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Author's profile photo Gwendoline TABOURIN

Impactathon: Leveraging the Power of Business & Education


Since its first edition in 2014 at SAP San Francisco, the “Impactathon Series” became ever more global. This event has been deployed in several cities around the world with a single target in mind: to inspire students to create positive change in the workplace and the world. Net Impact, a global nonprofit organization gathering about 50,000 students worldwide, joined its force with SAP to empower students with the help of a global event combining design-thinking methods and hackathons.


During this lively, fun and inspiring one-day event, students and SAP professionals come up with innovative and creative real-life solutions to a local issue related to education. During a course of 10 hours, where no prior experience is required, the participants are learning and applying design thinking principles but also have the chance to hone their creativity, teamwork and communication skills. Each event aims to promote entrepreneurship by empowering students and help them get the best skills ever to succeed in the workplace.

So what’s next for these students after taking part in such an event (free of charge by the way)? Well, it is a great opportunity for them to meet other passionate students who care about social impact. It is also a way to have a first contact with SAP jobs opportunities and to network directly with SAP CSR employees.

Amazing CSR engagement from Labs employees!

On March 19 at Porte de Versailles’ Exhibition Center in Paris, the 2015 France d-kom started for 2 amazing days for all Labs employees. With more than 450 people attending the event, the French CSR team wouldn’t have missed this opportunity to recruit new volunteers for 2015 activities by leveraging their 2014 remarkable track record. A dedicated CSR booth was proposed to d-kom attendees to learn how SAP positively impacts society by advancing the next generation of talent, supporting social enterprises that put youth on the path to successful careers and increasing employees engagement towards local communities. They discovered or rediscovered what has been done in France in 2014 by watching videos and discussing with the CSR French team. Many of them also either committed themselves to 2015 activities or gave their feedback and comments on the existing program.

On March 20, and with a bit of advance on the Q2 CSR lighthouse project, the CSR team organized an Impactathon, a design thinking session for social impact, with the support of Christian Vanizette from Make Sense and in aid of a social entrepreneur. Social entrepreneurs are individuals who create businesses to bring new and creative solutions to the most important problems of our society. At SAP, we believe in their ability to create innovative business models to provide answers to these societal issues. The idea here was to take up Emilie’s and her structure Activ’Action’s challenge. Activ’Action is a community web 2.0 platform designed for job seekers offering them a new way to network and collaborate and a new approach to demonstrate their potential to future employers. Last May, SAP sales employees already helped Emilie building her business model, then last June, Early Talents developers advised her for the launch of her website. This time 18 developers brainstormed and helped Activ’Action by leveraging their wide experience and ideas around the role of the community manager or the user experience. Everyone left the session very enthusiastic and some employees even decided to go further and to continue helping Emilie with the future development of her project.

Success story to be continued…

And you, interested in participating? Answer us on Twitter @SAPLabs_France

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