Vattenfall Hackathon 2017: Uncovering disruptive ideas in the realm of sustainable energy

“What has been missing from the Swedish energy debate is imagination. The power of innovation has been completely underestimated.”
— Göran Bohlin, Award-winning innovator & hackathon participant

During two full days in July 2017, Another Tomorrow teamed up with Swedish energy giant Vattenfall at their center for innovation in Älvkarleby where we lead the hackathon “The Future of Energy”.

The project was set in motion by communications agency DDB Stockholm and PR agency POST STHLM. The aim was to involve the public in Vattenfall’s commitment to lead the way in sustainable energy and a fossil fuel free Sweden.

Another Tomorrow’s role was to design and facilitate the hackathon, as well as recruit different perspectives to participate.

The Process

Building upon our own process SLING, we structured a two-day hackathon that lead participants through stages of ideation, prototyping and testing.

SLING is a design process that allows for future opportunities to be explored fast. Focus is placed on rapid prototyping and testing of ideas on a target audience in order to reach the critical stage of learning from new insights.

“In order to get truly disruptive ideas, it is important to consider different perspectives”
— Fredrik Heghammar, Another Tomorrow
Swedish artist Lilla Namo gaving participants a boost of inspiration

After inspirational talks from Swedish artist Lilla Namo, Another Tomorrow kicked off the hackathon with ideation.

This is a minute by minute facilitated process done at rapid speed.

In less than an hour and a half, 150 unique ideas had been generated and voted down to 3.

These 3 ideas were developed further during the afternoon and brought in the the next phase which is prototyping.

Teams clustering ideas in ideation session

Prototyping

Prototyping is the process of turning ideas into experiences that can be tested and reacted on.

We started of the second day of the hackathon with teams being asked to visualize their ideas in short, self-explanatory videos. These video prototype were designed to be tested on the public as well as on representatives from Vattenfall.

Below is an example of a video prototype made by one of the teams.

One video prototype from the hack was called Svärmkraft: a platform that decentralizes electricity production by gathering electricity generated by individuals through movement

One video prototype from the hack was called Svärmkraft: a platform that decentralizes electricity production by gathering electricity generated by individuals through movement

The power of perspective

For disruptive ideas to be created, we believe perspective is key. In order to get multiple perspectives on the prototypes at Vattenfall Hackathon, we connected to the public through Facebook.

A selected audience were invited to follow the hackathon through a closed Facebook group. Invites were sent out to the approx. 300 people who applied to join the hackathon as participants.

Through this FB-group the public could interact with the teams by posting questions and follow along in the hackathon through live streams.

This online audience were also asked to actively participate in the testing phase. In addition to the diverse group of people present at the hackathon, they served as an extra test-group that the teams could ask input and feedback from.

“The best part was to experience a new way of working, which is unlike anything I have tried before. It was exciting how fast everything went.”
- Malin Strand, Sustainability expert and participant

The Result

In the end of the two days, three video prototypes were presented.

The hackathon inspired Vattenfall to keep working on one of the prototypes presented and continue the iteration of it. Below is the iterated version released by Vattenfall after the hackathon.

“It’s been a great weekend. Great participants. Great ideas. It’s fascinating how hard they have been working for two days.”
— Namo Marouf, artist and engineer
Vattenfall Hackathon participants happy after prototypes have been finalised

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Another Tomorrow facilitates a process that decentralise innovation, enabling anyone to participate — which is vital when you want to create disruptive ideas, craft and launch products or transform your organisation to be fit for the future. To learn more about what we do, visit us at www.anothertomorrow.io

Originally published at medium.com on September 12, 2017.