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Can you use competition to improve sustainability?

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Can you use competition to improve sustainability? 1
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How our team pivoted through Startup Weekend Prague 2020

This article was also written by Anna Němcová, Tadeáš Kula, Anna Hanzelyova and Prabashwara Seneviratne.

It isn’t often that you get to spend a whole weekend with people who want to shake up an industry, and have the passion to do something about it. Startup Weekend is just an example of that energy coming together. Here is our team's experience at the beginning of March 2020.

The Challenge

Startup Weekend occurs in many countries around the world, where groups of individuals come together for 54 hours working tirelessly on one idea. That idea could be anything that the individuals pitch at the weekend and have not previously worked on. As a result, the weekend allows ideas to turn into MVPs, all in the space of close of business on Friday to a new week on Monday.

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Photo credit: @licencetoshoot for Startup Weekend Prague for all photos

The team

In early March, Prague’s Startup Weekend came around. Meeting for the first time on Friday, we made a team to combat the problem of individuals not being able to commit to sustainable habits. Well, at least that was the idea we got to. From the first idea relating to sustainable fashion, the team reevaluated the problems and the time constraints. It was ultimately decided to focus on helping sustainable awareness and the ability of individuals to act on broader environmental issues.

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Photo credit: @licencetoshoot for Startup Weekend Prague for all photos

The Process

Before we jump to the result of the weekend, we want to reflect on the journey to the pitch we presented on Sunday.

After a quick yoga session and deciding on our new topic Saturday morning, we set to work validating the market and testing what the market gap was. We concluded that perhaps this was a solution for businesses to enable their employees to unite on one challenge at work. We also concluded that the solution could enable the person to create a habit at the same time and could therefore be useful in overall company productivity. Finally, we were all familiar with the annoyance of having too many tools in some of our working experiences and this was something we shared with the mentors from the likes of PwC, Liftago and Productboard. We decided that not only was this a tool that could partner with existing brands and offer paid endorsement, it could also bring value to employees in and out of work.

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Photo credit: @licencetoshoot for Startup Weekend Prague for all photos

The Product

The result was creating a tool that could be integrated into existing work communications, to allow for a seamless integration between a person’s work life and habit building.

This included:

  • a chatbot that would be integrated into the company’s already existing main communication channel. This could be Slack, Microsoft Teams or email for example. However, we opted for a Slack chatbot to have a clear product focus for the weekend;
  • A team dashboard that could be accessed from the chatbot;
  • And a public leaderboard that would show which companies had completed what challenges to demonstrate commitment and inspire others.

Let’s have a look into each aspect.

Chatbot, Rezo

Quirky but authoritative, Rezo was designed by Bash to be the main prompt to help employees stay on top of their habits. Just designed as a Slack bot integration for the weekend, Rezo would prompt you daily, asking whether you had achieved a sustainable goal for the day. In order for the tracker to keep you motivated, users were asked to respond either ‘yes’ or ‘no’, receiving a fun GIF from a positive answer.

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To ensure it was easy for teams to track their overall progress, Rezo also linked to a Team Dashboard through a link, to lead to an external page.

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The Team Dashboard

The ultimate aim of the dashboard was to keep the team on track to achieve a sustainable goal together. The dashboard included how many days the challenge had been running for, visualising the team’s commitment rate in a line graph. As we wanted to incentivise teams to score above 80% competence consistently, any days above this rate were clearly marked.

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The Public Dashboard

To allow a company to show others the work they had completed, we strived to achieve a balance between complete corporate privacy and uncensored transparency.

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The result was sharing the challenges that had been completed by companies, rather than the completion rate. Nonetheless, we agreed only companies that had achieved over 80% completion could be listed.

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The Final Pitch

Once we had the product it was time to pull together our pitch. With some guidance on pitching, we stitched together our research to create a themed deck, including a demo of Rezo and the final visuals. To back up why our issue mattered we also considered how to make the problem more relatable to the Startup Weekend audience, by calculating how much CO2 they could have saved by taking the stairs one a day over the weekend, rather than the lift.

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While many projects at Startup Weekends remain confined to those 54 hours, we are happy to say that we are continuing with our project, Resonate. Therefore our question is if you could help your employees commit to a habit target, would you support them?

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Photo credit: @licencetoshoot for Startup Weekend Prague for all photos

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !

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https://medium.com/media/7078d8ad19192c4c53d3bf199468e4ab/href

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Can you use competition to improve sustainability? was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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