Website developed and illustrated by Sanjna Sudan © 2019

Impact Hub Berlin
Mapping the journey
Who and where?
​As a part of my MA in Media Practice for Development and Social Change (2018-19) at University of Sussex Brighton, United Kingdom, I conceptualized, designed and wrote the narrative about Impact Hub Berlin, Germany's 5 years of Impact.
 
What was the challenge?

Impact Hub Berlin is at the center of a thriving social entrepreneurship scene in Berlin. An Innovation lab, accelerator, co-working space as well as an innovation consultancy- the 'hub' is a community of energic and passionate people who want to change the world in their own way.

How did I do it?

Impact measurement is one of the foremost important things that a social impact organisation (for profit or not) should take care of. Before I joined, a community-wide survey was done by Impact Hub Global with the members who worked in these spaces. 

The raw data of the same was handed over to me to create a narrative out of, describing IHB’s impact in the last five years with an emphasis on the year 2018-19. It was a daunting task, however, I took this as an opportunity to learn. I went back to my design research handbook from ‘Interactive Project Development Module’ at my MA at Sussex. 

These were the first few steps I took:​]

Concept and stakeholder Mapping: The initial concept mapping involved listing down what all the co-founders wanted in an impact report. We discussed, who exactly was it for and how did they interact with such a report and realised that it would be for current and potential impact investors in the organisations as well as community members.

Exploration & ResearchThe next step required me to create a Google presentation, that I shared with every team’s head with specific expectations.

Interviews: I set up interview times with each of the teams amidst their busy schedules and I found that the stereotype of Germans being time conscious held true! Everyone had a packed calendar but still managed to create room for this discussion.

Interviews: I set up interview times with each of the teams amidst their busy schedules and I found that the stereotype of Germans being time conscious held true! Everyone had a packed calendar but still managed to create room for this discussion.

Content Analysis

Two years ago, the first (and only) impact report by IHB had come out. I read it along with other reports by other hubs and realized that the ideal report would have a balance of impactful numbers, amazing visuals, and a crisp yet catchy storyline.

Moodboard & Storyboard: 

Created a storyboard with help from my boss Petra and Colleague Liz about how we'd like the Impact Hub Story to flow

Moodboard to Storyboard: An early prototype and its evaluation

 

A feeling of being in Berlin: 

I did my competitive analysis and realised most reports by Impact Hubs around the world did not draw inspiration from the cities they were in, even if it added so much richness to the content! However Impact Hub Amsterdam did a great job of doing that and I decided that Berlin’s report should also have cultural symbols from the city.

I used the S-bahn trains, TV tower from erstwhile East Berlin, a typical Berlin boat in the river Spree, a berlin cycler and a few other symbols.

 

IHB’s tone of voice was sensible yet playful, often bordering controversial and filled with humour and this is what I replicated in the report’s narrative as well.

 

Stories and not just numbers:

Most impact reports are laden with numbers that don’t intrigue or invite the reader to know more. We therefore decided that the report should have stories along with impactful numbers. I was closely following brand guidelines yet experimenting with everything.