The UN Global Compact Young SDG Innovators Programme reflections – PODCAST

Clarasys’ UN Global Compact Young SDG Innovators Programme participants, Estelle and Jacob, reflect on the YSIP programme with Vodafone and Arup.

The UN Global Compact Young SDG Innovators Programme reflections – PODCAST

Clarasys’ UN Global Compact Young SDG Innovators Programme participants, Estelle and Jacob, reflect on the YSIP programme with Vodafone and Arup.

Clarasys-presents-Simply-Sustainability-podcast

Meet the authors

Jacob Brockmann

Associate Consultant

Estelle Douglas

Associate Consultant

The UN Global Compact Young SDG Innovators Programme “is an opportunity for participating companies of the UN Global Compact to identify young talent within their organizations to collaborate and accelerate business innovation towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”1

In 2022, Clarasys decided to send four of our team to take part in the programme to accelerate their knowledge around sustainability. During the programme, participants had the opportunity to refine and validate a specific SDG business challenge pertinent to their companies.

In episode 11 of Simply sustainability, two of our participants, Jacob and Estelle, chat to Sophie Cassidy, Software Engineer from Vodafone and Social Value Consultant at Arup, Holly Crossland, who also took part in the programme.

The quartet discuss the highlights of the Young SDG Innovators Programme and the projects they developed during the ten months of the programme.

Listen here or read on for an edited transcript.

Estelle Douglas: Welcome to today’s podcast, my name’s Estelle Douglas and I’m a consultant here at Clarasys. Before I introduce who’s joining us I’ll explain what we’re talking about today, which is the Young Sustainable Innovators Program or YSIP.

This is an opportunity for participating companies of the UN Global Compact to identify young talent within their organization to collaborate and accelerate business innovation towards the sustainable development goals or the SDGs. It’s a 10-month accelerator program that activates future business leaders and change-makers to develop and drive innovative solutions through technologies, initiatives, and business models and deliver on their company’s sustainability objectives. 

Clarasys participated in the YSIP program this year alongside a number of other teams, including Vodafone and Arup who join us here today. So I’ll hand over to Jacob who’s also from Clarasys to introduce himself and then to Vodafone and Arup as well. 

Jacob Brockmann: Thanks Estelle, my name’s Jacob. I’m also a consultant here at Clarasys and I was a member of our team on the YSIP program. So really excited to be here today. 

Estelle Douglas: Thanks, Jacob.

Introducing Vodafone

Sophie Cassidy: So I’ll introduce myself now and then maybe a little bit about the company. So I am delighted to be on the podcast today. I don’t know about you, but since the program’s ended back in July, I’ve kind of been eager to chat with the other companies and see how you’re all getting on so I feel like it’s going to be a great opportunity for that as well so discussing some of the highlights of the program. 

So my name’s Sophie Cassidy, I’m a software engineer at Vodafone. For those of you who aren’t aware, Vodafone is a telecommunications company. However, we’re going through a bit of a cool phase in Vodafone at the moment as part of our tech 2025 strategy and vision, we’re going through a digital transformation from a traditional telco to a technology communications company. So there’s a massive focus at the moment on projects, anything to do with technology. So ones that utilize big data, internet of things, and of course connectivity cause we’re Vodafone. As well as that, it’s important to know some of their key pillars are digital society, inclusion for all, and planet.

So we’ve got a really big commitment to playing a role in helping the planet. And we really believe that we’re gonna be able to do that through our capabilities and partnerships. So as part of the SDG innovator program, team Vodafone focused on sustainable agriculture. That was ’cause of passions within the team and also kind of different focuses within the business at the time.

We’re wanting to tackle issues such as biodiversity and food security. So when delving into what exactly sustainable agriculture meant, biodiversity and bees in particular kept coming up. So we thought that we could tackle this, and some of the stats around the importance of bees in biodiversity are really startling.

