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Activating Higher Purpose and Giving Back, an example

In our quest to lead our clients in a more sustainable direction, we took on VINEA, helped them find their HIGHER PURPOSE and start GIVING BACK to the communities and traditions that produce the grapes for their wonderful soft drink.

In our efforts to spread the business model of sustainability (the intersection of what is best for business, society, and the environment), there are many paths to take. 

(Above) The sustainability Venn-Diagram.  Sustainability is where the benefits for business, the environment, and society overlap.

Unfortunately, as usual, not all of the options were economically feasible at present, but that will not stop forward-thinking companies such as Kofola, the parent company of Vinea.

For example, it was not currently economically feasible to focus solely on the environment and stop using PET bottles in the required timeframe.  So we switched on our design-thinking brains and took another look at the sustainability Venn diagram, and asked: Where is the need? In what ways can this product be more than just a nice drink?  It what ways can it give something back to people?

This led to further questions: What connects people to the product? The taste? The grapes? Even more basic than those appeared to be the vineyards. The vineyards are where the environment, society and economics all overlap.  Then we asked the question again: What is needed here? What can we give back to the land, communities and people who grow the grapes?

As it turned out many of the vineyards in the Svätého Jura region of Slovakia and the Lednici area in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic date back to the 11th century and much of social and economic life revolved around them.  But in recent years as more and more people left the villages for the cities, many vineyards have fallen into disrepair, and many people in these rural areas are also suffering economic and employment challenges, as well as social isolation. 

Here is the 30 second TV spot we designed and carried out in cooperation with Jandl Marketing & Communication Specialist.

Focusing on refurbishing vineyards in these regions, making them healthy and productive again in authentic ways was the path back into the sustainable center of the diagram, and became the focus for the rest of the design. 

Here is a longer video which shows the higher purpose in action. 

Furthermore, the volunteers organized by Vinea were brought together and are forming new social connections, and reinvigorating pride in the regions' traditions.

THE POINT: Design Thinking, is not about starting with a concept formed in a boardroom.  It is about going backwards, digging deep, asking questions of people, listening with empathy, and letting the concept grow from the bottom up, instead of the board room down.


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