How Shell employees support social enterprises


by GoodUp Info

Battle of the Brains… this almost sounds like an amazing, new TV-show, doesn’t it?! How surprised are you if we tell you that this is the name of a challenge – where Shell employees battle with the best ideas to make a positive social contribution?

The Shell challenge enables employees to support social enterprises

As a way to give back to society, Shell promotes her employees in the Netherlands to use their knowledge and skills to make a social contribution. That is why they set up the Battle of the Brains, a crowdsourcing event, with the support of GoodUp. Employees were challenged to form teams and use their knowledge and skills to support Dutch non-profit organisations (social enterprises) that struggle with strategic or operational challenges.

Acquisition for teams and their ideas started in October last year. The selection for the co-creation day took place in December. During this day, 26 employees from various locations and departments worked on their solution together with the non-profits.

Each team developed a solution and presented it during the finals in January. The strong jury consisted of Marjan van Loon, President Director Shell Netherlands, Kenan Yildirim, VP Finance, and Nicole van Ingen, VP Human Resources, as well as an external jury member: Michiel Dietvorst, an expert in the field of innovation. The winning ideas received monetary prices (the big cheques you see on the picture ;)), which are fully used on the projects by the non-profits.

Ideas varied from converting houses into self-sufficient energy factories, to “tea parties for the elderly” to battle loneliness amongst elderly.

Shell continues with employee engagement via do good projects

After the event, each team indicated that they wanted to remain involved in the implementation of the solution. Several steps have been take since by the teams and the NGOs involved.

The impact of crowdsourcing has really proven itself. In previous years, the programme mainly consisted of crowdfunding. The addition of crowdsourcing – enabling people to use their knowledge and skills – really added more depth, fun and value to the programme.

Shell continues to motivate employees to start their own social project about a topic they are passionate about. Shell and GoodUp currently work on the next steps of the crowdsourcing programme, which is fully linked to the global sustainability strategy of Shell.

And what about your organisation?

Interested in having such a challenge for your organisation? Do you want to challenge your employees to come up with the best ideas to improve the business, or society? Let’s have a coffee.

Parts of this article are published on the intranet of Shell. This blog is co-created with the CSR department of Shell.