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A great 4th event on intrapreneurship for The Positive Innovation Club London !

On March 27th, the Positive Innovation Club London met for the fourth time at The Conduit. Around 90 executives from the business world came together to discover 7 exciting projects from intrapreneurs. They also learned about ‘The power of purpose’ in big business with the keynote speaker Fiona Dawson, Global President of Food and Multisales at Mars.

Paul van Zyl presents the Conduit where this meeting of the Positive Innovation Club London took place© Dylan Itzikowitz, Sparknews

This inspiring event by Sparknews was focused on Intrapreneurship, the process of creating new products, services or even structures within a company. After a pitch session by 7 intrapreneurs the attendees participated in roundtable discussions to share their expertise and ideas concerning the projects.

Paul Van Zyl, co-founder and creative director of the Conduit, opened the night, explaining how this community came into fruition. This space serves as a meeting point for like-minded people who are driven by change. This was the first collaboration with the Conduit on a Sparknews event and it was a perfect venue for the Positive Innovation Club London.

Fiona Dawson, Global President of Food and Multisales at Mars, discusses with the Positive Innovation Club London attendees © Dylan Itzikowitz, Sparknews

Fiona Dawson’s keynote speech was focused on the power of purpose. She explained how the family business Mars Food overcame challenges to achieve long term positive effects. By providing a case study of rice farmers in Pakistan, Fiona demonstrated the work Mars have been doing to reduce the impact rice farming is having on the environment in Pakistan. By using water saving technology the farmers have increased their yield and income.

Mars Food program on sustainable rice farming presented by Fiona Dawson © UNCLE BEN’S®
Here are seven different social intrapreneurship examples:

1. Rethinking Insurance: Axa Emerging Customers

How to reinvent the way insurance has been working for a century, making it inclusive, not exclusive? Every year in emerging markets hundreds of millions of people fall back into poverty because of the risks they face. Axa Emerging Customers’ is partnering with microfinance institutions, mobile network operators and many others to protect the clients who trust them. They have 8.4 million customers protected today, but this is just a drop in the ocean of the 4 billion people with no formal protection. Garance Wattez-Richard, Head of AXA Emerging Customers, presented how they plan to make insurance accessible to all.

2. What is the real value of technology? Archipel&Co

This consulting firm is helping clients understand, prototype, test and scale profitable business initiatives in precarious markets, facilitating their transition to an inclusive economy. They are conducting research on the Digital Divide to understand how mobile tech is really making a difference for informal and micro-entrepreneurs, and answer the question ‘How is mobile technology really changing the reality of precarious users?’. Justin Dekoszmovszky, Partner & UK General Manager of Archipel&Co introduced to this new field of research.

A workshop by Garance Wattez-Richard, Head of AXA Emerging Customers, with the Positive Innovation Club London attendees © Dylan Itzikowitz, Sparknews

3. A solution to the UK housing sector crisis: National Housing Association

Futures Programme brings together housing association innovators to develop new products, services and approaches that help tackle society’s biggest challenges. The Greenhouse is their flagship 16-week programme that fosters the development of new ideas tackling strategic systemic challenges affecting the social housing sector. James Green, Futures Programme Coordinator at the National Housing Federation, was at the Positive Innovation Club to present the permanent incubator they are now developing to help further progress ideas that come out of the Greenhouse.

4. Advertising for good: JCDecaux Social Impact Programme

JCDecaux’s Nurture and Social Impact programmes are designed to open up the benefits of Out-of-Home advertising to new business areas. Nurture helps startups to scale up through affordable Out-of-Home advertising and mentoring; while Social Impact brings JCDecaux’s commitment to ‘profit with purpose’ to life, creating a space for businesses to communicate sustainability- and community-focused messages. Chris Dooley, Head of Social Impact at JCDecaux, explained how this program supports organisations with a positive impact.

Presentation of Who In The Zoo, an intrapeneur project within Marks and Spencers, at the Positive Innovation Club London © Dylan Itzikowitz, Sparknews

5. Tackling children’s mental health problems: Marks and Spencers.

Following on from its support of the Collectively Programme in Summer 2017, M&S is now supporting one of the project’s spin-offs — Who in the Zoo — in the aim to normalise the conversation around children’s mental health. Frazer Halliday, Senior Marketing Manager at Marks & Spencer, showed the game, designed for children, which has been developed as a tool to start a conversation around emotions at an early age, in a fun and engaging way, and is currently planning to roll out pilot phase 2 in early 2019.

6. Bridging the employment gap in the Philippines: TESSA by Plan International

A project that hatched through their Innovation Fund: the TESSA chatbot supports young people in the Philippines to answer the challenge: “How might we provide youth (particularly young women) the personal support to acquire skills and secure decent work?”. Carly Redhead, Innovation Network Manager at Plan International, was at the Club to showcase how it helps young girls to identify their skills and to help them find training and employment opportunities.

In 2018, 1016214 women and girls were provided with skills and work opportunities through TESSA, presented at the Positive Innovation Club London © Plan International

6.Helping refugees back into business: Ben&Jerry’s Ice Academy

Ben&Jerry’s team has teamed up with The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN) to help refugees get back into business and to overcome some of the challenges they face when entering the job market. The Ice Academy programme is an innovative model which works with people to develop their business ideas along with entrepreneurship training, mentoring and part-time employment. Cat Baron, Social Mission Program Officer at Ben & Jerry’s, gave an overview of the program.

Lively discussions among the Positive Innovation Club London attendees and Ben & Jerry’s intrapreneurs © Dylan Itzikowitz, Sparknews
The workshops between the attendees and the pitches were very constructive and hopefully, they sparked some intrapreneurial spirit. Many thanks to all those that came, the speakers and the Conduit for hosting. See you on June 3rd for a new Positive Innovation Club event.
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