Berlin Calling: BMW Group
27 June 2016 - Impact Hub

Berlin Calling: BMW Group

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Halfway through my Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs exchange, I was thrilled to facilitate an Impact Safari with the team at Impact Hub Berlin.
Impact Safaris are customised learning journeys designed for corporates to experience how the future of business and society is prototyped in Berlin. On a safari through the city, participants were challenged to solve tasks, explore spaces and meet the people behind the scenes of the startup ecosystem. For this Impact Safari, we worked with 30 x BMW Group leaders from around the world, and they were excited to learn from us how they could be more purposeful, resilient, and collaborative in their work!
We split up into three groups, and my team named themselves “Eye of the Tiger” – complete with accompanying theme song anytime we did a group presentation. Who knew that Heads of Production and Engineers for one of the world’s largest premium mobility companies could be so much fun?

Day 1: Driven by Purpose

The first day focused on visiting early stage startups, e.g. less than 3 years old, encouraging the participants to experience what it takes to be entrepreneurial, creative and passionate from founders themselves. I was impressed how strongly my team resonated with the value of purpose, especially with how startup founders matched their individual purpose with the company’s purpose. Many understood BMW Group’s potential for societal impact, through the communities they are based in, down to the environmental impacts of production.

Day 2: Strength through Resilience

The second visit was about meeting startups that were a step further in their journey and have successfully scaled, e.g. 50+ employees and more than 3 years old. This was to allow teams to learn about the role of failure and the changes that scale bring to an organisation. Key takeaways from meeting more mature founders were on management techniques, and how to empower staff through a strong vision whilst scaling. Many participants were inspired to give more freedom for ‘waste’ and ‘failure’ to nurture innovation in their teams.

Day 3: Collaboration is Key

The focus of the third vision was collaboration, and each team explored a different social innovation hub space. The teams discovered how innovation hubs are structured, how they create strong communities, and what mindset is needed to innovate successfully. Some participants were inspired to transform their offices or build new innovation spaces back in their buildings – we look forward to the BMW Hubs of the future!
An exhausting couple of days facilitating, but absolutely worth it. This was the first time I’ve worked with such a large corporate, and it was inspiring to see how many values we shared. At the end of day, everything comes down to the human level and I’m delighted that I got to spend a few days learning and exploring with these wonderful humans.


BMW Group leaders from around the world sharing their experience


Go team “Eye of the Tiger!”