Did you know that a Stockholm–Gothenburg flight emits as much CO2 as 40,000 train journeys along the same route? With a mission to change people’s travelling habits, Cognizant and SJ arranged a series of workshop to extract the brilliance of the young minds at Stockholm School of Economics.
How can a large, robust organization like SJ, a train operator running in Sweden and between the capitals of Scandinavia, work with a startup-like approach to address business challenges at speed? Well, one way is to get together with a cross-functional team of tech experts and students to collaborate and innovate in a structured manner.
The SJ case cracking (presented during Snapshot Talks: Unite for Good) was structured around two main challenges: How to get young people/students to choose trains as their primary mode of travel instead of flights, and how to get business travelers to swap from flights to train for work trips.
Claes Lindholtz, Director Business Development and Digital Transformation, SJ, fronted the case cracking from SJ:
An organized manner to innovation
Firstly, the students had an introduction to the case and could choose to narrow the scope within respective team. This was followed by a tech-oriented co-creation session about AI for mobility and another session focusing on IoT for mobility, all with a structured approach based on the Design Thinking framework (with sustainability built into the innovation process).
In between, the students worked in four separate teams on how to apply the technologies to the specific case, work that included a pilot study and market research, as well as to identify best practices, the customer journey and pain points. During the final session, the teams pitched their ideas.
The winners then? They – Enle Lien, Vicky Yunwei Zheng, Vivek Damani – focused on creating an attractive offer for business travelers, using targeted marketing in social media, a tech-enabled booking system and a green loyalty partner network. Further on, the ideas will be presented to a group at SJ.
More collaboration ahead
Even without the case cracking, companies now seem to do take the climate aspects into greater account when travelling at work; between July and October business trips by SJ train increased by 16 percent. This is hopeful for the future.
From Cognizant’s perspective, the case cracking approach holds great potential also in other industries. The aim is to perform more cross-functional workshops, preferably involving students from an even wider mix of disciplines like tech, economy, philosophy, medicine, etc.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about how Cognizant is enabling innovation, then check out the five lessons to build competitive advantage in the digital age or contact me Martin Brengdahl directly.