So bees ensure the pollination of over 80% of crops and wild plants in Europe. Which equates to about a third of the food we consume. So they’re very, very important in our ecosystems. And we thought we could leverage Vodafone’s capabilities, and partnerships to make a difference in this area of agriculture. So we came up with the idea of BBIOT. So it’s a smart beehive solution for farmers. And the whole aim is to improve biodiversity and agriculture focusing on bee populations. So the project is that we’re gonna install internet of ping sensors into beehives to measure parameters that signal not only the quantity of bees, but also bee colony health. And by providing these smart beehive solutions, we’re not only gonna increase the population of bees but also, by tracking the bee colony health, we’re gonna maintain optimal hive conditions and ensure future survival of the bee colony whilst maximizing crop pollination for the farmer as well. So kind of a win-win for both biodiversity and the agriculture industry.

How did Vodafone decide to focus on bees during the Young SDG Innovators Programme?

Jacob Brockmann: That’s really interesting Sophie. So I mean, bees aren’t something you would normally associate Vodafone with so I’d be really interested to know the thought process of like how you guys, you know, came to focus on that issue. 

Sophie Cassidy: I know yeah. I think most people who hear the project initially think of that, think bees – very random. But it isn’t that random. That’s why I gave that spiel at the start of where Vodafone’s current place is and what we’re focusing on and what our strategy and vision is at the moment. And Vodafone is focusing on how we can use technology throughout society and focusing again on those three pillars that I discussed with one of the most prominent ones that we’re focusing on at the moment being planet.

There are lots of other cool, interesting agricultural-based products that we already have in Vodafone. One, in particular, is myfarmweb, which is again a digital solution for farmers, but it’s a digital precision agriculture platform. So essentially what it does is it installs sensors all over a farm so the farmer can track exactly the water quantity that they’re using, where they’re using it. What fields are being maybe over-fertilized, and which are being under-fertilized. Even the routes of the tractors, there’ll be sensors in the tractor, so you can see exactly the route that it’s taking. So you know if you’re minimizing the amount of fuel that you’re consuming. So there are lots of projects to do with agriculture and maybe not kind of the traditional mobile network provider projects that you’d associate with Vodafone. So that was kind of our starting point, that we as insiders in Vodafone know lots of the other, maybe not traditional Vodafone projects that are going on.

And then as well as that, I think one of the main focuses that we wanted to tackle whenever we first joined the program was tying into our own personal interests, passions and all that stuff as well because the program was a real, fantastic opportunity to, alongside your day job, delve into your passion project.

We had someone in the team who was very heavily involved in agriculture in Vodafone. And then another girl on the team, Amy, who is a biodiversity enthusiast and it radiates off her, I could talk to her for hours about it. And then myself. I’m an engineer, so anything to do with tech and how we can use tech to produce something that’s really useful for people is what gets me going. So yeah, it kind of just fallen naturally from our own personal interest, but then again, kind of tying into some of the bigger projects that are happening across Vodafone as well. 

Jacob Brockmann: Yeah, that’s really awesome. I think it really captures a lot of the things that we emphasize in the program around trying to create a link between sustainability and innovation was a big theme. And also thinking about sustainability and more broad terms through the SDG. So really awesome project.

Introducing ARUP and their Young SDG Innovators Programme project

Holly Crossland: Yeah, I think that’s super interesting. And I think like Jacob just said there, it really embodies that innovation part of the program that we were on. I feel like that was a really big theme that they were trying to push onto us when we were going through the program in terms of that blue sky thinking. And it’d be really interesting to kind of see where that goes with your project as well, in terms of what are potentially the wider uses for that data that you collect and how that can be then used in different contexts and things to help the biodiversity agenda and how that can then as you mentioned, help with the agricultural sector as well.

So sounds like a really interesting project. I’d be really keen to keep up to date with what you kind of do with that. 

Sophie Cassidy: Hundred per cent. I’m very excited to see where it goes as well. Big plans for the future.

Estelle Douglas: Amazing. And Holly, would you like to introduce yourself and the project that you’re working on? 

