The Think Train

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The Think Train

NetherlandsNijmegen, Netherlands
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Think Train is an international high-speed problem solving train, with the goal of making a significant impact on Healthcare in Europe. During a period of 3 weeks, talents from various European countries with different study backgrounds will participate in a voyage of discovery. During this time they will be developing innovative and creative solutions to enrich the current healthcare system.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if the diverse cultural backgrounds of european talents could be used to reduce cost and ensure patients are treated as individuals?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

he healthcare system is under high pressure. As the population become older, there is a lack of qualified and compassionate staff to meet the needs and rising costs of healthcare. The system needs to be disrupted in order to make sure that we can assure the same quality of care in the near future. Professionals who are working in traditional healthcare organizations are trapped within existing paradigm and are not able to think outside the box.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In three weeks, the talents from different EU counties will visit 3 countries Europe. In these countries, the talents will work on so called 99 hour projects for organisations based in that country. With 4 more people (per challenge) and 4 more days to work on the solutions, we are creating solutions and strategies for a future proof outlook for healthcare. By showcasing different ideas, developing a prototype or even creating a blueprint for a new product/service, we are providing organisations with a fresh and new perspective on their organisation. We are peeling the first slice of the orange: we show what's possibile, what's the potential and give the organisation a kickstart to transform their organisation for the better.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

In the past, we have done a challenge for the Provence of Gelderland which had the ambition to attract a more diverse set of people to politics and public administration. We suggested that they should set up an student organizations related to public administration, which we motivated by a mini-pilot: we showed the employees of the provence what the impact of a student organization could be for their organization. They were excited by our suggested solution and then nominated us for an exclusive visit with the King of the Netherlands.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We have established our own student organization by which students can make an impact on society by means of an interdisciplinary method. This summer we are launching the Think Train, by which we will help 6 leading healthcare organizations in Europe to become future proof. By using the the state-of-the-art knowledge, the ambition and the drive to make a change from young talents from 3 different EU countries, we will proof that young people can have a significant impact in Europe.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

In order to ensure financial sustainability a fee will be asked from the participating organizations. We are providing the organizations with talents who are going to work for leading organizations in the near future, whereafter they will be much more expensive. Furthermore, we ask a small fee from participating talents to cover the costs related to living expenses.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

At the moment there are multiple innovation challenges related to Healthcare in Europe. There is, for example, the sustainable healthcare challenge in the Netherlands and the Jump x Health challenge in Spain. Unfortunately, these challenges have no direct relation with the large organizations and therefore in most instances the best ideas or not transformed into reality. The Thinktrain differs from these challenges since we are linking the talents to leading healthcare challenges and we are making maximum use of the cultural and academic diverse backgrounds of the talents.

Founding Story

I was studying in South Africa and I was amazed by the connection between university and society. Each course was in some sort of way connected to the challenges that the country were facing. Furthermore, during my studies I became frustrated by the fact that the education system works by competition between disciplines instead of collaboration. Almost no effort was taken to integrate the knowledge from different disciplines. After I returned from South Africa it was clear to me what is was going to do: set up the Think Train.
About You
About You
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About Your Organization
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Organization Country

, Nijmegen

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Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

After this summer we want to expand the concept of the ThinkTrain. We are going to do this in two ways: firstly, we are going to organize the ThinkTrain twice a year (summer and winter). Every period there will be multiple trains, related to different sectors (Energy, Healthcare, Food). Furthermore, an agency will be set up which will work on different challenges during the year.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The barriers that might hinder the success of our project are the funding and the time-table. Since we are aiming to recruit young talents (of which some of them are still on university), the ThinkTrain needs to ride during summer, the time when some organizations are less active. A second barrier could be the funding of the first ThinkTrain. Since this is a new concept, organizations may be skeptical and not willing to invest.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

Naomi Mwasamili is the ambassador in the UK. Thijs Sondag in the Netherlands. They both have a very broad network.The Think Train is still being developed but contacts have been made to establish partnerships with the European Union, leading healthcare institution in the UK and the Netherlands and with NUFFIC.

Closing the Loop
How does your project primarily ensure that feedback delivers results?

Facilitate a conversation that combines wisdom of the crowds with the perspective of experts.

Please elaborate on your answer to the above question.

Believing in the power of cross-sectional collaboration to challenge existing business models for the better, our talents tackle existing healthcare organizations to become future proof for the digital age. Our talents are passionated about healthcare innovation and by linking them to key organizations who can make an impact on the healthcare system we want to make an impact on society. By integrating the ideas and freshness of young people with the experiences from expert in the field we are convinced that we can make the healthcare system more sustainable than before.

Languages: In what languages are you able to read and write fluently?


2nd Round Questions
Thinking about your feedback loop; what information are you trying to get from whom, to whom, and to bring about what change?
What is the purpose of your feedback loop?

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What mediums or mechanisms do you use to collect feedback? (check all that apply)

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Could you briefly describe the way you collect the feedback?
What mechanisms are in place to protect people from retribution?

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What are the immediate benefits or incentives for people to provide feedback?

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How do you ensure new and marginalized voices are heard?

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What are the incentives for the intended recipient to act on the feedback?

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How does the feedback mechanism close the loop with those who provided feedback in the first place?

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How is feedback published/transparent?

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Give two concrete examples of how feedback loops have brought a program or policy more in line with citizens’ desires.
If there was one thing you could change to increase the impact of your feedback loop, what would it be?
What are your biggest challenges or barriers in “closing the feedback loop”?

If other, please specify
Are you aware of The Feedback Store?

What are the main uses you can envision for the Feedback Store?
What is the one thing you would most like to see changed to improve the competition process?
What are you doing to make sure that feedback providers know that they are empowered by the information they can give and that they know exactly what the information they are providing?