New solutions in the world of work

Under the social innovation lab, we run short-cycle innovation projects to design and test new solutions that have the potential to change the world of work. These are delivered in consortium with partners and produce prototypes that can be taken forward by the Group or other stakeholders. We design to share, not to keep.

Workforce Vitality

A vital, healthy workforce is good for business, peoples and society. So, what are the barriers to the provision and uptake of effective programmes?

Building on the successful Win4Youth programme, this project aims to create a new paradigm of what a good employer does to make the global workforce holistically healthy and fit for purpose. It is not an app, not a platform, but a combination of policy, practice, culture, environment, technology & tools to create stickiness.

It employs the social innovation lab methodology of rigorous research and design thinking, culminating in a prototype of a product, service or way of doing business that has both social value and business potential. Initial research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) fueled a series of co-creation workshops with a multistakeholder working group, facilitated by design thinking expert John Kembel of out of the at Stanford University.

The end result is a blueprint for how institutions can more effectively approach workforce vitality in a holistic, sustainable, embedded way. It hinges on a set of necessary elements to create a truly enabling, human-centric environment. Employee wellbeing has never been more critical. At the time when the world of work is changing at the speed of light and workers are under immense pressure due to COVID-19, businesses should invest more time and effort to ensure their employees are engaged and healthy. Read how the new holistic method offers guidance on what to do and where to start.

Portfolio Career

Building skills to aid career transition

Leveraging the expertise and methodology of the Athlete Career Programme, this innovation project aims to unlock hidden pools of talent by increasing the employability of people who come out of narrow fields of study or training, who often struggle with career transition.

Two pilots are already running:

  • Employability for young musicians: Partnering with the Lucerne Festival and Davos Festival, we have piloted career development workshops for young musicians in the context of festival academies. Following on from this success, we are building out a multi-year project to extend this to academic institutions to create systemic change regarding how musicians are prepared for the world of work.
  • Disability inclusion in emerging markets: Partnering with the Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP) of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), we aim to increase the employability of people with disabilities in developing countries, fragile states and conflict zones. We have piloted a train-the-trainer programme for ICRC Inclusion Officers to disseminate tools and methods for preparing people with disabilities for work.

Following the same methodology as the Vitality project, Portfolio Career employs design thinking and co-creation of solutions with consortium partners. The end result will be a replicable model that can be applied to other underserved populations.