Holly Crossland: Yeah. So thank you for having me on the podcast today. I mirror Sophie’s comments in that it feels like it’s been a bit of a whirlwind since we finished in July. And it’s really nice to kind of catch up with you again on this.

So my name’s Holly Crossland. I am a social value consultant at Arup. And for those of you who are not familiar with Arup, Arup is a global multidisciplinary, engineering and design consultancy. So we’ve got offices based all over the UK and also sort of throughout the globe and a really big ethos that we have at Arup is sustainable development is everything. And that’s been a really core focus of Arup since we launched our better way strategy, in 2019. So when we got the opportunity to send a cohort of early careers people to the YSIP program, we were really excited. And after many months of trying to come up with a project, we decided to focus on regenerative design.

So we’re going to be developing a regenerative design toolkit that will be an internal Arup initiative to raise the capability of Arup staff within regenerative design. 

For those of you who are not familiar with what regenerative design is, we have been working to the idea that design ranges on a scale from conventional to regenerative.

And what we really want to be doing at Arup is moving the dial past sustainable and closer to regenerative. And the reason for that is in order for society to exist within the planetary boundaries, we need to be actively reversing the damage done to date to the planet. And one way to do that is by creating a net positive impact through regenerative design. So we want this toolkit to be interactive. We want it to be accessible to Arup staff, and it’s really about building up that knowledge base within Arup staff and their capability to practically implement regenerative design on project for clients.

Sophie Cassidy: Oh, super interesting. I have a question about the regenerative design thing. Whenever your company was discussing it during the program was one of the first that I’d heard about it. Would you be able to give an example of one of the types of projects in Arup that’s been regenerative design and having that net positive impact?

Holly Crossland: Yeah. So one of the examples that we really like to draw on is around projects relating to biodiversity. What we really want to move to with regenerative is actively having a net positive impact on those habitats that would surround a project. So this might be actively improving the neighbouring habitats. It might be choosing building materials that actively improve biodiversity, by incorporating things like green roofs or beehives, or something similar to that.

Or it could be around what you are kind of giving back to the local area as well. So are your staff volunteering, and giving more back to the local community through conservation, and things like that. So it’s about not just trying to have, a net zero or a net negative impact. It’s really about focusing on that net positive – giving more back than what was there before so that we can try to start actively repairing the damage that we’ve done to the planet.

Jacob Brockmann: Yeah, I think that’s really awesome, Holly. It’s interesting to see how your project really does shift the discussion. I think a lot of the time when we’re talking about the climate crisis, we are obviously talking in quite negative terms, for really good reason. But I think one of the things that your project does is, gives us a register to talk about things in a more positive way.

I just think it’s nice to hear people talking about the way that they approach sustainability, not as about stopping the bleeding, but actually, like you said, having a net positive impact and really making the world a better place as opposed to stopping it from falling apart.

Holly Crossland: I think that’s a really positive and great way to look at it, Jacob, in terms of having a more positive outlook on the work that we can do as professionals to help the climate crisis and to give back to the planet, as you said. And, I think I saw a really interesting image on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, and it was kind of somebody looking off into the distance and around where they were looking were all of the different elements of sustainability.

So the things like that are within the planetary boundaries, like ocean acidification bio diversity things such as that, but what they were looking at, and missing, uh, they were missing, all of that, but what they were focusing on was that kind of zero carbon. And I think that was like a really good way of looking at it in that it’s not just about making no net new emissions. It’s actually about taking a more holistic look at how you can solve the health of the planet and improve the health of the planet because it really is this interconnected system of all of these different aspects that create a healthy planet, that you have to look at all of them together. And you can’t.

And I think that’s reflected in the sort of the SDGs and the work that we were looking at on the YSIP program in that you can’t just look at one thing in isolation. Same with the SDGs and expect that to make a sustainable project or a regenerative project. It’s about looking at all of them holistically and building every single one of them up to create this like web of improvement for the earth. And yeah, that’s what we’re really trying to change the narrative on, in our project and move that focus away from just being about the narrative of just being about net zero and that it’s yeah about looking holistically.

