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Innovation with purpose: Announcing the winners of !nnovateFest 2022

  • Posted on August 1, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

“C’mon! Everybody’s doing it! Give it a try.”

Underestimate the power of influencers and peer pressure at your own peril — our natural instinct to join in on a trend is has been responsible for crazes both wonderful and unable to withstand the test of time. Using ozone-depleting hairspray to tease one’s bangs into a vertical tower? Not the best idea to come out of the 1980s. But being more eco-aware and committed to sustainability is a trend we can all get behind.

!nnovateFest 2022 rode that sustainability wave this year, developing 10 days of content around the importance of sustainability for our clients, our business, our communities and our planet. While we had participants from all over the globe, three regions stood out in their efforts to make !nnovateFest a must-do for their people. As a result, each region gets to designate donations to nonprofits of their choice.

Getting people into !nnovateFest 2022

UK and Ireland (UKI), the top region by far, continued its hands-on approach that succeeded in getting people involved with our business strategy. The regional innovation leads sent out companywide comms and engaged employee groups to spread the work. Avanade Transformation Heroes sent personal invitations to people who weren’t logging on to view the content and participate in the activities.

For Austria, Switzerland & Germany (ASG), the secret to success a dedicated, motivation- and gamification-led engagement campaign. The Regional Innovation Lead, Tobias Hartmann, included personal anecdotes and other context to drive home the value of the information around sustainability that !nnovateFest featured.

In Southeast Asia, !nnovateFest isn’t just a once-a-year event; it’s part of the region’s culture of innovation. Content is featured during all-hands calls, the regional winner is celebrated widely through communications and at events, and friendly banter and competition is encouraged during the two weeks when people can amass points and vie for the top spot in the region. !nnovateFest is integral to the overall passion for innovating with purpose, a message that starts with onboarding and peaks each year with the event.

Sharing the victory

For the first time, the top three regions were given money from the corporate citizenship budget that they could designate to recipients of their choice. All three regions continued the sustainability theme with at least part of their donations.

In UKI, the $5,000 prize is split between two organizations that tackle sustainability from different angles. FoodCycle aims to reduce food poverty and eliminate waste in communities, and ClientEarth aims to use the power of the law to push for change at a global level.

ASG decided on one recipient in each country by asking !nnovateFest participants to vote on a short list provided by the regional innovation lead. The $4,000 was split among Kinder-und Jugendhospizstiftung Balthasar, a children and youth hospice in Germany; Solinetz, an organization providing services to refugees in Zurich; and emergency aid for people in Ukraine.

Southeast Asia asked its region’s top participants to choose from the nonprofits registered through the Benevity site Avanade uses for individual and corporate donations. Conservation International Singapore received the full $3,000 for its ability to make a real and lasting impact with its mission to “empower people to protect our most fundamental needs, such as food, water, and a stable climate for the benefit of all life on Earth.”

Sustaining focus on sustainability

Each of the regional leaders emphasized the relevance and value of sustainability as a topic for !nnovateFest 2022. UKI recently launched an employee-led Sustainability Interest Group that covers Carbon Neutral & Emissions, Reporting & ESG, Resources and Sustainable Buildings, with the aim of further developing Avanade's sustainability narrative and go-to-market. Avanade is in the forefront of efforts to raise sustainability awareness in Southeast Asia through actions like partnering with Microsoft on the GreenTech Challenge, a Shark Tank-like campaign to evaluate and fund start-ups focused on sustainability. And ASG recognizes sustainability is one of the core challenges of this and every future generation and is focusing more and more on creating impactful stories and building the right connections to clients.

While UKI, ASG and Southeast Asia deserve accolades for their stellar participation in !nnovateFest, it’s clear that any one in any region who spends 10 days thinking about and pledging action around the topic of sustainability is scoring a win for themselves and everyone and everything with whom they share a planet.

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