We’d all like to use more energy generated from renewable sources than carbon technologies but one thing traditional power generation has over renewables like solar and wind is that if we need more energy at some point, we can throw more coal or gas into the furnaces, but we can’t make the wind blow or the sun shine.
That’s where this brilliant idea comes in. When there’s excess energy from the wind turbines it’s used to push heavy electric trains up a hill. When we need energy, but the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining, gravity pulls the trains back down the hill and they become mini power stations and generate electricity.
They send a small parcel of (animal) poo anonymously to someone on your behalf.
Now, I have a very low threshold for ideas because I do, sincerely believe, that all the best ideas started life sounding utterly ridiculous……but I really can’t decide whether this is brilliant or…..shit 😉
It is estimated that 60% of the population of Brazil – over 105 million people are on low incomes. For those citizens there is a fine line between hardship and crisis as there is no state funded safety net that we benefit from here in the UK.
Micro-insurance can help these families to keep their head above water after an unexpected event, contributing indirectly to the micro-economic balance by ensuring that grocery bills and school fees get paid, and that opportunities for social advancement are not compromised.
The challenge from the outset was to design a product meeting a very specific identified need to a group of consumers that were already short of expendable income and who were very unlikely to buy via traditional banking networks.
The Idea was to distribute its micro-insurance product through the 12,500 lottery ticket sales outlets. The innovation lesson here is the Design Thinking at the front end in identifying the customer persona, their preferences (and in this case their aversion to traditional banking), budget and behaviors, they took a simplified insurance product to where the consumers go – the same place they buy lottery tickets.
You can read more about the innovation on this link.
The simplest mistake we can all make is to assume that because no-one seems to have solved a problem already that the problem can’t be solved. Well here’s a great example of a new idea solving an old problem.
How do you spread butter from the fridge on fresh bread? You can’t, it’s impossible.
It’s surely one of mankind’s most perplexing problems. Indeed, the problem is as common as sliced bread (forgive the pun).
Well not to a couple of canny Aussies who re-thought that age-old problem and came up with this butter knife. It turns cold butter into creamy strands. Brilliant isn’t it.
The lesson therefore, NEVER assume that just because no-one’s solved an old problem, there isn’t a new idea just waiting to be discovered.