Electric Blue was approached by Common Purpose to work in partnership with Queen Mary College (University of London), on their project - Q Challenge. We were asked to set a challenge for a team of students: a real world problem for which they had to find a real world solution. Students had regular contact with Electric Blue and had a deadline to deliver their final solutions.
About Common Purpose
Common Purpose is a British-founded charity that runs leadership development programmes around the world. Its aim is to improve the way organisations and society work together, by developing leaders from all sectors, through a programme of diverse challenges and approaches.
**How can we secure pledges from local businesses to support the uptake of electric taxis? **
The challenge brief supports our Electrify Watford campaign. As evidenced in numerous studies, our continued use of fossil fuels creates devastating economic, social and environmental damage. When commuters are forced to choose between a fossil fuel powered taxi and electric taxi, most would choose the latter. However, there’s a missing piece: taxi drivers are not aware of this demand, so they continue driving petrol and diesel vehicles.
Electric Blue challenged the students to create a scalable campaign, in order to gain commitment from businesses and public taxi users, to support those fleets adopting electric vehicles (EVs).
Leveraging the local authorities
The group proposed to leverage the Local Authorities and their resources to raise awareness about climate change and its impact. In addition, Local Authorities would be able to help with the design of rules and regulations, regarding the usage of EVs throughout boroughs.
Electric Blue to run workshops throughout the city
Their next approach to the challenge was for Electric Blue to run workshops for local stakeholders, encouraging learning and increasing awareness of climate change. These workshops would include various activities, allowing for taxi drivers and businesses to be educated on the usage and feasibility of electric taxis (e-Taxis).
Boost marketing strategy
The final solution was focused on boosting Electric Blue’s marketing strategy. The group’s suggestions were to:
- Make the website more user-friendly and easier to navigate
- Utilise digital (social media, paid ads) and traditional (billboards) media to build brand awareness
- Create a stronger strapline/slogan to attract public attention
- Develop an app to make Electric Blue’s services accessible and easy to manage
What was achieved
At the end of the programme the students presented their solutions, with positive feedback and high praise from Electric Blue and the panel. They brought new perspectives and applicable solutions to the challenge. As a result, Electric Blue will be implementing some of their suggestions.
‘It was an absolute pleasure to work with the group – they exceeded all expectations. The group delivered a 5-minute presentation that included a campaign video. We were so impressed that we’re using the video on our website!’
Electric Blue has asked four students from the group to come on board for three months to help with the implementation of their proposed solutions. These students will be involved with:
- Business development to target local businesses in Watford
- Creation and implementation of social media campaigns to generate buzz within the community
- Replication of the Watford campaign across different cities outside of London
In addition, the campaign video that the students produced to drive awareness to the EV-conversion campaign, will be published on the main page of Electric Blue’s website. The students will be working with our marketing team to refine the video before publishing.
Sultana Azmi and Nirvair Bharma are both graduates of Q Challenge London and are now interns at Electric Blue. Both of them feel excited about being part of a brilliant team and being able to build on the solutions which they proposed for the challenge.
For Sultana, being part of the programme and taking on the challenge proved to be a fulfilling experience. One of the key lessons that she took from the challenge, was that true success comes from turning each other’s differences into strengths for the team’s benefit.
Overall, I gained some brilliant friends as team members and some amazing mentors like Damien and Alex who guided us along the way. As an individual skill, I feel like I have a better grasp of leadership and teamwork now. As a team leader it was important to hold the team together whenever it was necessary and throughout the journey, I learned how to act and when to act, which I am hopeful that I can use in the future!