ARENA A-Lab

About the Entry

A-Lab draws on a network of people with a range of expertise and passion to make systemic change in the electricity sector. A-Lab provides space for these people to explore and define solutions to the most complex challenges of integrating renewable grids, combining their respective strengths and building momentum for change.

Features & Benefits

01

Co-designed process

ThinkPlace led a team of innovation and energy experts and provided co-design strategies that allowed different users to be heard and to contribute to the design of A-Lab.

There was a need for deep collaboration within the electricity sector to completely redesign the way the system works and to drive innovation across every part of the electricity sector. As part of the process we facilitated the co-design stage with the best possible people to create change.

From deep stakeholder research interviews to a pilot study, ThinkPlace worked closely with stakeholders and designed a detailed communications and engagement strategy along with key recommendations to ensure successful implementation of the A-Lab.

High-level and collaborative impact

A-Lab is a first within the electricity sector to provide a forum for these targeted, strategic conversations and problem solving.

What’s different about our collaboration, is we didn’t just focus on people in the industry or sector. We brought in the outside perspective of customers (which for electricity is everyone!) and other sectors.

By bringing together people from diverse backgrounds, projects that are developed through the A-Lab will be innovative, collaborative and ‘joined up’ with responsibility distributed across the electricity system to deliver a balanced and diverse set of projects rapidly progressing towards the future vision.

Innovation for the electricity sector

ThinkPlace designed the A-Lab Service Model with the intention to innovate toward a preferred future of a customer driven future energy system.

We developed the concept of innovation frames, tangible and tactical programs of work that aim to solve an issue tied to the future. These were developed as an approach for a diverse group of people, many of whom have opposing views, to explore opportunities and find new and creative solutions.

The structured innovation process of the A-Lab service is unique to the whole electricity sector and acts as a platform for transformational change. It leads a diverse range of people and ideas through a best practice innovation methodology of ideation, incubation, acceleration.

Execution and experience

ThinkPlace conducted a pilot as a real-world trial of the A-Lab that allowed the team to evaluate the service, methods and tools, and improve through an iterative learning process.

The key validation arising from the A-Lab Pilot is that there is strong appetite for change, a commitment from people to drive this and A-Lab can be the vehicle to achieve genuine sector-wide transformation.

Based on the energy, enthusiasm and feedback of participants and their insistence to drive towards outcomes, we see the possible impact from A-Lab investing, supporting and enabling future phases of work.

Sharing knowledge with the broader industry

In the co-design stage, the sector voiced a desire for information about renewables and integration into the grid to be more positive and focus less on barriers.

ThinkPlace noted A-Lab had an opportunity to be part of a new collaborative community co-creating and sharing knowledge. At the heart of A-Lab’s innovation process is its ability to provide an unbiased and positive picture of the future, not only in a vision but in practical demonstration through its innovation frames.

A-Lab will create and enable a network of people to share information related to A-Lab innovation ideas, topics, experiments and projects. It will add value by supporting and maintaining the curation of knowledge.

Sustaining momentum and networks

Within a fragmented sector, maintaining momentum and getting mutual commitment to make progress on projects had been elusive.

A-Lab is a new forum for all electricity sector stakeholders including energy users to generate new capacities, approaches and initiatives. It provides a space for people to work together towards an affordable, reliable and low carbon electricity ecosystem of the future.

The A-Lab process perceives collaboration at the heart of transformation of the sector through integration of renewable energy and looks to drive genuine, systemic innovation.

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ARENA A-Lab