Estelle Douglas: Amazing. Thank you guys. And Jacob, I’ll hand over to you to discuss what us via Clarasys came up with during the YSIP program. 

Clarasys Young SDG Innovators Programme project

Jacob Brockmann: Thanks Estelle I mean, that’s a pretty hard act to follow, those are two really awesome projects, but I will jump into what we got up to at Clarasys. So for our project, we designed a workshop to help our clients redesign their customer journey to be more circular. Now I guess before I go into that in more detail, I might just take a step back and take you on the journey of how we got to that. One of the big focuses of the program was learning to love the problem and really understanding the challenges that you wanna solve before jumping to solutions and I think the SDGs are a really good way of focusing that exercise.

So as a consultancy that works really closely with clients to understand their processes, their customer journeys and their business models, we thought that SDG 12 was a really natural focus for us. So SDG 12 is about responsible consumption and production. And it encourages us to learn to use and produce in sustainable ways that will reverse the harm that we’ve inflicted on the planet.

And one of the really powerful ideas that is often associated with SDG 12 is the circular economy. I’m sure lots of people have probably heard about that before but just in case you haven’t, the circular economy is a systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.

And it encourages us to shift from the current world that we are living in, which is that of a linear economy where we take, make and waste, towards a circular economy where we regenerate natural systems. We design out waste and pollution and we keep products and materials in use. So a really simple example of this would be Boris bikes in London, which is one I know that I use a lot. So instead of one person buying a bike until it breaks and then throwing it away, we all share the same resource, we pay for access to it for a limited time, and then the company that manages the bikes is responsible for repairing them and looking after them.

As Clarasys what we find really interesting about the circular economy and that Boris bikes example is that it requires a much closer relationship between customers and businesses. The Boris bikes don’t work unless people will return them when they’re finished and they won’t do that unless they have an incentive to do so. So in that example, people return the bikes because they put their credit card in at the start and they will be charged for every half hour that they have it out before they return it.

So what we wanted to do with our workshop and through our project was to help our clients and help organizations imagine what a more circular customer journey might look like for them. For example, if you want to move to offer your products as a service, how does your relationship with your customers change? What will you need to do to make sure that you’re meeting the same functional and emotional needs of your customers while shifting to a more circular way of running your business? And I think the last thing that I’ll add is that for this program, we specifically geared our workshop design towards the food and beverage industry. Because this is an area where we have a lot of experience. We’ve done some work before with a pub chain called Peach Pubs where we’ve helped them to design a net zero customer experience. And yeah, we thought that the YSIP program was a great opportunity for us to kind of take some of that work further.

Estelle Douglas: Amazing. Thank you, Jacob. Just wanted to add that, Clarasys, because we don’t necessarily produce any products, it was quite difficult to look within and say where can we make the biggest impact. And internally as a company, it wouldn’t be as great of an impact compared to if we help customers, or we help our clients. So like, as Jacob mentioned around if we were helping with Boris bikes, we would be helping that organization incentivize and understand the behaviours and that impact would hit a lot more people and reduce waste there that way compared to doing it internally. So that was kind of our thinking around that.

Sophie Cassidy: Yeah, Estelle, Jacob, the idea’s great. I love the Boris bike examples. I’m also an avid user of them. They’re fantastic. I think one of the things that jumps out to me about your idea and something that we focused on a lot in the camp is we talked about the idea of complexity and complicated and how sustainability issues are inherently complicated and complex. And I think that’s what your workshop really addresses as well. It’s helping people along with that process. And I think one of the main reasons why projects become complicated is because of people. People make things complicated cause they’ve got emotions and everything else that goes with it. So yeah, I think kind of helping companies come up with a product that falls into that circular economy framework and helps them have the best interactions possible with their customers is a fantastic idea. So, yeah. Fantastic work. 

