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CarbonCare Innovation Boot Camp

To put low-carbon innovative actions into practice, it is crucial to have like-minded companions. Collaborating with IAF-Hong Hong Chapter and with the support of Education for Good (EFG), Jockey Club CarbonCare Open InnoLab (JC COIL) organized a two-day-one-night CarbonCare Innovation Boot Camp. Through stimulating and intensive training programmes, the camp aimed to reinforce participants’ green ideas, help them form their own team, and get them better prepared for future actions.

The boot camp was held from 18th March to 19th March, 2017 in the Kadoorie Center. The campsite, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, boasts beautiful environs. Over 50 participants from different backgrounds entered the campsite in high spirit.

Participants did their self-introduction by picture collage. Then they took the “DISC Personality Test” to understand the characteristics of their own personality, and to learn how to get along with working partners of different personalities. The moderator added that if a team was made up of members with different personalities, it would take a longer time for everybody to blend in. However, once the members have found a way to get along with one another, the team would fully release its potentials.

In the “Provisional Teaming” session, participants with green project ideas were given one minute each to introduce their ideas to the others. Green themes they proposed included upcycling, eco-friendly event planning, turning food waste to good use, potato farming, solar energy, environmental information game platform, etc. Then, all convenors were given the opportunity to elaborate their team’s ideas to all participants for further exchanges. During this process, participants also communicated with one another, which helped them to pair up with like-minded people to form teams. Teams with similar ideas also discussed the possibility of merging. At the end of the day, most participants succeeded to form their own team.

Apart from letting participants understand the green innovative ideas of one another, we also hoped to trace the origin of these ideas. “My Green Initiation” was the sharing session we planned for Mr Chong Chan Yau, Advisor of CarbonCare Inno Lab, to speak of his experience from a poverty alleviation tour to Bangladesh. Mr Chong found that the southern parts of Bangladesh, in a low-lying area, were frequently affected by floods. Climate change accelerates often as a result of the high-carbon activities in developed countries. However, bearing the brunt are often those who live in resource-stricken regions. Mr Chong lamented that people’s lives were interrelated and asked why didn’t we work harder to change the world. After the sharing by Mr Chong, the participants also voiced out how their green passion started. Everyone understood one another better after the sharing session.

In the “Team Vision Crafting” and “Negative Forces Analysis” sessions that followed, participants extended their visions into the future and imagined what their teams would be like in a few years' time. Each team co-created a wonderful vision with their teammates and shared its vision with the others in a creative way. The teams were then brought back to the present and were asked to analyze what obstacles they would encounter on their way to achieve the team vision, and where they could find help. It is in fact normal to come across various obstacles during project development. The most important thing is to tackle the obstacles with team effort, and make good use of drives that would help a project to progress.

After a whole day full of activities, participants needed some time to cool down. In the evening and guided by the moderator, participants reviewed what they had learned during the day and shared their thoughts. To avoid hurting others, many people hesitate to speak their mind. So the moderator taught the participants how to apply the so-called “Left Hand Column” technique when they want to speak their mind. It was a wonderful evening filled with sharing and exchanges.

On the next day, all teams gave their feedback, discussed project strategies and established their own charter. EFG gave a talk on “Lean Startup”, citing the achievements of those Inno Teams formed during the first phase of JC COIL as examples. EFG told the teams that they could test the viability of their ideas using MVP (Minimum Viable Product). In the end, twelve teams submitted their charters and we finally selected the seven most qualified teams to join JC COIL Phase Two. These seven teams would receive professional support and coaching from the Lean Startup training programme offered by EFG.