Rapid innovation makes a world of difference

March 23, 2020
  • Graduate

Being part of something bigger means seeing your ideas and solutions impact at scale, and achieve sustainable business, environmental and social outcomes.

At the 2020 CIMIC Group graduate program induction, our new graduates learned how to make a difference using the rapid innovation process.

What is the rapid innovation process?

The Rapid Innovation Process is a structured, time-focused process that helps teams convert ideas into mature concepts for innovations, by working through a series of steps including:

  • Identify the challenge
  • Clarify the problem to be solved
  • Define the greatest opportunities
  • Identify community and social issues
  • Mind map any ideas/ solutions
  • Identify problems or concerns
  • List all questions relevant to the problem/challenge.

Session facilitator, Coretex Group Director Cameron Fee said graduates bring a fresh perspective to problem-solving and can easily identify lots of potential solutions. “It’s always amazing to watch the level of enthusiasm and creativity graduates bring to these types of challenges.

“The rapid innovation process gives graduates a tool to generate and refine ideas, build support for their innovation and work towards an effective solution."

“I have never seen the rapid innovation process before and it is much better than brainstorming ideas. It gave us a way to work together.” 
- Ben Maunder, Thiess GIS Graduate

Rapid innovation in practice

The session introduced graduates to the story of Simon Doble who used rapid innovation to solve a lack of lighting in United Nations refugee camps with solar lights. Simon went from reading an article about energy poverty in Time magazine to developing and installing solar lights in refugee camps in less than two years. He has gone on to establish the SolarBuddy charity which is tackling energy poverty around the world.

Ready to change the world

Working in small groups, graduates were asked to solve a challenge associated with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in less than an hour. Groups jumped at the chance to use the rapid innovation process to generate solutions for sustainable cities and communities, and address problems faced by people living in extreme poverty. One challenge asked graduates to find a solution to malnourishment caused by people not being able to keep food fresh. Graduates explored a range of solutions, including technologies that do not rely on electricity.

“It was great to experience using the process for humanitarian development. It’s an impactful and useful tool. I can see ways I could use it commercially as well. When you’re solving a problem for a client, you need to be aware of their needs and the limitations and opportunities for a project."
- Janna Guy, EIC Activities Digital Engineering Graduate

About Solar Buddy

SolarBuddy is a registered charity that aims to end the devastating cycle of energy poverty around the world and distributes solar-powered lights to help children in developing countries do their homework at night. By building these lights, in partnership with SolarBuddy, our graduates have enabled hundreds of children to study after dark, with students reading and studying 78% longer and families saving 80% of their previous expense on kerosene.

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