INNOV8 4 EARTH – 3rd edition

On April 19th the Pon Datalab organized the third edition of INNOV8 4 EARTH, aiming to bring tech people together to invent solutions that make the world a better place. Anyone who’s interested in technology and sustainability is welcome, so we had a great mix of data scientists, analysts, engineers, developers, designers, digital innovators and sustainability experts.

We started the day with two presentations, followed by a brainstorm using the so called Disney method. All colleagues stepped into the role of dreamer (everything is possible), realist (how to make this possible) and critic (this is not possible because), coming up with many ideas to improve the energy system, mobility market or the lives of those who need it. The ideas that survived all three stages were pitched to the group, after which everyone picked their favorite idea to work on. The teams spent the rest of the day on creating their first prototype, dashboard, mock-up, website or program.

Anniek Schreuder, management trainee at the CSR team, gave a presentation on the consequences of the climate crisis worldwide and the initiatives, goals, and tools of the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement. The main point of the SDG’s is to achieve positive social and environmental outcomes alongside financial results. We, as Pon, are already taking responsibility for our actions and will continue to do so even more in contributing to these goals.

Rui Li from Ponooc informed us about Venture Capital: how VC works, reasons why ventures fail, and how investors look at ventures and how to add value to a venture. The most important factors for an investor are: 1) a good team that is able to execute the proposition and adapt to market needs; 2) a good customer proposition with a scalable product; 3) co-investors who have complementary skills and focus areas 4) timing, because the opportunity itself could be too early or too late to succeed.

The following cases successfully passed the brainstorm session and were worked on during the day:

Case 1: It’s in our D&I

This project aims to promote diversity and inclusivity at Pon. The team will analyze the hiring process to identify and address bottlenecks and missed opportunities. It will consider diversity throughout the entire hiring funnel – rather than solely focusing on the end result – to create a culture of openness, inclusivity, and fairness at Pon. The team believes investing in a diverse culture will lead to positive outcomes, including inspired positivity, diverse teams, talent growth, and an innovative atmosphere that strengthens the business. The team will take action based on the data to improve diversity and inclusivity at Pon.

Case 2: WePower the ‘buurt-batterij’

WePower proposes a solution to the problem of net congestion in the energy market. The fluctuating and decentralized supply from green energy and expensive batteries ($5,000-$8,000 per household) contribute to the issue. The solution is Battery as a Service (BaaS), which is a power station 2.0 that can provide stable, green, and cheap energy to a group of households. The benefits include speeding up the green energy transition by reducing pressure on the grid and allowing consumers to benefit commercially from the shared battery. The revenue model is based on commission per kWh and trading on the energy market. The project could be a collaboration, including Revolt for batteries, the net administrator for wiring and connections, households for energy supply and demand, and WePower for organization and energy trading.

Case 3: Joyn ‘the movement’ platform

The next proposal: Joyn – a knowledge sharing and CSR platform designed to stimulate Pon employees’ intrinsic motivation to participate in CSR initiatives. The goal is to create a community where employees can share ideas and contribute to CSR goals. With a business plan focused on making a bigger contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the platform can lead to an improved reputation and the adoption of sustainable practices. The platform includes amongst others a “Wall of Fame” with big contributors, a board to submit and upvote ideas, a recipe of the day, and a performance measure overview. The costs of the project include building the platform, audit and maintenance, and the time of project members. Next steps include building the platform, creating a chatbot for the “recipe of the day,” and further development of the idea.

Case 4: Pon Resource App

This team worked on a platform/app that aims to encourage sharing among Pon employees. The app allows users to easily share cars, bikes, and other resources with colleagues, reducing transportation costs, and CO2 emissions. The app also features a Local Office Hub that checks for available spots in nearby Pon offices, allowing employees to work in a Pon office closer to home every now and then. The app awards users with environment stars for sustainable actions, and even includes a marketplace where employees can sell pre-loved items. Future plans include building the platform and creating a partner program to share resources with other companies too.

Case 5: Last Mile from Hub to House

The team’s project is focused on solving the problem of the “Last Mile” in logistics, which refers to the final step in delivering products to customers. The team proposes a solution that involves providing shared mobility options and developing algorithms to optimize the distribution of products from a warehouse to customers in the city. The warehouse, which is already in place and contains various types of vehicles, including ID4s, vans, and cargo bicycles, will act as a hub for storing a diverse range of products. The team has identified CTPark Amsterdam City as a potential customer for their Last Mile solution. By providing an efficient and sustainable way of transporting products from the warehouse to customers in the city, the team hopes to create a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution for last-mile logistics.

Example simulation of last mile distribution

Want to learn more about the cases, work on the projects in the mean time, or join the next INNOV8 4 EARTH in July 2023? Send me an e-mail on [email protected] and I’ll be happy to arrange a get-together.

  • Kevin Haver

    Lead Data Scientist
  • Ellen Mik

    Senior Data Scientist
  • Alyn Bolhoven – Meijer

    Data Scientist
  • Charlotte Koning

    Community Lead