Hackathon: a carbon-free moment of inspiration!

Summary

The aim of the Carbon Hackathon was to speed up and prototype projects based on dozens of ideas put forward by the Danone teams to reduce the company’s carbon impact by 2020. For two days, some 70 people from within and outside the group pooled their energies to find innovative, sustainable solutions that could be rolled out again elsewhere. A look at this race against climate-incompatible emissions.

27Oct.
0

« It was a really inspiring moment at a time of transformation for Danone, » said a highly enthusiastic Lucas Urbano, Nature Manager for Danone group.

In Paris on 6 and 7 October, the situation – if not serious – was certainly decisive: the community created five months earlier with help from CommonsSense were eager to move the projects they had worked on (and put figures to) from the theoretical to the possible.

To move the projects from the theoretical to the possible.

After a plenary session assessing the Climate Change Challenge initiated before the summer, the participants divided up into five workshops in the afternoon. « Everyone used the challenge resolution format developed by MakeSense: the ‘Hold up’. This approach pinpoints the main hitch preventing a project from developing further, and mobilizes people to resolve the problem together. So during the Hackathon, each group spent three hours grappling with the problems identified for each of the five projects selected, in view of speeding them up, » says Arnaud Le Beschu de Champasavin, project leader with CommonsSense.

Everyone used the challenge resolution format developed by MakeSense: the ‘Hold up’.

After feedbacks on the workshops at the end of the day, the next day mobilized the participants again around the team of NOD-A, a fablab that helped them to prototype the projects. They were then able to produce a concrete product, and see the possible problems that had previously been hard to pinpoint. Once the prototypes were completed, the projects were presented in the form of a marketplace, where each group described what they had done; This provided material for the evening’s vote, when three projects were acclaimed by the jury, the public and the accompanying teams of CommonsSense and NOD-A.

Collective enthusiasm; effective solutions?  

« It was really groundbreaking and encouraging to see all the possibilities there are for reducing the impact of our packaging, such as the use of new materials, or very simply paper, » says Lucas Urbano. « Though I hope that there will not just be five projects in the end, but many more, which we can roll out in several factories and countries, even if it means adapting them to the context. »

It only really works when people start looking at the future together. Arnaud Le Beschu de Champsavin

But for him, as for CommonsSense, without yet knowing which projects will finally be implemented in a few months’ time, half the job has already been accomplished, because a community is working with the same mental approach. « Unfortunately, it’s not enough to send out an email asking if anyone has any ideas for reducing the carbon impact. It only really works when people start looking at the future together. And the day after the Hackathon, you could see the participants already talking about what they could do next. These projects are more tangible, so people can imagine being involved in them, which provides motivation for improving them further and then convincing decision-makers to put them into practice, » says Arnaud Le Beschu de Champsavin.

And even if the battle is not yet won and this collective enthusiasm will need to be kept alive and alert, Lucas Urbano thinks that « the projects were not what mattered most in this Hackathon; our chief asset is the spirit of transformation we now share. »