Category Archives: Projects

Investors In Community (IIC): Success Story

Aligning Corporations with Social Causes, Validating Social Contributions

Vision

Consumers are demanding more than just products and services from Brands, and have a growing sense of cynicism from greenwashing and other fake claims of ‘Social Good’ made by Corporations. Many corporations are in fact ‘doing good,’ validating activities is hard.

IIC’s vision is to tackle these challenges head-on by bringing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into the forefront. IIC goes well beyond helping Corporations manage CSR initiatives and activities – their vision is a community platform validating Social Good, holding Corporations accountable to Trust and Transparently one good deed at a time. IIC validates Social Good, easily shining a light on those Corporations who believe they have an active role in making the world a better place (and subsequently, those that don’t), while quickly connecting a previously disjointed process of matchmaking between organizations and the causes and charities most aligned to their values and audiences. Think of IIC as the Uber® for Social Good.

Solution

IIC engaged Cognition Foundry after previously working with a traditional Technology Partner that did not deliver. While the Vision remained constant, the platform was broken. Leveraging Cognition Foundry’s expertise in Social Good design, we got to work simplifying the complex vision to a simple user journey which was easy to navigate whilst retaining all of the benefits envisioned. The fact that IIC had already invested all their previous funding rounds into this broken platform was not a deterrent.

Employing Agile methodologies, the cloud and Blockchain-based platform was launched in 2019 to the initial UK (United Kingdom) market. Using enterprise-grade technologies like IBM Blockchain-as-a-service and LinuxONE, the platform is available to Corporations in a low-cost SaaS model, and available to charities for free. Corporations are streamlining their CSR activities, capturing accurate Social Giving ( list here ), while charities are benefiting both from the warm introduction with aligned companies and receiving 100% of the funding and investments transferred to them (in contrast to other models that take a sizable cut of the funding transaction).

Solution Components | Barriers Removed

  • Solution Design: User Journey specialists co-created with the IIC team the needed journey maps and wireframes needed to get the platform back on track
  • IT Strategy and Architecture: Guidance to the founders on how to start small, prepare to scale when needed, without sacrificing enterprise grade availability and data security
  • Application Development: Blockchain-as-a-Service and Hyperledger
  • Infrastructure: Designed and maintained a hybrid cloud hosting infrastructure, including incorporating IBM LinuxONE with industry-leading 99.999% availability, scalability, resiliency and security
  • Social Investment: IIC could have given up on the Dream. By reaching out to Cognition Foundry, IIC kept the dream alive. Cognition Foundry provided a Social Investment to get the MVP to market
  • Ongoing Application Support and Development: Cognition Foundry continues to work with IIC to evolve platform for unique stakeholder processes and reporting
Outcomes

Recognizing the shift in Consumer attitudes and their role in the world, the UK’s 5th largest Supermarket chain mandated their suppliers adopt the IIC platform. This is creating a cascading effect for Social Good.

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Newlight Technologies: Success Story

When Innovation Meets Greenhouse Gases

Vision

Transform excess carbon contained in the air into wearable high-performance syntenic leather products and other consumables. Battle climate change, one handbag and pair of sunglasses at a time.

Requirements
  • Ensure impact claims are independently tracked and audited, and verifiable by Consumers
  • Track each step in the carbon transformation process used to create the consumer goods
Solution

Newlight needed a technology partner who could advance them in the next stage in their journey. As Newlight’s underlying AirCarbon transformation process matured, they sought to engage consumers in the entire product lifecycle.. They needed a seasoned technology partner who had already battle-tested nascent technologies like Blockchain and could add this crucial element of verifiability – and enable Newlight to do this at scale.

Newlight worked with Cognition Foundry to deploy an IBM Blockchain-based system that creates an indelible record of every step in the production of AirCarbon. Each stage in the process—from sourcing methane emissions generated at abandoned coal mines, landfills, or farms, to the procurement of renewable energy, to the conversion of gas into products, to the input of a third party verification report—generates a discrete data input which is recorded in the Blockchain hyperledger. Every link in the chain supports and verifies every other link, and therefore cannot be eradicated or changed.

