Creator Street Challenge brings together start-ups, experts, students and recent graduates from different disciplines to solve real-world issues.
It’s based on a human centered, thinking by doing methodology especially design to bring together people from diverse backgrounds and experiences, including “insiders” (e.g.: problem owners within the company) and “outsiders” (e.g.: externals who bring fresh perspective), and together achieve high-impact results in very short time. While most of the time is dedicated to applied project work, every project step is preceded by an ad-hoc training by Creator Street as well as other experts.
We live in a fast-changing society, we face challenges everyday, and new paradigms are emerging to solve them: different sharing models, social and digital currencies or new ways of learning, collaborating or connecting with people. The digital revolution has allowed and accelerated these changes, and many startups have taken the opportunity. Already offering solutions, these platforms are gaining traction, but, how can they gain critical mass and keep up with evolving needs of people?
Specifically, both start-ups were facing serious issues with generating sufficient network effects. Somehow, their “value propositions” and social currency didn’t work in an optimal way.
As most participants were busy in full-time jobs or studies, this challenge was organised as a three-week format, with two block-workshops on weekends and shorter end of day working sessions during the week. We formed three teams of 5-6 members – they were highly motivated and ended up working more than we had expected, meeting often during the week until late in the night!
The teams explored user needs, generated ideas and came up with prototypes for specific problems of social startups.
When analysing their respective start-ups, teams quickly discovered fundamental issues in the way the value proposition and in particular, the “social currency” exchanged were structured. For instance, in the case of the time bank they discovered that although users had initial interest, and many complete profiles and offers in the platform, the exchanges were not happening, as nobody was taking the initiative.
Through their exploration work with users and their fresh perspective on the matter, they were able to rethink the entire concept and made concrete proposals on how to reposition the platforms, like adding a gamification dimension to the time-bank in order to make the users act and progress.
As a result, all participants saw real benefits from the project:
- Social startups have improved their platforms by leveraging on a human centred methodology to solve their users needs.
- Young professionals and students have taken the opportunity to put into practice their capabilities and acquire new skills. They worked on inspiring social challenges, and shaped concepts on the latest digital trends such as collaborative networks and social currencies.