Making a human impact at !nnovate Spain

  • Posted on May 30, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes
Avanade Innovate Spain

Avanade is a place full of big ideas, but it’s not every day that a big idea has the potential to save a life. Presenting a challenge from Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to Spain’s !nnovate event gave Avanade employees an opportunity to think that big.

Through March and April, Avanade held over 40 regional !nnovate events where employees came together to collaborate and innovate on client-inspired challenges. Each event was different based on the culture of the region and team, and Spain sought to create an experience that would inspire and involve as many employees as possible. The semi-finals took place over three days, moving between three cities (Madrid, Malaga and Barcelona) like a touring band. A DJ played music while employees worked through the challenges.

Matt Joe, Avanade’s Chief Technology Innovation Officer, attended and presented at the finale.

“I often say that we are a more innovative company when we tap into our culture of cultures, and thanks to Spain’s leadership team, I can confidently say that the culture and spirit of innovation are alive and well,” Matt said. “We not only focused on making a real human impact for MSF, but we also enabled our diverse teams to gain the confidence and courage to ‘Do the Next thing Now,’ which is what innovation at Avanade is all about!”

The MSF challenge was revealed to participants as a surprise as the events kicked off. MSF conducts “exploratory missions,” which are detailed field assessments of critical medical-humanitarian situations affecting vulnerable populations to determine how appropriate and feasible it is for MSF to intervene. Avanade employees were tasked to come up with solutions for MSF to conduct these exploratory missions in faster, more user-friendly and effective ways.

"It was a great opportunity to be part of Avanade’s !nnovate event and see how a group of people together with the right skills and motivation can generate in such a short time so many good ideas,” explains Patricia Fernández, Logistics Director of MSF. “The outcome is a prototype that provides an effective answer to real challenges we face in processing and crosschecking huge loads of information in real time. We are looking forward to see how this idea can materialize."

The six teams with the best ideas were selected to participate in the final event, but they weren’t competing with each other. Instead, all the teams were asked to come together and create a final solution that combined the best of all their ideas from the semi-finals, truly challenging their ability to collaborate and innovate.

“I thought it was a very playful and dynamic event,” said Miguel Cuenca, Infrastructure Analyst. “For me, the best way to learn is through having fun. Through !nnovate, we learned many things that can help us in our day-to-day, we worked with people we didn’t know, and spent an afternoon of our time having fun with teammates and even being able to help a NGO.”

The most exciting part? The solution from the finals isn’t just theoretical. MSF and Avanade are working to move this solution forward and try to make this a reality – maybe even some day saving a life. Now that’s real #humanimpact.

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