Jacob Brockmann: Thanks, Sophie. And I think what you’re picking up on there is something that we were thinking about a lot which is, often when we talk about sustainability, we’re thinking about things which are maybe backend processes. So stuff like, ‘how do we dispose of waste?’, for example. But the first instinct is not to think about like what’s actually happening with customers. How are their emotional needs changing based on the changes that we’re making to our product and to the journey and experience we’re offering to our customers?

So I think that’s something that at Clarasys we work with every day, we have a real interest in, in customer experience and we want to bring that expertise into the sustainability space.

Estelle Douglas: Yeah, thank you. And I think also we wanted to use this opportunity to be as ambitious as possible as well. We wanted to say like, okay, if we’re working with certain clients within food and beverage, is there a chain, for example, that is spread across the country, that is a really big task to tackle but the impact of it could be absolutely massive. So we really wanted to just position ourselves and find ideas and ways that we can contribute to making a change on that sort of skill. So I think we’ve all been given the opportunity to develop very ambitious solutions to these challenges. So I think hats off to everyone here.

Holly Crossland: It sounds like a fantastic idea. And I think we probably shared some of the same challenges in that we’re also a set of consultants and I really related to what you said there around finding that niche of where you could create the most value if you’re not a product-producing company.

And yeah, it sounds like you’ve made a really great idea out of trying to find that niche of where you can really create that value and circular economy seems to be a real hot topic at the moment. I feel like I’m always seeing stuff about circular economy. So the fact that you’ve come up with such an innovative idea around that sounds like it’s gonna really bring value. Feels like it’s kind of the start of a bit of a circular economy movement for Clarasys. It sounds really interesting. Again, I’d be really keen to catch up with what you’re kind of doing on that as it progresses.

Estelle Douglas: Thanks, Holly. So I’m just gonna move us on to just have a little discussion around what your highlights of the program are, and any reflections that you have around the SDGs as a framework.

What were your highlights from the Young SDG Innovators Programme?

Sophie Cassidy: I can jump in first. So from Team Vodafone’s perspective, the program was excellent. We’ve really, really enjoyed it. Some of the main highlights, I would think are working with so many other young professionals who’ve got the same passion for sustainability and who want to be the change makers from like taking a quote from the program itself in their organizations.

And yeah just seeing all the different ideas, the enthusiasm from each team and showing up to the camps and everyone’s participating and brainstorming together, helping people out, we’d go off into our individual breakout rooms and then when we came back as a group, everyone was chipping in of like, oh, we should try this, so it really felt like a communal effort and yeah, just really inspirational to be kind of around so many people who are very ambitious and driven in the sustainability sector. As well as that, I really, really enjoyed the external speakers. I dunno about the rest of you but I just thought they were phenomenal.

One, in particular, was, Katell from INSEAD, I’m a major fan girl now, but she was just amazing. And I really liked the talk that she gave because it was really candid and honest and it highlighted that it’s not all blue skies and plain sailing, that it can be tricky, but just to push through and persevere.

And then, yeah, the final highlight for me was being able to dedicate the time. In work, we’re all very busy with our day-to-day jobs and lives. And it was a fantastic opportunity, especially as a software engineer who doesn’t have a traditional role in sustainability at Vodafone it was amazing to have the time dedicated 10 months with five camps that I could spend innovating with the team, which was just fantastic and tackling sustainability issues and this sort of initiative. So yeah, that was just kind of a major highlight for me as well.

Estelle Douglas: I also agree with the fact that it was a great chance to be sort of in the same virtual room, but with so many different young people that are also just so passionate about sustainability, but not to be an echo chamber as well. I think because we’re all from different industries and different sectors, we were able to give each other very well thought-critical feedback to improve what it was we’re working on. So that was probably my favourite part. And that networking opportunity to get to speak to you guys that are doing something completely different to us but it’s also just really inspiring, I suppose, just to know what other industries are doing and how they’re tackling the issues around climate change.

