Future of Work Challenge

Find a way to empower employees to make a positive impact – and enable them to measure it.

11 February 2016
15 May - 24 July 2016
25 July 2016 - 14 May 2017
Berlin
20 Fellows
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By the DO School gGmbH

More and more people are looking for a meaningful job and a fulfilling career.

They want to contribute to something greater than “just a job” – something that is bigger than them. But how will they ever feel that they’re making a big difference? How could they measure their impact? What would that kind of job look like in a big company? How, as a part of a big system, would employees be able to tell that their work matters?

That’s what our next Entrepreneurship for Good Program: The Future of Work Challenge is all about. Posed by H&M Germany, the Challenge invites you and 19 other young entrepreneurs to spend 10 weeks on campus in Berlin. After that, you’ll move on to implement your own venture over the course of the next 10 months.

Even big change begins with small steps. So let’s start by finding ways to empower employees across 400 different locations in Germany to make a positive impact on business and also on society at large – and to enable them to measure it, too. And that’s where you come in. H&M Germany and the DO School challenge you to devise amazing new formats for employees in the fashion sector to set targets for themselves and their teams. In addition, you should find concrete, measurable ways for them to track their impact.

In particular, you will be asked to:

  • Identify new areas in big companies that aren’t already covered by employee satisfaction surveys
  • Create an amazing solution that is easily scalable and transferable, i.e. to other companies
  • Empower individual and structural change by making its effect measurable

Relevance

Self-actualisation is increasingly important to employees, taking its place next to salary and other perks. At the same time, companies strugle to retain skilled employees who do not see a purpose in their work. But when employees who believe in what they do are matched with companies that empower their passions, they can both become a source of positive change in society – generating sustainable good business.

The Challenger

H&M’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. Since it was founded in 1947, H&M has grown from a single women’s wear store in Västerås, Sweden into one of the world’s leading fashion companies, with six different brands, around 3,900 stores, and 132,000 employees in 61 markets.

H&M’s business operations aim to be run in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable for both present and future generations. H&M has a responsibility towards everyone who contributes to their success, including those who are not employees of H&M.

Courses description

Eligibility

We are looking for aspiring social entrepreneurs with an idea they would like to bring to life. It is central to our mission that we offer inclusive educational opportunities to talented young adults. We support you regardless of your socioeconomic or educational background and encourage you, no matter if you are a university student or graduate or don’t have a higher education.

Successful candidates may come from, but are not restricted to the fields of HR, psychology, intrapreneurship, happyness experts, organisational development, UX design.

Since the Entrepreneurship for Good Program is conducted in English we require for you to apply in English and to have a good working knowledge of the language.

Please note that if you are not legally of age in your home country at the time of application, you will have to supply a permission signed by a parent or legal guardian for the application to be valid.

Application process

Complete the applications for the Entrepreneurship for Good Program through our online application form. Before you begin, you may want to read the application FAQs at the bottom of this page.

STEP 1

Create a user account. You will receive an email with a link. Click on this link to activate your account. If you do not receive this email within a few minutes, please check your spam folder.

STEP 2

Complete all three required parts of the online DO School application form. You will be asked to fill in personal information, answer application questions, and agree to the conditions of application. To save your work and return to it at another time, click the “save” button. In addition, you can optionally complete the form for financial aid.

STEP 3

Submit your application. Once the status of all three parts is complete, you can click the “Submit Your Application” button. Please note that you cannot make any changes to your application after your submission. No late submissions will be accepted. Successful submission will be confirmed by a screen saying: “Your application has been submitted”.

After you apply

We will be in touch with you via email 6-8 weeks after the application deadline. If your application passes the first selection round, you will be invited for a Skype interview for the second round. All applicants will be notified, whether successful or not.

Tuition fee

Admission is based on merit alone with a tuition fee of EUR 1,000.

If you cannot cover the program cost you are eligible to receive financial aid. For more information please download the financial aid PDF.

Travel and living costs

You are responsible for organizing and paying for your own travel to and from the DO School Berlin campus in order to participate in the ten-week Incubation Phase. You are also responsible for arranging and paying for your visa (if needed) as well as travel, health and accident insurance for the ten-week duration.

During the 10-week Incubation Phase in Berlin, you will stay at subsidized accommodation and will be required to contribute EUR 900. During the entire program year you are responsible for your personal cost of living (food, insurance, transportation, personal needs, etc.). Download the PDF below and find out more about the living costs in Berlin

Seeds Award

The DO School Seeds Award is a chance for you to jump-start your venture. A total of EUR 5,000 are awarded to the three most convincing venture plans after Fellows have successfully finished the Incubation Phase. The Awardees are chosen by a jury comprising experts from the social entrepreneurship and start-up field as well as in an online voting competition.

FAQ

Who can apply to participate in this Challenge?

