Students experiment with mental balance in partnership with DONG Energy

DONG Energy is reaching out to researchers, private- and public sector executives and 300 students to tap into inspiration for ways to enhance the mental balance of the company's employees.
First it was dietary habits and exercise. Last year it was sleep. And 2016 looks set to be the year of focusing on mental balance. In partnership with DANSIC (the Danish Social Innovation Club) DONG Energy is setting up a laboratory for sustainable solutions to the societal challenge posed by stress.

Hanne Blume, HR Director at DONG Energy, said: "I don't think there are many companies that have the solution for maintaining good mental balance in working life here in 2016. Getting a good night's sleep cer-tainly plays an important role, but we're now looking into what else is required." She then added:

"Hardly any research has been done into this area, so we need to dare to look for inspiration beyond our own boundaries."

DANSIC – Danish Social Innovation Club

DANSIC is a platform for social innovation. Every year, DANSIC hosts Denmark's biggest conference for so-cial innovation. DANSIC works from an interdisciplinary perspective to inspire solutions to the biggest chal-lenges facing society via social innovation. DANSIC is thus aiming to create a society that is sustainable from social, environmental and economic perspectives.
Social Innovation Lab

Over the course of a single day, 1,700 square metres of 'Docken' in Nordhavn, Denmark, will be trans-formed into this year's biggest conference on social innovation. To start with, participants at the event will listen to presentations from highly qualified speakers, who are sure to provide plenty of inspiration. They will then have the opportunity to take matters into their own hands in a 'social innovation lab' featuring graphic filtering, laser cutters and 3D printers. The students will form groups with people from different study programmes whom they have never met before.

Kristine Kolling Hansen, President of DANSIC, explained: "We believe that it's in interacting with people who think differently to us that the best new ideas arise. I consider DONG Energy to be a progressive player that dares take responsiblity for its employees' mental health. It's inspiring to see them including so many dif-ferent players in this work."

From laboratory to the executive floor at DONG Energy

We can come a long way with post-it notes and a whiteboard when brainstorming new ideas. But setting up a conference where it is possible to develop tangible prototypes – and thus to give ideas a three-dimensional form – stimulates new ways of thinking and new perspectives that go way beyond words and letters.

It is precisely the combination of students working in multidisciplinary units and prototyping as a design method that is to ensure DONG Energy comes away with something that has never been seen before, and which may develop into the next major initiative to boost mental balance within the organisation.

"The point is that you don't know in advance what the conference day will produce. However, I guarantee that DONG Energy will bring home at least 80 great new ideas that they haven't considered before. It will then be up to the company to determine how the ideas can be put into practice and become long-term permanent solutions," concluded Hansen.
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Morten Kidal +45 9955 9583