human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

Labyrinth 2030 – Pathway to Global Responsibility

Caritas Czech Republic innovates!

Labyrinth 2030, as a project of Caritas Czech Republic (CCR), aims to raise the awareness of the UN 2030 Agenda.

The project is targeted at university students and young people aged 18 – 30. We would like to share with you how we are involving groups of university students and young people in the innovation lab, and this project’s activities.

What is an innovation lab?

Innovation labs (also hubs, incubators, or accelerators) are business units that employ the methods of agile startups, with the goal of devising novel ideas that can either disrupt or complement the overall company.[1] Companies create such labs in order to change the whole business culture, or to create new, innovative ideas to help increase revenue or to achieve general satisfaction of employees.

Innovation labs employ people outside the parent organisation, use brainstorming, consult with experts, organise ideathons/hackathons (an ideathon is a brainstorming event, where participants throw in their ideas to solve strategic challenges and present their innovations to get feedbacks from a pool of experts, all in a dynamic and interactive framework. The difference with hackathons is that you do not need to be a software programmer to participate) and more, just to reach the goal they established. In the context of non-profit organisations, it can be used to involve new people in their initiatives and find original ways of approaching, and finding innovative perspectives on, old concepts.

Innovation lab in Labyrinth 2030

CCR is organising a contest for young people with no background in humanitarian work, in which the contestants will choose one of the countries in which CCR has its missions (Cambodia, Georgia, Moldova, Zambia) and, in line with the 2030 Agenda, they identify innovative approaches to a particular problem of the country, and whether it fits within the context of the country and its sustainability.

Only five teams (max 15 people) will be selected in the first round. Their work will then be reviewed by a jury of field experts. The lab will be conducted in four seminars. The first will be led by the project team of CCR providing the contestants with the main topics, contest rules, contract signing, etc. In addition, each team will be given a mentor (an expert in the field that is chosen by each team).

The second seminar will be led by a contracted lecturer, preferably an expert from the innovation centre or a business or innovation incubator who will train the contestants in project management and plan development, its implementation and promotion, etc.

The third seminar will take the form of individual counselling on visual style and project presentation. The project team will prefer the contestants showing their own initiative to get the consultant according to their specific needs.

In the last seminar the innovative projects will be presented and the winner will be selected at the Inspiration Forum. The Inspiration Forum is going to be a formal public event for the contestants, experts, and foreign guests. The Inspiration Forum will address six panellists in two panel blocks. The first block will focus on business innovation, which will be presented by three representatives from this area. The second block will focus on innovations in the non-profit sector, which will be presented by three representatives of the main Czech NGOs. A foreign innovation expert will also be invited. The whole event will take place in the National Technical Library or a similar space. The expert jury will select the winner who will receive a ticket to one of the priority countries of the Czech Development Cooperation in which CCR has a mission.

[1] Source: https://www.wework.com/ideas/innovation-labs, https://econsultancy.com/what-is-an-innovation-lab-and-how-do-they-work/