PROJEKT BLÅFINGER
IMAGINATION & INCUBATION CENTER

Blåfinger Innovations Centret är på väg att sätta upp, mitt i Zwolles innerstad, Bluefinger Imagination & Incubation Center:

Bluefinger Imagination Center, som mobiliserar fantasin och energin av (främst) unga människor för att tänka ut nya lösningar för problem och utmaningar som organisationer upplever och som på detta sätt kan hjälpa den att innovera, eller ge ansatser till förnyelse och förändringar.
Imagination Centret kan, med hjälp av LDpe's Advanced Teams Design Tool sammanställa starkt kreativa lag (Natural Working Teams, NWT), som fungerar som en effektiv 'Think Tank' för en organisation.
Varje individuell deltagare genomgår, baserad på en personlighets-inventering, ett utvecklingsprogram (Personlig Ledarskap programmet) varefter han/hon indelas i ett eller flera NWT.
I utvecklingsprogrammet 
Starting with an individual development phase for every single individual in which every participant gets an insight in one's own 'motivational flames', the effectiveness of one's own behaviour, and one's own personal development potential, the participant will join one or more natural working teams that elaborate on the ideation on behalf of sponsor-organisations.
After this initial period of three months, the participant will have different possibilities to continue, either in the Imagination Center, or as a startup (alone or with some other entrepreneurs) in the Incubation Center, or leaving the Center, while accepting a job at a sponsor organisation, accepting a job elsewhere, or just terminate being member of the Imagination Center.

The Bluefinger Incubation Center is a meeting place for young entrepreneurs of mainly startup- and scale-up organisations, who not only interact, network and co-operate, but who can make use of a number of facilities in the Center, including coaching and professional support.

To get the project going we initially need to work on some conditions:
 - To find a proper location in the heart of Zwolle and to purchase this
   real estate (in order to be able to let some space for the startups and
   scale-ups at a substantially lower rate that the actual market prices;
 - the City Council must sympathise with our plans;
 - the authorities that cope with the unemployment of new graduates (today the Corona crisis
   causes a large number of graduates to be unemployed) must see the Imagination Center 
   as an interesting channel for getting the graduates to start their career;
 - Companies and Institutions must see the Imagination Center as an interesting alternative to
   co-operate with, on their challenges and must be willing to sponsor the process.

 

Is there a future for young graduates ?

On the website of the Dutch Ministry of Education it still says that graduates easily will be able to get their first job. Even if this was true two months ago, this is no longer the reality. In fact, those youngsters that were engaged in their first job had got it via an employment agency or a flex-employment contract. This category of jobs were terminated immediately after the Corona lockdown.
We must fear that a lot of new graduates will face unemployment for quite some time.
Not only this will have a great impact for the individuals, but for society as well!

What the lack of perspective for the young people will do in the long term, we only may guess.
There is some urgency in offering perspective to these starters! The Imagination Center may offer some perspective.

How will the process look like for a participant in the Bluefinger Imagination Center?

Step 1 Program Personal Leadership
After an initial personality measurement (with the OPQ personality questionnaire), the participant  learns about what type of activities really motivate him/her (motivational flames).
He/she will also be able to identify the potential qualities and possible pitfalls of the own preferred behaviour (kernel quadrants) and learn how to behave more effective in the interaction with others (conversational intelligence). Furthermore, the participant will learn about how the CEO-brain controls the longer term development and he/she will get a scenario for accelerating his/her development (the simulation module).
We also will map the individual thinking style patterns and preferred team roles (both Belbin model and the Ten Faces of Innovation). These individual traits will help us in designing effective and creative teams.


Step 2 Joining the Creative Teams
The effectiveness of creative teams depends on the diversity and complementarity of the team roles (Belbin and Ten Faces of Innovation) but, importantly, also on the diversity in thinking style patterns:
 - we have identified 7 different thinking styles paradoxes, that we are able to map for every
   single team player from the measured personality traits;
 - we have developed a unique toolbox, the Advanced Team Design Tool, with which we, very
   accurate, are able to compose effective and creative teams.
    

Step 3 Ideation - On the basis of a defined problem or need work out solution ideas
For step 3 we need interesting, complex questions that organisations want to develop solutions for. Important to ascertain, is that the organisation will involve itself as the owner of the process and in the end, decide whether or not, some idea(s) will be selected for further development.


Sponsorship
The questions, the innovation teams elaborate on, are initially defined by organisations (companies, institutes). Such an organisation will, during the ideation process, stay the owner of the problem and operate as sponsor.
The organisation may also sponsor a specific participant, with whom it may develop a stronger relation. And, maybe, even see to that the participant will be involved in the realisation of the solution.

For the participant, the initial participation in the Imagination Center will last about three months, of which at least two months in the innovation team(s). After this initial phase, the he/she can make new choices about whether and how to continue. 


Next steps after three months
After the initial three months of participation in the Imagination Center, the participant has different options:
1  Continue as a member of the Imagination Center by paying a member fee;
2  Become an employee of the sponsor organisation, who can decide whether or not the participant
    should continue to be a member of the Center and will be involved in the realisation of the
    selected solution alternative(s);
3  Accept a job elsewhere;
4  Set up a startup-organisation, perhaps together with others, and possibly become member of the
    Incubation Center.

The Bluefinger Incubation Center

Fresh entrepreneurs in a startup enterprise will need space to organise up, but even more than that, they need networking with others. Larger pro-active organisations and Universities nowadays set up their 'incubation centers', often in High-Teck Campuses, on special grounds in the suburbs of a city.
A totally new concept is the Swedish 'Epicenter', an incubation center in the heart of a city. The concept is very successful and already implemented in Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Amsterdam.
On the webpage about the Bluefinger Innovation Center we refer to this concept and we associate it with the problem of the decline of city-shopping areas: to bring the younger people to the heart of the city for a combination of work, network, interaction and co-operation with others.
The Bluefinger Incubation center is meant to be such an Epicenter-like approach in the heart of Zwolle and it will undoubtedly contribute to the attractiveness of the city.

By becoming member of the Incubation Center, a startup or scale-up organisation will have a perfect possibility to network and co-operate. Members of the Incubation Center make use of the common space and the facilities of the Center. And, the coffee is for free...
If a startup/scale-up organisation needs some space for themselves, they will be able to rent it at a low rental cost (about 50% of the prevailing market price).
This is why we intend to buy the real estate ourselves. Otherwise we would not be able to realise the lower rental costs we debit to our members.

Note: No, we are not philanthropists, our added value is in the services we offer to our members, to the sponsors and to society. We are not in the game of using capital to just make more money.