How can we support education initiatives to push their ideas forward?


Education Innovation Lab 


Hans Sauer Stiftung


Concept development, Workshop Design, Facilitation


In the education sector in Germany, there are many initiatives that question the status quo and want to foster a new way of learning within their schools and communities. But often such initiatives are struggling with obstacles like founding, time management, vision development or sustainable business models. Therefore the Hans Sauer Stiftung initiated a program and competition called „the Social Elevation Days“ to support such initiatives with knowledge from experts, network and money to get started. Our challenge was to develop an innovative concept for an accelerator program which supports the initiatives.


In an initial co-creation workshop, the Education Innovation Lab together with the Hans Sauer Stiftung developed a concept for a new way of running the whole program which is not only focused on the days of the event but more a learning journey over time to accelerate the participants project ideas. We spoke to potential participants and developed personas according to their needs.


As a result, we designed a three-month mentoring program where the initiatives got support from mentors where they needed it the most. The mentors who had a wide range of expertise were matched according to the individual needs of the initiatives. At the end of three months, the mentoring program ended with a three days intense Design-Workshop where the initiatives could share their ideas and iterate them. During these days the initiatives together with their mentors developed idea-vision, prototypes, and business models.
The mentoring was accompanied by expert-talks on different topics. At the end of the event, the ideas were presented and winners were chosen which got even further support from the foundation to make their idea reality.