Today's multifaceted global ecological and social challenges require new and innovative solutions. Especially in developing and emerging countries, there is a great need – as well as great potential for new ideas. Particularly the areas of sustainable energy supply, agriculture, health, and waste management will need new approaches. To this end, it is necessary to go beyond the possibilities of usual development cooperation and also focus on ideas driven by the private sector that can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To this end, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has launched the lab of tomorrow project. The lab of tomorrow aims to contribute to the development of new business models with an environmental or social impact in various countries. Local private companies design sustainable business models and implement them on the market; the lab of tomorrow will help them by promoting collaboration with companies from Europe and supporting them in the joint conceptualisation of ideas in the innovation process as well as in the further development to market readiness of the business models. The support for the innovation processes is based mainly on techniques of the design thinking methodology and covers the entire process of business model development, from the identification of the local challenges to be addressed to the incubation and acceleration of the new business models.
The BMZ-funded project is managed by GIZ and supported by adelphi. adelphi is responsible for overseeing the local implementation of several lab of tomorrow cycles in various countries of the global South. In this role, adelphi steers the work of local design thinking agencies, is responsible for the methodological and conceptual work and further development in the innovation processes ,and coordinates the different phases and processes of the various lab of tomorrow cycles.