Creative Dock and B Lab Switzerland join forces to design new methodologies to build business models that last.
Could innovation be the key to unlocking positive, sustainable change within your business?
Non-profit public benefit foundation B Lab Switzerland has joined forces with corporate venture builder Creative Dock to help companies do just this. By merging sustainable initiatives from B Lab Switzerland and the power of innovation from Creative Dock, this collaboration means that sustainability will be considered in all phases of the innovation process, from ideating solutions to scaling ventures. This has immense potential for change and a positive impact.
B Lab Switzerland is part of the international B Lab network, whose aim is to transform the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab’s Standards Trust - an independent entity to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. To become certified, companies are assessed in five categories: governance, workers, community, the environment, and customers. While best known for its B Corp certification, B Lab also offers much more than this stamp of approval for companies.
Creative Dock is Europe and MENA’s largest independent corporate venture builder. Its Prague roots have expanded to include offices in Berlin, Vienna, Riyadh - and Zurich. With 100+ ventures built worldwide in over 40 countries, over 600 professionals, and tens of millions users of their products around the globe, Creative Dock’s goal is to further grow its business, building products and services that reach 1 billion users over the next 5 years.
Corporate venture building is a way for incumbent companies to create new means of generating value and revenue through digital transformation in industries such as fintech, insurtech, retail, and more. This approach combines the vast resources of corporate with the speedy and disruptive spirit of a startup; corporate clients externalize the conception, building, and scaling of new business models, products, and services to Creative Dock, whose end-to-end innovation and venturing teams design and launch new businesses in record time.
A company composed of interdisciplinary experts and those dedicated to disruptive innovation, Creative Dock also cares about sustainability, making the company an ideal collaborator for B Lab Switzerland.
Sustainability and innovation go hand-in-hand
In short, you can’t have innovation without sustainability, and vice-versa. One without the other is destined to falter. Sustainability is more than just recycling or switching from plastic to glass. It’s about exploring - and implementing - new ways of doing business, ones that have an eye towards the needs of future clients. It’s about considering new business models - such as those that support a circular economy. The opportunity spaces unlocked by sustainability are enormous fields and companies would do well to get there, first. There is great impact to be had: 71% of global emissions originate from just 100 companies, clearly illustrating how significant the results would be if just a few actors took steps in that direction.
This also counts for digital innovation. From the literal energy that it takes to power a server to new business models that it enables, digitization is powerful. It is a sea change that has changed the face of the private sector. And it has only just begun.
Generating value for its clients and ensuring future competitiveness and advantages is paramount for Creative Dock, and innovation and corporate venture-building has the potential to make a lasting positive impact on clients, humanity, and the planet. Martina Voskova, Innovation Method Lead at the company, explained that you can’t have future competitiveness without factoring in sustainability:
“People need to be aware that sustainability has a long-term impact, so if you’re not sustainable in the long term, you won't be viable in the future - because you will not have customers.”
Martina Voskova, Innovation Method Lead, Creative Dock
Additionally, sustainability is simply the right thing to do; it should be one of our top collective priorities. It is within our moral obligations and responsibility to current and future generations. Jonathan Normand, CEO of B Lab Switzerland, is a big believer in the American Indian proverb: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children." He goes on to say:
“I can't imagine that any new project or company business model is not designed to be a force for good - if we listen to science and to the raised concerns regarding the sustainability of the public."
Jonathan Normand, CEO, B Lab Switzerland
The future of sustainable innovation
As an expert in sustainability, B Lab Switzerland will work with Creative Dock to update its methodology, creating sustainability “plug-ins.” If a client wishes for a sustainable solution, B Lab Switzerland and Creative Dock can provide the methodological framework. Each specific task will be carefully inspected, enabling their biggest potential for sustainability. Methodology expert Martina Voskova cites the example of working on a fintech project: not only should team members analyze the investment aspect of building a new solution, but also the impact said investments have - and include them in the analysis. “As we look into the methodology, we realize that it’s not only the idea that needs to be sustainable but also the processes. So one of the goals is to look into both approaches: the product and the process,” she explains.
Both B Lab Switzerland and Creative Dock aim high: they commit to contribute to the global Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs). The SDGs are north stars, the guiding light for all future endeavors; Creative Dock is working to find ways to update its methodology to achieve them faster, and the B Lab partnership will support in pushing this further. The team of innovators, technologists and entrepreneurs at Creative Dock consider an updated methodology and focus on sustainability as a competitive advantage in the market - not only for the venture builder itself, but for its clients. Linda Armbruster, Director of Innovation at Creative Dock, puts it this way: “Our goal is to eventually implement the SDG throughout all of our offices, since our end goal as a company is to make a positive, meaningful, and long lasting impact.”
The next steps for this Creative Dock and B Lab Switzerland will be to find a partner to test the extended process, get feedback, and iterate so both entities can generate meaningful impact for businesses.
There are dozens of reasons why sustainability is important, especially for venture building. If you are interested in digging deeper into this topic, check out this article.
About B Lab Switzerland:
B Lab Switzerland is a non-profit public benefit foundation and the Swiss branch of B Lab, an international network that creates economic systems change through standards, policies, tools, and programs for business, and certifies companies—known as B Corps—who are leading the way. B Lab Switzerland supports businesses in the B Corp certification process and provides them with the tools to measure and improve their impact. B Lab Switzerland has also developed a solution-oriented sustainability program called the Swiss Triple Impact (STI).
To date, the Swiss community includes over 80 B Corps and at global level, over 6’000 companies are Certified B Corps, in 86 countries and 158 industries. More information: blab-switzerland.ch
About Creative Dock:
In 11 years, the Creative Dock Group (CDG) has grown from a disruptive startup into the largest independent corporate venture builder in Europe and the MENA region. The Creative Dock Group is the leader of a growing young category called Corporate Venture Building, helping large companies find and bring in new revenue by creating new services and products. CDG designs, builds and scales new products and services on this basis. The Creative Dock Group operates primarily in Europe and the Middle East and over the last decade, CDG has built more than 100 ventures in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa across different industries, including fintech, insurtech, e-commerce, retail, logistics, construction, manufacturing, etc. The Creative Dock Group currently employs more than 600 people. CDG’s goal is to build ventures and products with their clients that will be used by 1bn people worldwide in the next five years.
Over the past year, the Creative Dock Group has accelerated its growth and expanded its services by acquiring established European companies Spark Works, Switzerland’s leading innovation firm, the German Rohrbeck Heger, a leading European strategic foresight firm, and FoundersLane, a corporate venture builder active in Europe and the MENA region and IdeaSense, strategic and innovation firm based in Prague. CDG has key offices in Berlin, Zurich, Prague, and Riyadh. Current clients include companies such as, e.g. Adidas, Allianz, Ahold, Amadeus, Avast, Bekaert, Henkel, Holcim, Medgulf, Mondelēz, Talanx Group, Veolia and others. More information: creativedock.com