Social Innovation DO Camp
In the face of growing competition, shopping malls need to broach novel ground in order to attract new customers. Yintai Shopping Mall challenged a group of entrepreneurially-minded Peking University students to develop and pilot an entirely new kind of shopping mall experience – a concept for a space that generates not just added profit, but also social impact. Over the course of six days, the students were to come up with solutions that could transform the mall into a diversified, experiential activity and learning space truly ahead of the curve.
The Guanghua-Yintai Research Center for Philanthropy and Social Impact is the first research center established in a business school in China which promotes advance knowledge in philan- thropy and social impact with business methodology and management skills, including CSR, social innovation, social entrepreneurship and impact investing.
Yintai Foundation was established by China Yintai to promote philanthropy and pursue corporate social responsibility in addition to creating business value. Yintai Foundation focuses on senior social enterprise management education, modern Chinese history study, environmental protection as well as orphans and disabled children assistance. Its aim is to fulfil social value by integrating business management skills.
Participants developed and piloted two transformative solutions to the Challenge:
1 The first group designed a Large Lantern for the mall, which is to function as an ambient light fixture and pop-space, inviting passersby to explore its open gallery to learn about social issues while engaging in immersive sensory experiences delivered by social/non-profit organizations. Through changing exhibitions and displays, the Large Lantern also creates a platform for organizations to collaborate and empower each other, thus creating value not just for Yintai Shopping Mall, but also for other drivers of social impact.
2 The Interactive Robotic Recycling Ecosystem proposed by the second group, meanwhile, aims at creating recycling awareness within Yintai’s public spaces, including the mall, hotel, and its
offices. Its three elements blend seamlessly into an immersive online/offline experience that recycling education fun. This novel experience promises to bring more consumers to the mall through its innovative use of robots, smart trash cans, an app with educational games as well as an exhibition center.