbite Innovation. It was great to focus on the SDGs as an inspirational source for innovation towards sustainability” - Anne Blaschke, DB Intrapreneurs
One result was a solution in the area of responsible consumption paired with sustainable transport of food. We also learned that it is easy to protect people on bikes from rain and stormy weather with a brand new product designed during this evening (with a crazy name that we can’t reveal yet!), and we saw great ideas to incentivize sustainable mobility in families by using the power of gamification with the best promoters of sustainable living: the children.
Thank you to the DB Intrapreneurs team for the great cooperation, and for putting an emphasize on this important topic during your program. It was inspirational to see how companies and their employees can be the force for change if they focus on the right topics, right now. Let’s hope many other companies will follow your example in using the power of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit for finding solutions for our main challenges in sustainability.
Together into a better future.