Tag Archives: revolution

Scaling disruption

There are multiple ways we can intervene in the current business system in order to support change toward better environmental and social outcomes. One of these ways is to scale small initiatives that have the potential to create significant change in the current ways business operates. This is particularly effective where these ‘disruptors’ also act as commercial demonstrators to traditional organisations and inspiration for other emergent entities by proving the case for alternative forms of business.

I have a portfolio of these ‘disruptors’ that I currently coach from seed stage until first significant funding. This means taking them through a structured programme of business development, drawing on IDEO, LEAN and my own start-up experience across multiple sectors and stages of new business building.  The programme is underpinned my three key principles: fail fast, engage early and rapidly build credibility. This means we work closely together to:

  • Identify and engage potential customers to establish and build the business toward meeting real needs,
  • Set-up of a series of experiments where the team can quickly configure and test different operating methodologies, and
  • Understand how the market operates, where the gaps are and which organisations could inform and, even better, certify the set-up.

This is underpinned by regular ‘pivoting’ as we reconfigure the business model to meet emerging needs and cost structures. It is supported by work around vision, team dynamics, business basics and fundraising.

Two oranisations in my portfolio are currently seeking an extension of their seed funding. They are:

Clotho London: The destination for sustainable fashion. http://www.clotholondon.co.uk/

Set-up by two recent graduates from Imperial College (who worked together as Chemistry lab partners) this business aims to create a secondary market for good, used clothing. It is a simple technology platform built on the principle of clothes swapping. It provides young women with a more sustainable option for quality fashion choices. Clotho thereby works towards preventing new purchases of high-street brands and reducing the 350,000 tonnes of used clothing that goes to landfill in the UK every year. They currently operate collections at 3 UK Universities and are rapidly growing a loyal customer base. They are looking to raise investment to fund operational costs as they scale their service.

Vesco: Developing sustainable feed systems. https://vescofeed.wordpress.com (under-development)

Vesco has been set-up by four classmates from the Imperial College Environmental Technology MSc programme.  They are developing a sustainable ‘insect-based’ animal feed designed to mitigate the environmental and biodiversity impacts of contemporary soy and fishmeal-based feeds. They aim to harness the efficiency of insects in converting organic waste into high-quality nutrients and are running a number of experiments to rear  fly larvae on a variety of organic wastes. They are working closely alongside high-profile potential customers to co-develop product specifications and a unique, ‘circular’ offering and are in the process of organising trials for pilot products. Vesco is looking or funding to allow further development of the concept by paying a base wage to the team. 

Both these worthwhile organisations will effect change in the existing systems they operate within – clothing and food – through demonstrating initiative, possibility and trialing new business models.  Any funding or other suggestions to scale and support these worthwhile organisations would be appreciated.

Alternatively, if you are a young enterprise with a good idea towards a positive shared future or an investor/accelerator/incubator with disruptors in your funding portfolio  that need help in clarifying their business models towards delivering scalable impact –  please do get in touch.

For further information or to arrange a meeting, please fill in the form below:


28 Days of Inspiration – Day 12: Made by you

Made by you

A new industrial revolution

Carolyn Wensley reflects on the blurring boundaries between designer, manufacturer and consumers …

This blurring removes barriers of access to manufacturing. It may revolutionise many industries, including the way homes are built. This offers an opportunity to transform community well-being and provide affordable housing.


WikiHouse (http://www.wikihouse.cc/) is an open source construction set. It allows anyone to design, download and make houses. These can be assembled without any bolts or screws and minimal training.

This technology has been adopted and developed by designers and users around the world – adapting to different locations reflecting the diverse environmental, cultural and historical contexts. It has been used for post-earthquake development in Christchurch, New Zealand and, Facit Homes (www.facit-homes.com), has been one of the first companies to digitally fabricate and manufacture an entire house on-site in the UK.

Please click here for more inspiration delivered directly to your in-box: http://6-heads.com/

And in the spirit of “Made by you”, please feel free to contribute an inspiration by sending an email to info@6-heads.com. 


28 Days of Inspiration – Day 6: Re-imagining mud island

Re-imagining mud island

Innovation in engagement

The not so affectionate term for Britain is ‘mud island’ and during rainy Feb it certainly feels that way! Imagine if, like Bornholm Island in Denmark, our home was something more inspiring – Bright Green Island, perhaps?
Bornholm, the original Bright Green Island is working towards a vision of a sustainable society free from carbon emissions. The Bright Green Island vision has four cornerstones: Sustainable Business, the Good Life, Green Technology and Nature Destination.

A particularly inspiring initiative is the engagement of residents in creating this vision – through a game called (unsurprisingly) “My bright green island game”.

You can pick your theme for today:
1. Innovative ways towards stakeholder engagement. What have you done to inspire participation?
2. Boldly re-imagining Britain, beyond mud and carbon – what would it look like?


PS. As you know, each day we feature something to brighten up your Feb and inspire 2014. You can sign up for a daily bit of sunshine in your in-box here: http://6-heads.com/

PPS. Yesterday we were inspired by NearDesk. You can still sign-up to NearDesk with our special offer here: https://www.neardesk.com/buyacard/one/6heads Help save Carbon, improve community – and avoid a commute!



Join the Next Manufacturing Revolution

A new report to help UK manufacturers improve their non-labour resource productivity found that while many UK manufacturers have achieved 10 to 15% efficiency gains over the last decade, leading companies have achieved over 50% improvements in the same timeframe.

The report identifies the significant untapped opportunities for UK manufacturing in non-labour resource efficiency and outlines a programme of action to address the barriers to uptake.

This opportunity was conservatively calculated to be worth £10 billion p.a. in additional profits for UK manufacturers, to create 300,000 new jobs and to reduce CO2e emissions by 24% for the UK manufacturing sector (4.5% of UK’s total annual emissions).



The report was launched by the The Next Manufacturing Revolution , a not-for-profit collaboration between Lavery Pennell, the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing and 2degrees.  It summarises 12 months of research examining resource efficiency performance compared to international good practice for each sub-sector.

All manufacturing companies were found to have room for improvement:

  • Four types of improvement were identified which are rarely all fully utilised: incremental improvement, process and system improvement, structural change and core redesign.
  • Even leading companies are performing inconsistently across the resource efficiency topics examined of circular resource use, transport efficiency, energy efficiency, packaging optimisation, supply chain collaboration and resource efficient product & business model innovation.
  • Wider benefits from the programme also accrue to communities including indirect jobs, greater tax revenues and an improved environment.

Based on this research, and supported by case studies from the private sector, Next Manufacturing Revolution (NMR) has developed a programme to help manufacturing companies realise these benefits, comprising three platforms.  The first is the NMR Community, which provides in-depth information, research and interactive information exchange forums, openly accessible to all. The second focuses on Barriers Resolution and Rollout, working collaboratively with experts and manufacturers to overcome industry obstacles that currently prevent the improvement of non-labour resource productivity, through a series of workshops. The third platform is Tailored Support which involves one-to-one advice for manufacturers seeking to identify improvement opportunities within their companies from non-labour resource management.

NMR now welcomes the involvement of companies and industry organisations who can participate to the extent that they wish, dependent upon their specific objectives and business planning needs.  The programme is accessible, flexible, and designed to deliver results consistent with those seen in case studies of best practice from the private sector.

Implementation of this programme is now underway; collaboration with government, member organisations, other NGOs, and publications will assist to accelerate this programme. Organisations and manufacturers seeking to participate can contact secretariat@nextmanufacturingrevolution.org.

You can download the full report here and read more about NMR at www.nextmanufacturingrevolution.org.