14 March 2019

How Amsterdam Collaborates With The Global Impact Hub Network

Impact Hub Amsterdam has been taking over our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook channels this week, sharing how their members create positive impact in the Netherlands and across the world! To top it off, the Amsterdam team is sharing how they collaborate with other Impact Hubs worldwide to find innovative, entrepreneurial solutions for impact challenges – from a plastic-free future to a low-carbon economy…

Every day 16,000 talented impact entrepreneurs and innovators around the world, from Amsterdam to San Francisco and from Caracas to Manila, are collaborating to change the status quo. Our members are working side by side in one of our 100 Impact Hubs around the world, connecting digitally through our global Community App, or using their Impact Hub Passport, which gives members the possibility to work and meet three days per year at any Impact Hub.

Each of these Impact Hubs contributes its local context and capabilities to our global network, which contains a diverse mix of talent, knowledge and opportunities. This unique mix is an essential reason for corporates and organisations to collaborate with the Impact Hub network. Together, we can find innovative entrepreneurial solutions to impact challenges among our members worldwide. Here are a few examples:

1. DOPPER Changemaker Challenge

For the third edition of the Changemaker Challenge, Dopper has decided to go international! So they asked Impact Hub Amsterdam, Impact Hub Berlin and Impact Hub King’s Cross to help them find the most innovative ideas for a plastic-free future with crystal-clear water among final-year students in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and Nepal. With the Dopper Changemaker Challenge, higher vocational or university students from all disciplines, who are graduating on the subject of plastic waste or clean water, can win research grants of up to €5,000, valuable business support and a promotional boost for their solution.

Diverse changemakers around the world are encouraging students to follow in their footsteps and become plastic waste or clean water changemakers, too. City to Sea founder Natalie Fee, from the UK, reached 35 million people with her Refill campaign for ditching single-use water bottles. Dutch designer Saskia Studer, co-founder of the Great Bubble Barrier contributed her creative skills to an award-winning solution to collect plastic from rivers and canals. Artist-turned-entrepreneur Ayumi Matsuzaka used her soil art to inspire Dycle – 100% compostable, plastic-free diapers turned into nutrient-rich fertiliser in Berlin.

Meet more changemakers on the Dopper Changemamer Challenge blog! To sign up for the Changemaker Challenge, submit your graduation topic related to plastic waste and/or clean water before 12 April.

2. Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge

The Great Bubble Barrier, winners of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2018, developed an air bubble ‘curtain’ to trap plastic waste in our rivers and prevent it from ending up in the ocean

The Dutch Postcode Lottery asked Impact Hub Amsterdam to support them in a global search for green business plans for the 2018 edition of their Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge competition. This challenge aims to speed up the transition to a low carbon economy. “We already had a strong European presence, so we also wanted to reach entrepreneurs in new regions, such as South America. For this targeted outreach, we partnered with experts including Impact Hub Amsterdam, who have the global network and scouting capabilities that match our criteria”, says Arjan Beerman, Communications Lead for the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge.

We did not just scout the Great Bubble Barrier, who won the €500,000 grand prize but also contributed to a record-breaking number of applications through a global promo campaign that included meet-ups with our scouts at Impact Hubs from Istanbul to Johannesburg. “In 2018, we received 845 applications from 100 different countries and became a truly global competition. We are thrilled with our Impact Hub collaboration and with the quality of the five finalists”, concludes Beerman.

Got a business plan to combat climate change? Submit your plan to the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge before 1 May.

3. Tommy Hilfiger Social Innovation Challenge

Another example is the TOMMY HILFIGER Social Innovation Challenge. Through this global initiative launched in 2018, TOMMY HILFIGER aims to support startups and scale-ups that are developing solutions with a positive impact on the fashion value chain. “The Impact Hub network supported us with our global media outreach that resulted in over 700 applications, assisted with the assessment process, and provided the perfect setting to host our bootcamp. This was a multi-day event where select internal associates were trained by MBA professors from the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program to develop the skills required to assess the submitted business plans”, says Robert Monas, director of the TommyCares foundation.

“Investing in ideas that can create real social change is essential to the future growth of our industry”, adds Monas. These kinds of inspiring ideas were among the six finalists, three of whom Impact Hub Amsterdam scouted. “From designing styles for people affected by dwarfism or the use of artificial intelligence to accelerate conventional apparel design workflows, to a digital healthcare platform and creating fabrics that are fully biodegradable and self-healing, each of the six finalists proposed very different ways to contribute to a more positive fashion value chain”, adds Monas. At the challenge’s January 2019 final event, the jury panel, which included Mr Tommy Hilfiger himself, awarded €200,000 among three winners to support the development of their powerful innovations.

Applications for the 2019 edition will open soon. Keep an eye on the Impact Hub Amsterdam website for more details!

Want to partner with our global Impact Hub network, too? Please contact us to learn more about our collaboration opportunities.