Young SDG Innovators Programme: Camp 2

Challenge Definition

Loving the problem!

Organized on April 15th and 16th, the second YSIP camp emphasized on the importance of circular economy as an urgent business imperative.

This Challenge Definition camp focused on defining and refining challenges of the corporate sector, building on the key takeaways of the Challenge Identification camp. The camp was facilitated by our implementation partners, Hany Rizk; Founder of No BS Innovation Studio, and Nadim Choucair; Founder of the 2030 Cabinet.

On the first day, our 28 cohort of innovators learnt about an ecosystem approach to understanding the problem and how they can define their challenge for a breakthrough impact.

The fundamentals towards understanding the problem:

  • Human Understanding: Who is the most impacted by the challenge? And what are those benefits that you hope to achieve?
  • Systems Understanding:  What are the policy, regulatory and market forces that keep this challenge in place? What other organizations and individuals are working on tackling this problem? Which organizations/individuals must be involved in solving this problem?

Defining the challenge for a breakthrough impact:

Breakthrough innovation is more than just technologies and business models. Fundamentally, it’s about leadership and mindsets. Businesses have to both be open to new ideas and expand what they believe is possible.


  1. Turning liabilities into assets: Companies must consider which knowledge and talents are critical to the sustainable growth of their companies. They should also address problematic outputs that could be transmitted into valuable inputs such as: waste and GHG emissions.
  2. Raising the ambition: A key prerequisite to achieving a breakthrough impact, is that companies need to identify the teams/units within their ecosystem that are driving or embracing new ideas.
  3. Disrupting the market, or yourself: A breakthrough impact is all about disrupting the old traditional ways of doing business. Companies that are striving to capture a breakthrough impact need to address where disruption is happening – or likely to happen – in their sector, or in contiguous sectors.
  4. Establishing leadership: Companies must reconsider if they are contributing to social impact through their core businesses and need to prioritize their tackled SDGs in order to better enhance their sustainability practices.

Our YSIP innovators were also exposed to different ideation tools that assist in developing solution concepts, beneficial to the process of defining challenges.

The first day was wrapped up with a very inspirational and eye opening intervention delivered by HOLDAL Group YSIP 2020 Alumni. During their intervention, the HOLDAL Group emphasized on the importance of adopting a breakthrough mindset focused on solving the challenge instead of the solution because the importance lies in defining the challenge properly at first in order to generate tangible and doable solutions at consequent stages. Mrs. Maissa Abou Adal; 2020 YSIP Champion of the HOLDAL Group, spotted the light on the incremental impact of this accelerator programme where she mentioned: “YSIP came at the perfect time for our cultural and digital transformation journey.” Additionally, the by HOLDAL Group YSIP 2020 Alumni walked our 28 cohort of innovators through the challenges they have encountered in the implementation of their initiative and shared with them some winning tips and hacks:

  • Acquire an in-depth understanding of the challenge
  • Adequately set your SDG key priority areas
  • Communicate constantly with your team Champion to better understand your company’s internal levers and upcoming pivots or risks
  • Set your team motto and keep fighting the good fight

On day 2, the main emphasis was on the challenge lab where innovators were given the opportunity to test out the concept ideation methods, breakthrough business models and dig deeper into concept selection and validation. 

During the camp, innovators where split into breakout rooms and had the chance to pitch and discuss their ideas in front of their expert mentors, all of whom were very eager to guide and asses the strengths and the gaps in the ideas proposed by the teams.

“YSIP came at the perfect time for our cultural and digital transformation journey.”

Maissa Abou Adal

And get notified about latest news, events and more.