Sophie Cassidy: Yeah, no, definitely. I think that’s another thing. The different perspectives from all the different companies as well. Everyone approached it from a different angle, which was so interesting to see. It was just, as you said, a virtual room. It was such a shame we weren’t in person. So hopefully fingers crossed over the next couple of months we get to meet up again and see the progress that everyone’s made.

Holly Crossland: Yeah. I think from team Arup, one of the main things that we definitely identified as a highlight is very similar to what you just said there, Sophie, in terms of having that space to think about sustainability and innovation. I think one of the things that they really stressed at the start of the program, particularly in that brainstorming phase in the first couple of camps around taking this opportunity to do some blue sky thinking, that thinking where there really isn’t a limit and there are no stupid ideas, which I think being able to have like 10 months of really just focusing on that. And as you said, Sophie, having the space to do that is actually quite a rare opportunity sometimes in the professional world. We were kind of sat there thinking of ideas without that initial limits of budgets, times, what’s my manager gonna say, if I suggest this, is this doable and it was so nice to really let those creative juices flow really in terms of sustainability because you don’t often get that opportunity day to day. So I think for us, that was a real highlight, and again, also similar to what we’ve said, just being able to hear the different perspectives and the different ideas from such a broad range of other young professionals in such a really diverse set of companies as well. So like Sophie, hearing about how Vodafone are looking into bee monitoring technology was so interesting. I would’ve never, in a million years guessed that Vodafone was thinking about things like that. And I feel like it was a really valuable opportunity to open our eyes to the broader spectrum of what’s going on in sustainability, across the professional world. 

Jacob Brockmann: Yeah. And just to build on that, Holly, I think this whole idea around broadening the way that we think about sustainability is also pretty intrinsic to the SDG project itself. One of the things that we really enjoyed about working with the sustainable development goals is that the goals are not just about carbon emissions or reducing deforestation, but they also address and draw attention to the social and economic consequences of the climate crisis.

That’s hugely important, it’s great for organizations to think more creatively and more broadly about the impact that they have. I just wanted to add that I think the sustainable development goals were a good principle or a good prism for that discussion.

Sophie Cassidy: I think on that as well Jacob is the sustainable development goals, similar to what we were talking about at the program. It was really good to see what other companies were doing in terms of sustainability. So we can all push forward in the right direction. And I think that’s exactly what the sustainable development goals really are, but in kind of a global universal scale that they’re like a universal collective set of goals that countries and governments can use to pressure each other in the right way and push each other forward. So yeah the end goal and something to work towards for on a global scale rather than a program.

Estelle Douglas: Yeah, Sophie completely agree. I think it just probably brought all of our individual projects to life a bit more as well to say that they’re very much material things and we can actually make a real practical, meaningful impact, and that is something that can be applied pretty much anywhere.

It’s not just, oh, you can only do this in the UK, or you can only do this within your industry. It was very much so that we were given this space and opportunity to say ‘here are all the different areas where you can make positive change, just go and do it’. And we had this freedom there, but just to know that what we were doing is actually gonna do some really meaningful change, as I mentioned, which is great.

Cool. So lastly, before we wrap up if you guys wouldn’t mind just talking about a challenge that your company is facing, and one thing that you’re excited about as you take your project forward?

Challenges your company is facing and why you’re excited about taking your project forward?

Holly Crossland: I’m happy to kick off on that. I think one of the biggest challenges as I’m sure it is with all of you is that this is venturing into something new so not all of the information is always gonna be there.

