On Friday, the New York Times Opinionator blog featured a story about “Green Strategies for the Poorest.” The author, Tina Rosenberg, talks about the carbon credit model used by Vestergaard Frandsen for the LifeStraw products, and how they got the idea from Manna Energy. In the carbon credit market, entities that reduce carbon emissions can receive credits that can be sold as offsets to offending (think polluting) entities.
“Use of carbon markets could be a breakthrough.” Tina Rosenberg
What the Opinionator story failed to point out is HOW Vestergaard Frandsen and Manna Energy connected in the first place — LAUNCH: Water!
Our LAUNCH:Water sustainability forum in March brought together these two great forces for good: Vestergaard Frandsen and Manna Energy. Mikkel Vestergaard served as a LAUNCH Council member and Ron Garan’s Manna Energy was selected as one of the ten LAUNCH innovations. Mikkel liked Manna’s business model and signed them to a contract shortly after the LAUNCH:Water forum.
I feel like a proud parent. I hope this is one of many success stories that will start bubbling out of the innovation soup pot — LAUNCH.
So what are LAUNCH sustainability forums? What makes them unique?
We think the magic is the process itself. We created LAUNCH as TED with teeth — an innovation mashup.
First, we identify ten innovative, disruptive ideas that show great promise to make tangible progress toward solving sustainability challenges our society faces here on Earth.
The sustainability issues we face on our home planet mirror what we face when we leave the protection of our Earth’s atmosphere. The hostile environment of space forces us to be creative in how we support human life on short and long-duration missions. On Earth, we may take it for granted that our resources will be available when we need them. But can we make that assumption?
We hosted the inaugural LAUNCH:Water in March, and just recently hosted LAUNCH:Health in October. We give each Innovator the opportunity to present a 15 minute overview of their innovation to a diverse group of thought leaders.
Our LAUNCH team works closely with each innovator prior to the Forum to ensure the presentation tells a compelling story.
We provide each innovator with a slick video to help sell their stories. NIKE brings in a team to film each Innovator’s story, which becomes part of the Innovator’s portfolio, along with the Forum presentation.
Following the presentations, we facilitate small group impact rotations where LAUNCH Council focus on each innovator one-on-one (or ten-on-one, to be more precise).
Streamlined, solution-driven impact rotations are the heart of the problem-solving conversations at LAUNCH.
With five 30-minute impact rotations for each Innovator, our LAUNCH Council give insightful comments and recommendations about where they see each Innovation fitting in the market, and how to best proceed on the path toward success.
LAUNCH:Health Innovator Aydogan Ozcan told me LAUNCH was worth more than a year of technical conferences rolled up in one weekend. He couldn’t believe the thought leaders around the table were willing to focus total attention on him for two+ hours, when he normally had to wait next to an elevator just for the chance to speak to them for a stolen minute at a typical conference.
We’ll keep working hard to improve the process. I look forward to more stories in the news about the difference our innovators are making in the lives of others as the years go by. Through the LAUNCH sustainability forums, I get to be an Innovation Matchmaker. Not a bad title for my business card. Hmmm. Time to reorder….