The DO School is seeking highly motivated and talented emerging social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Applicants should be able to demonstrate a track record of being passionate about addressing social issues and creating and spreading innovative social change. We welcome applications from people with all educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. Successful applicants are determined and willing to use our program to start new, or grow existing ventures, or implement a new initiative within a larger organization. The DO School program is ideal for outstanding mission-driven people who are looking for the tools, skills, and mentoring to launch a social start-up.

What are DO School Fellow ventures?

An idea to start or grow a social venture, be it a non-profit, social business, artistic initiative, campaign or intrapreneurial initiative within an existing organization is a crucial part of the application. Ventures always address a key social issue in the Fellows’ communities, while at the same time reflecting their personal passions, motivation, and talents. We don’t require applicants to already have finished business plans for their ventures, but rather require them to want to implement an innovative idea for a venture. As Fellows are passionate about the topic of the Challenge they apply for, their venture idea will reflect this and is somehow connected to the content of the Challenge.

What is the time commitment during the Entrepreneurship for Good Program?

During the ten-week Incubation Phase all Fellows live and work together. This phase is an intensive learning and training experience with full-day program for usually 5 – 6 days a week. For the ten-month Implementation Phase, Fellows return to their home countries to start implementing their own ventures with continued online support from the Venture Lab, via the DO School online platform. Fellows can work part-time on their venture implementation, but are required to commit an absolute minimum of 15 hours per week to work on their start-up.

What are the courses offered during the Incubation Phase?

Over the ten weeks of the Incubation Phase, Fellows will work on a Challenge posed by our Challenger. This process is supported by our Challenge Lab, a course which offers skills, knowledge and tools necessary to successfully solve the Challenge. The Venture Lab is the second major focus of the Incubation Phase, in which Fellows will work on turning their own venture idea into a viable social start-up plan that is ready for implementation. Fellows will benefit from individual coaching sessions and workshops on entrepreneurship, communications, project management, and start-up financing to develop their idea into a concrete project plan. The third course, Media Lab, is to enable Fellows to communicate about their ventures in a professional manner. Media Lab sessions help them to develop a strong brand and communication strategy. 

For more details, please download this PDF: Courses Description.

How can one apply for the Entrepreneurship for Good Program?

Applications for the Entrepreneurship for Good Program are always for a specific Challenge and can only be completed during the stated application period of that Challenge. Applications are completed through an online application form.

Is there financial aid available for those who cannot cover the cost?

Yes, financial aid is available for both the tuition fee and the personal costs during the Incubation Phase of the Entrepreneurship for Good Program. Fellow selection is need-blind. This means we select Fellows regardless of their financial circumstances and make sure that everyone who is selected can also participate in the program. If you need financial aid there is a separate form in the application process that you can fill out. If you are accepted you will then automatically receive an individualized partial or full financial aid offer. The offer will be based on your personal needs, however, we expect all candidates to demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit and actively contribute to part of their own costs through their own fundraising activities.

Why is the tuition fee for the Entrepreneurship for Good Program so low?

The DO School’s mission is to make excellent education highly affordable. Through its unique fellowship model every Fellow accepted onto the Entrepreneurship for Good Program receives an automatic scholarship covering the vast majority of the program cost. This is made possible through the support of the Challenger who gives the hands-on innovation Challenge.

What does it cost to participate in the Entrepreneurship for Good Program?

The Entrepreneurship for Good Program is a highly subsidized program, which means you pay only a small portion of the actual costs as your tuition fee. For the Entrepreneurship for Good Program in Berlin the tuition fee is 1,000 EUR excluding travel and living expenses throughout the Incubation Phase in Berlin. This only applies to you if you can afford to pay the full tuition and your own costs, if not there is financial aid available.

After I submit my application how long will it take to hear if I have been selected or not?

We will be in touch with you via email 4 – 5 weeks after the application deadline of the Challenge you applied for.

Can I apply for two Challenges at the same time?

No. We select Fellows based on the specific interest expressed in the application to participate in a particular Challenge. It is important that you seriously consider selecting a Challenge that you are passionate about, as your start-up venture should also reflect the topic of the Challenge.

I have already applied for a previous program and was not accepted, can I still apply for a new program?

Yes, each application will be evaluated on its own merit. Having previously applied will not negatively influence the outcome of a new application. Quite the opposite, it may be a good idea to tell us how you and your venture have developed since your last application.

My English is not very good, can I apply in a different language?

No, since all programs rely on English as the common language, you have to apply in English. However, it is important to remember that the requirement is to speak and understand English well enough to be able to benefit from and contribute to the program, but you don’t need to be a native speaker – so don’t be too worried about making a few mistakes.

Who can I contact if I have questions regarding admissions?

Please contact us at admissions@thedoschool.org