Tourovation Hub Virtual Design Sprints – Sparking Sustainable Solutions!

2 December 2020 - Rachana Khatri

October and November at Nepal Communitere has been exciting as we welcome 8 tourism enterprises into our Tourovation Hub in partnership with  ICIMOD and SELCO Foundation. Between the hustle and bustle of festivities, we were conducting three-day Design Sprints to select the tourism enterprises into our seven month incubation program.

Amidst the pool of applications that we received, 11 enterprises were selected to take part in the virtual design sprints that took place on 14th-16th October and 5th-6th November 2020. We had enterprises attending the sprint from the river banks of Rapti to the laps of the Himalayas in Dolpa and Mardi.

Our Design Sprint was planned, developed and delivered by Kavyaa Rizal and Prabina Shrestha from the CUE design team, supported by Bahar Kumar and Samanata Thapa from our Nepal Communitere team to co-facilitate the process. The Design Sprint was a 3-day process to rapidly identify challenges, create solutions and effectively test them. The sprint was conducted to support the enterprises in developing ideas to adopt innovative renewable energy and energy efficient (RE & EE) solutions and approaches in their existing businesses, get valuable feedback on those ideas with sector experts and will now work on building and testing their prototypes through the Tourovation Hub.

The Design Sprint was conducted through a virtual platform by using online learning and collaboration tools such as Zoom breakout sessions and Google JamBoards for enterprises to brainstorm, ideate and map solutions in teams. We were joined by three Experts, Anisha Karn, from SmartPaani as our water harvesting expert, Jiwan Kumar Malik from Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) as our solar power expert and Dilli Ghimire from Nepal Energy Foundation (NEF) as our rural energy expert. Each enterprise had an opportunity to interact with our experts, who were able to provide clarity to teams on  best available practices and alternatives based on experience and research.

In the last day of the Design Sprint, all enterprises presented their mapped solutions to our panel of judges Anu Kumari Lama (PhD), Tourism Specialist from ICIMOD, Nagakarthik MP, Founder and Technical lead of Sauramandala Foundation (India) and associated with SELCO Foundation, and Padmakshi Rana (PhD), Deputy Director, Programs of Nepal Communitere. With the completion of our three-day Design Sprint, the Tourovation Hub team officially selected 8 enterprises for the 7 months incubation program to further develop their prototypes and business models.