How to measure impact as a project-outsider
This is a question we asked Corina Radu. She is one of the experts that reviewd our projects in terms of sustainability & here is what she said!
I felt very fortunate when Solved – the market place for sustainability experts and next-incubator the innovation hub for sustainability of the Energie Steiermark in Graz have approached me last year to review some of the innovative projects that were part of next-incubator acceleration program. And of course, I said a big YES!
The task was to measure the impact of their projects assessed by experts in the field of sustainability.
As a sustainability professional who has done project reviews before, my interest has been to look at some key project characteristics:
- Projects that have innovation at their core
- Projects that are customer centered first and foremost
- Projects that use resources and capabilities to solve real problems by creating future oriented solutions
- Projects that do not invent the wheel but rather improve existing techs and innovations to created added value
- Projects that have sustainability at their core, both as their products and services but also as organizations
For me sustainability has been always the responsible way we use resources to fulfill our needs and desires on this planet, that leaves something for the next generations to fulfill their needs and desires too. Therefore, when I am looking at a new project I am considering a wholistic approach, considering the value of their business model impact and the impact of the company’s operations through their beneficial products and services.
It was interesting to follow this approach here as well, as a reviewer and I made sure to dedicate enough time to research and to evaluate objectively every single project. A critical factor was that, doing a remote review, I wasn’t close to the project teams, to have their thoughts, the why’s and how’s of every special project. However, given the situation, I am more than convinced that it brought a different light on the projects and challenged some of existing ideas. And perhaps that is the whole beauty of such reviews: getting challenged by a different view and seeing new aspects that are difficult to see if you are too close of the project, on a regular basis.
In the end, for reasonable effort, we were able to bring new insights to Next Incubator and through that a big impact to a better world. If this kind of work progresses the solutions that mitigate climate change, improve quality of lives or support biodiversity, it sure is worth the effort from us at Solved and our experts.
It brought a lot of learning opportunities for myself and I am looking forward to be able to do it again, for more projects that will be part of the Next Incubator’s great work!
About the Author
Corina is a sustainability professional who is passionate about getting companies and startups recognized for their sustainability efforts.
She supports them to design and validate their sustainability strategies along the product value chains, implement the Sustainable Development Goals backed by a strong sustainability reporting and works with to get B Corp certified.
She is also mentoring young professionals in renewable energies (GWNET Vienna) and IT (TechFace Switzerland) and she joined TAB – The Alternative Board – DACH as a sustainability coach.
Corina works regularly in Vienna, Austria and Bucharest, Romania, as the sustainability director for Solutions4Impact (www.thesolution4impact.com) and she is remotely present everywhere people ask for her support and expertise.