Venture Lab: We design the mobility of tomorrow!

At the beginning of March I was finally allowed to return to the venerable and beautiful Banz Monastery as a speaker for the Institute for Political Education of the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation. My mission and aim was to explore the mobility of tomorrow together with a mixed group of participants (14-50 years old; young people – engineers – marketing experts) after a review of the fascinating history of the automobile. And because tomorrow’s mobility is still in the stars and it is therefore difficult to make a final statement, I developed innovative business ideas myself together with the participants using design thinking approaches and the Value Proposition Canvas.

Seminar description of my lecture of several days within the intergenerational seminar “Mobility & Innovations”.

We approached tomorrow’s mobility as follows:

  1. Review of the fascinating history of the automobile: Starting with the invention of the wheel (approx. 3340 B.C.) via the first electric car (1881) to the invention of the 3-point safety belt in 1959 by Nils Ivar Bohlin. In doing so, the initial scepticism towards the new means of transport was considered as well as a comparison of the accident statistics of horse and car traffic.
  2. Innovations and their significance for the economy: Definition of innovation as an “idea in action”. Review of disruptive business models, such as the distribution of “American ice” by Frederic and William Tudor in Calcutta (India) in 1833. Analysis of today’s innovative business models, such as that of ioki or Lilium.
  3. Venture Lab: Development of own innovative mobility concepts by the participants with the help of guided creativity techniques and using the Value Proposition Canvas. The Value Proposition Canvas should help to develop products and services that your customers really want. This is done through an intensive analysis of selected customer segments. This involves actively putting oneself in the shoes of one’s customers and understanding their tasks, wishes and problems. At the end, each team gave a presentation including a business model and pitch to an internal seminar jury.
Left: Intermediate status to a persona of a potential customer (Team 1) | Right: Team 2 in the development of the Value Proposition Canvas (product view)

The mobility concepts of tomorrow should be developed for two specific questions:

  1. Micromobility: With which products / services can 2030 more people be transported through the city / the same space in the same time?
  2. Long-distance-mobility: With which products / services can 2030 people be transported quickly, ecologically and (as far as possible) individually?

The big question is, of course, which business models were developed in the Venture Lab. Out of consideration for the intellectual property of the participants, I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but I’d like to reveal so much:

The “Micromobility” team developed a concept for a new ring track that can transport passengers through large city centres in concentric circles arranged one next to the other at walking speed – the persona shown above was conceived as the customer segment for this purpose.
The “Long Distance Mobility” team, on the other hand, developed a kind of “individual pneumatic tube” for individual transport over long distances by wealthy business people (from middle management onwards).

Finally, I would like to point out that I was really fascinated by the concrete and well elaborated ideas that the participants developed within a very short time in the seminar. However, with regard to the Value Proposition Canvas, I noticed in the seminar that it was sometimes very difficult for the participants to put themselves in the shoes of their potential customers and identify their jobs, pains and wishes. Above all, the differentiation between the individual terms was sometimes a little tricky. In order to be able to deal here in the future still a little more precisely with the Canvas and to be able to let the participants train the handling with the Canvas, the next seminar should last best simply one day longer ­čÖé I look forward now already to the next round!

Finally, a small excerpt from the history of the automobile: What would our cities look like today without the automobile?

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