Cognition Foundry furthered Newlight’s vision of engaging consumers to positively impact climate change by designing an infrastructure based on IBM LinuxONE that requires no additional servers to scale up. This innovative design optimizes server utilization, prevents waste now and in the future, enabling Newlight to have a complementary energy conservation story aligned with their AirCarbon transformation process.

Employing Agile methodologies, the Cloud and Blockchain-based platform created an indelible record of each step in the transformation of greenhouse gases to high-performance AirCarbon biomaterials. Consumers are able verify the end-to-end carbon transformation (from sequestration to polymer to consumable manufacturing) of their products online. Consumers natural skepticism starts to give way to Trust and Confidence, as they verify that they are, in fact, making a difference to climate change through the Brands they purchase. Newlight is confident that the new socially engaged and environmentally conscious consumer will be favourable to Newlight’s consumer product line. Cognition Foundry delivered the initial version of the platform prior to Newlight’s consumer launch.

Solution Components | Barriers Removed

  • Solution Design: Design Thinking Workshops revealed strategies to empower the advocated and convert the critic. Empathizing with divergent personas ensured the consumer-engagement strategy would be inclusive and effective
  • IT Strategy and Architecture: Designed and maintained a hybrid cloud hosting infrastructure, including incorporating IBM LinuxONE with industry-leading 99.999% availability, scalability, resiliency and security
  • Application Development: Blockchain-as-a-Service and Hyperledger
  • Infrastructure: Designed and maintained a hybrid Cloud hosting infrastructure, including incorporating IBM LinuxOne with industry-leading 99.999% availability, scalability, resiliency and security
Outcomes

Newlight is set to launch their consumer-focused fashion product line in January 2020. Consumers validate the carbon capture (date, location, impact, etc.) using the Blockchain-based platform on the Newlight website.

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Plastic Bank

Stopping ocean plastic by gathering a billion people together to monetize waste to improve lives.

Vision

A bold, optimistic view of a world free of ocean plastic and extreme poverty. These guys had a vision for the world to gather together to alleviate both problems simultaneously, creating a way to use plastic as money. Giving people a sense of worth, pride, connection and community.

Plastic Bank needed a technology partner who was willing to join them on their journey. They had the vision. They needed the technology roadmap to get there.

Solution

Who can say “No” to both enabling cleaner oceans and drinking water, while uplifting the extreme poor? Right!

From Day One, CF provided the technical prowess and infrastructure, working alongside the founders throughout all phases, from concept to design to software development, iterating and improving relentlessly.

We built the Blockchain-based platform verifying the plastic collection (and tracking through the reclamation process) and managing the global digital currency process for rewarding individual entrepreneurs.

Employing Agile methodologies, deployment costs were kept to a minimum without sacrificing quality — allowing Plastic Bank to focus on building out their ecosystem. The platform was designed through the lens of Trust and Transparency – giving global brands like SC Johnson and Henkel the confidence in the authenticity of the Plastic Bank model and message. We even brought IBM onboard for powerful co-marketing and additional support.

Solution Components | Barriers Removed

  • IT Strategy and Architecture: Guidance to the founders on how to start small, be prepared to scale, without sacrificing enterprise-grade availability and data security
  • Application Development: Blockchain-as-a-Service, Hyperledger, Mobile App
  • Infrastructure: Designed and maintained a hybrid cloud hosting infrastructure, including incorporating IBM LinuxONE with industry-leading 99.999% availability, scalability, resiliency and security
  • Social Investment: Early creative financing enabled the Plastic Bank founding team to stay focused on building out the business, instead of spending time raising additional funds
  • Ongoing Application Support and Development: Cognition Foundry continues to work with the Plastic Bank, evolving their platform in response to stakeholder needs
Outcomes

Over 10 million pounds of plastic has been removed from our oceans and fresh water systems (Read more in the Plastic Bank Annual Report). Global partnerships with SC Johnson & Henkel support the Social Plastic movement led by the Plastic Bank.

Read how this Solution won a UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Award in 2019

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  • Plastic Bank uses Blockchain to Recycle Ocean Plastic

  • Social Plastic Overview

  • Life of a Bottle