There’s not always gonna be a path that you can follow that’s already been defined for you. But I guess that is what makes it exciting and I think that would probably be what our team is most excited for is that we’re really excited to learn some new things. Regenerative design is a relatively new space. There are some really good case studies on it, across the globe, not just within Arup, but you know, within the wider engineering space. And I think it’s gonna be really exciting to learn some of that new stuff and get to understand sustainability concepts and regenerative design concepts that perhaps we wouldn’t touch in our day jobs for another five, 10 years as standard. So yeah, I think that’ll be really, really exciting. So going off into the unknown and seeing what we learn,

Jacob Brockmann: That’s really awesome. Holly, I might just jump in there because I think our reflections are really pretty close to what you were saying. I mean, anytime you wanna make a change there is always gonna be some resistance. And I think certainly when we’ve talked about the circular economy and this idea of moving from a linear to a circular customer journey, often, that seems like a really big change to make to the way that organizations have done things in the past and I guess as a team, we probably have two main reflections on that. The first would be that the climate crisis is exactly that, it’s a crisis, and we shouldn’t be afraid of calling for courage and holding ourselves to a higher standard. But secondly, whenever you’re making changes, you don’t have to make them all at once and that’s usually actually a bad idea. So one of the things that we really emphasize is that it’s important to prioritize the changes that you wanna make to test these. To gather feedback from customers, and to iterate in an agile way. So those are probably our main takeaways on this question of ‘how do you get people to engage with the changes that you wanna make?’.

Estelle Douglas: Yeah, absolutely. Jacob, I think that is definitely the challenge that we will face taking our solution forward and, sort of finding ways that we can engage clients as customers. And understanding the behaviours that they need to do and how they need to change is a challenge, but it’s also, so exciting because it has been done before and it is being done in so many different ways. It’s just really a matter of either building on existing ideas or creating new ones and yeah, and just being able to be part of that is extremely exciting.

Sophie Cassidy: Yeah, I think what you said there, Jacob, about taking things step by step and trying not to change everything at once. Cause that can kinda seem overwhelming for you and overwhelming for whoever you’re trying to make change as well. But yeah, step by step and a couple years down the road or however long it is, you’ll look back and those little steps have kind of equation to something a lot bigger.

But yeah, that’s something I’m definitely going to take away from this conversation as well. One of the main challenges that we’re facing and it’s something I touched on in the highlights of the programme, is finding time. 

Everyone in our team is extremely busy as I’m sure you are all as well and finding the time to work on this side project is sometimes difficult with our day jobs.

So yeah, I think that’s something that we definitely miss about the program. That’s something that we’re struggling with a little bit now that the program is over. But at the same, we’re gonna keep pushing through and make things happen. And it really highlights to me the importance for companies to have these teams designated for sustainability. Sustainability isn’t something you can half do and it’s something that like, they’re very demanding projects that require a lot of work if you’re going to develop it and execute it well so yeah, that’s something that’s really come to the forefront for me, that you have to have teams designated for this.

And yeah, another one of the challenges linked to that is Vodafone is such a large organization. It’s sometimes difficult to know who to engage with in the organization for this kind of project. There are almost lots of different routes you can go down so that’s something we’re currently trying to space out ourselves at the moment and plan out seeing what the best route to take is, but that I think is also one of the reasons why I’m quite excited, is the opportunity to work with new teams.

I personally don’t like being pigeonholed into any one role. I like branching out and seeing what else is in the organization. So, yeah, that’s one thing I’m really excited about working with new teams, getting even more perspectives, seeing what we can do moving forward and taking BBIOT from the ideation stage into the execution stage. Exciting times ahead.

Estelle Douglas: Amazing. Thanks all. Thank you for joining us today to discuss the program and just wider sustainability challenges. It’s so great to hear ideas coming from young professionals and companies from so many different sectors and industries. I absolutely love the passion that we all brought today as well. It’s very inspiring and I’m really excited for us all to sort of put our solutions into practice, and see some results hopefully in the near future. So thank you all. 

Jacob Brockmann: Thanks, everyone. 

Sophie Cassidy: Thank you so much.

Holly Crossland: Yeah. Thank you. 

Thank you for listening to our Simply Sustainability Podcast. We hope you enjoyed it. For more information, please contact us at sustainability@clarasys.com.

To find out how our sustainability consulting can help you, get in touch. Find out more about the Young SDG innovators programme here.

References 

  1. United Nations Global Compact, 2022, Young SDG Innovators, Available at: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/sdgs/young-sdg-innovators

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