Education , Government , Infrastructure , Non-Profit & Social Impact , Technology

by Ralf Lippold | Nov. 10, 2018
A prize competition on creating ways that enable a prosperous future of the Free State of Saxony and its citizens in the next 1-5 years

Imagine, what you have seen in the best-run companies locally can be spread to a whole state, including how the government and policy making, networked economics, or the way of how education and curricula adapt to current and future challenges. 


You might have noticed in the press that the party AfD is the strongest party currently in Saxony. Dresden, despite its legacy of inviting artists, entrepreneurs and social innovators over centuries. is facing weekly marches of Pegida in Dresden. The economy, though we write almost three decades after the German reunification, is in large part shaped by decisions made at companies' headquarters outside Saxony (often with devastating impact when closings are announced). A low unionized workforce and low tariff binding (only a quarter of all firms are part of branch tariffs) of industries have led to rather low wages that seem to stay put.

What sparked the idea of #VisionSaxonyPrize?

In June 2007, I was working in the newly opened BMW car manufacturing plant in Leipzig, Saxony, being responsible for the time quality of production (while still ramping up to 700 cars per day, and having first deliveries to BMW Welt in sight where nearly 100% time quality was needed in order to run logistics operations to Munich smoothly), I attended a workshop at MIT (Massachussets Institute of Technology).


"When I met Professor Forrester, I was working in Saxony for a premium car manufacturer. Helping ramp up production of the car plant had been like going through a second German reunification at a fast pace as cultures from West and East Germany met to achieve a shared vision. An organization is (in some broader sense) a replication of the larger society, with all its challenges. Policies at the plant and changes in the network of personal relationships there had (often subtle) implications for the overall work outcome, but understanding these dynamics was proving difficult."

From: MIT Technology Review, Alumni Letters, August 18, 2015

What I experienced first hand, while working with colleagues from Saxony and other East German regions at BMW, was that Saxons are pride and exceptionally capable of dealing with complex challenges in most creative in innovative ways. Building up the plant back then we were all in the "same boat"  and achieved a great success going live on May 1st, 2005, delivering the first BMW 3 Sedan to the first customer)


Over the years brainstorming and various projects have extended the experiences from working at the BMW Plant Leipzig to the larger whole: Saxony. Here are my own thoughts for an MIT ClimateCoLab proposal from 2016, and a more recent prototype as part of the ongoing MOOC Transforming Capitalism Lab emering out of the MOOC u.lab "Leading From the Emerging Future". There are for sure many ways to achieve the goal of a prosperous future for a region. First and foremost financial input comes to mind, and policies to encourage companies to move into the region and produce locally. 

So far the seen impact of actions are literally the "drop on the stone", also because of the time delays such complex challenges come along with.  The #VisionSaxonyPRIZE is inspired by Peter H. Diamandis' Huffington Post article in 2012 "An XPRIZE for Jobs: Can We Radically Reinvent How We Create, Finance, and Find Jobs in America". 

Why should you care and join?

Become part of the early design team of the #VisionSaxonyPrize. Learn with other passionate people who'd like to see a positive shift towards the future to set up an ambitious project,  taking back learnings to your own projects and work environments. 

The idea is to conceptualize #VisionSaxonyPRIZE until the official start of the next run of the MOOC u.lab on September 12, 2019, and use it as a tangible prototype for societal change based on "awarness-based collective action" (as Otto Scharmer stated in his speech at the 2010 WEF China). 

Very much looking forward to hearing from you to join this initiative :-)



PS.: You can reach out to me either through commenting, approaching me via HeroX or any other network I am active on, or just send an email to ralf(dot)lippold(at)gmail(dot)com