By NGOZI Onyeakusi, Lagos


Lufthansa is bringing its internationally acclaimed Corporate Social Responsibility project to Nigeria. ‘Impact Week 2017’ will be held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) campus in Akoka from October 20th to 26th. Impact Week is a one-week program aimed at training participants to develop sustainable business models using different innovation techniques like the innovative ‘Design Thinking’.
“We are excited to have a team of UNILAG professionals, Lufthansa international staff and other experts come together with around 200 students to develop their skills, broaden and take on the tasks of thinking about solutions for socio-economic challenges right here”, says Robin Sohdi, Lufthansa General Manager Nigeria.
Dr. Sunday Adebisi, Director Entrepreneurship Centre, UNILAG: „It is exciting to have the Impact Week in Nigeria and more importantly in University of Lagos to support a life changing experience for our teachers and students by Lufthansa Germany Airlines.”

The Impact Week is aimed at coaches and students who generally have great untapped ideas, creative energy and an eagerness to learn and improve things. This six-day event will help participants find, test and develop business ideas with great innovation. It willfurther prepare and motivate students to engage in entrepreneurship and give them platform to start their own business and find their role in the society. The focus is on seven core sectors (tracks) which affect daily life in Nigeria:
• Agriculture
• Healthcare
• Education
• Alternative Power Generation
• Information Technology

• Business Management

The University of Lagos was chosen based on its high rating amidst higher
institutions in Nigeria and its central location in Yaba, the “Silicon Valley” of Nigeria, which
provides proximity to talented students in Lagos. UNILAG is responsible for the selection of participating students from a variety of faculties. The course will also empower UNILAGlecturers. The goal is that the Impact Week will make it into the regular UNILAG curriculum and even spread nationwide. The sustainability target is to handover the project completely to UNILAG at a later stage.

The Nigerian students will be trained as ‘Design Thinking’ (DT) coaches by top professionals. One of the founders of this concept is Alexander Grots who developed this technique 16 years ago. Moreover, DT-trainers from software giants such as SAP will also join. Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success. Design Thinking is a concept with six stages: 1) understand the problem (interview), 2) analyze, 3) reframe, 4) brainstorm (ideate), 5) get feedback, and, finally 6) prototype (be visual, use your hands). Furthermore, special guests like motivational speaker and communication expert, Adebola Williams as well as German Consul General, Ingo Herbert, will address the students.

The Impact Week in Lagos follows a dual concept of Design Thinking training and application:
1. Two Days: Train the trainer session for 40 Junior Coaches
• 10 Senior Coaches from Impact week and Lufthansa School of Business will train 40 Junior Coaches in the Design Thinking methodology.
• Junior Coaches will consist of: 25 UNILAG lecturers, 10 Lufthansa staff (volunteers) from all over the world, 5 Lufthansa staff (volunteers) from Nigeria
2. Four Days: Apply Design Thinking technique with elected university students

Success stories from Impact Week Kenya 2016
Impact Week took place twice in Kenya and was a huge success with 220 student who participated in developing 39 business models. “Of course, Lufthansa will also learn from the DT-method as the assigned staff will bring the new thinking back to work“, says Jens Unger (Phd), Project Leader Change Process Implementation at Lufthansa Group Campus, who also organized the Impact Weeks in Kenya last year. More than 50 employees from all division in Lufthansa Group will be trained as Design Thinking (DT)-Coaches in September and October at three Impact Weeks in Columbia, Nigeria and Ruanda.

The Impact week is fully sponsored by Lufthansa with the support of help alliance. „Help alliance aims to empower young people around the world to live an independent life. Ideally this empowerment is triggered by employees of Lufthansa Group. Impact Weeks is a fantastic platform that is beneficial to both sides“, says Joachim Steinbach, Managing Director at Help Alliance, the charity subsidy of Lufthansa Group. The project is open for further support by corporate organizations and individuals also looking to give back to society by empowering the youth and young graduates. At the end of the course the best results will be honored and further supported by Lufthansa.