It always fills me with the utmost joy when someone asks me to explain the story of the 4D Canvas and how the methodology works. However, I also know that no matter how hard I try, there’s no better way to showcase our work than through practice. It is also the reason why it is such a pleasure to tell a little bit more about the workshop we delivered at Instituto Tiê mid-August this year. The achievement did not only manifest in the definition of next steps, actions and reaching a milestone where the company was able to understand its impact and sustainability strategy, but also in the opportunity to be able to contribute to a work and mission that I have been following for some time already. Further on, I will tell more about the organisation, what we have discovered during the workshop from the moment of impact mapping to the very end of defining sustainability targets. Shall we dive into it?
Instituto Tiê: Who they are and what they do
Before we get into the details of the work we have done with Instituto Tiê, let’s reveal more about the history of the organization, why it has been founded and decided to look for new tools and methodologies to embark on the sustainability journey and create a business model with positive impact at its core.
Instituto Tiê was founded in 2012 by Carolina Nalon whose personal path and story were strongly intertwined with the company. Keen on promoting social transformation with empathy, authentic communication in a non-violent way, Carol created the institution with a unique mission to help people creating peaceful co-existence. “Public co-existence” is one of the foundations of an educational reform proposed by Unesco. Today that is delivered through the following services:
- A hybrid course (online and offline) called The way to authentic communication, focuses on developing efficient methods to relate to others in a more empathetic, compassionate and honest way;
- Corporate training for organisations that want to create better work culture and stronger engagement among co-workers based on empathy and connection with people.
Therefore, positive impact was never a new definition to Carolina and Instituto Tiê, it has been actually ingrained in their services and way of working. Those who knew Carol, would not argue that purpose is not only a fancy buzzword for her, but she in fact, wants to contribute authentically to a more peaceful, loving and collaborative society. That’s also the reason why she decided to go beyond the current impact and adopt a sustainability strategy with the help of the 4D Sustainability Canvas.
About the stakeholders and value chain of Instituto Tiê
Being a service focused company, the organisation’s value chain is not as complex as it would be of a manufacturing company, therefore to identify all direct stakeholders that are impacted by the company’s activity was relatively easy. They were: suppliers, partners, clients and employees.
In terms of staff, there’s only one person employed by the company apart from the founder, otherwise the company works with two facilitators on contract basis regularly and other partners, occasionally. To carry on, we looked at how these parties have been affected by the company through an impact mapping, enabled by the 4D Sustainability Canvas.
As it was pointed out in the beginning, the courses and training have an inherent potential to create positive social impact, not only due to their content that is of undeniable value, but because of the initiatives they undertook to democratize and simplify the access to this knowledge, particularly through the scholarships offered for the hybrid courses.
Today, 20% of course participants apply for scholarships (full or partial), the selection process is based on an online questionnaire, although the criteria is not formally stated anywhere, they are mainly offered for black women that are affiliated with a social enterprise. The expansion of this initiative was identified as next step for the organisation, so by the end of 2021 the ratio could grow to 30%.
Other programs like group meet-ups will also be part of the scholarship programs. One more action that also determined, was to offer free courses for social impact organisations.
Related Sustainable Development Goals
The above mentioned initiatives are mainly associated with SDG 10 -Reduced inequality, particularly the target 10.2 “By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status”, as well as, SDG 5 – Gender Equality, since the majority of those who receive scholarship are women.
It was easy to observe how content the workshop participants were to be part of the Tie team, whether as employees or facilitators, they all joined the organisation out of conviction and felt they were welcomed and cared for from the beginning.
During the workshop, we established that process definitions and establishing team rituals should be the next actions to take. That was not only important to boost the engagement of the team, but to get the company to the next level of maturity and management.
For example regular meet-ups not only help identifying and meeting the needs of co-workers, but make them part of strategic directions and ensure continuous knowledge share.
In terms of payment of salaries, there was already a verbal agreement in place about transparency of rates, the next step, however, was to formalise that in a policy and thus committing to SDG16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
Finally, even though the organisation is consisting of women, we found that there was room for improvement in terms of diversity, attracting more BAME, LGBTQ+ candidates when hiring, was made high on the agenda, thus making SDG-5 Gender Equality stronger in the company.
Instituto Tiê is a company with clear understanding of its impact and relevance to society. Having filled a gap in our educational system that lacks basic knowledge and teaching of co-existence, such as the consideration of plurality in our world, the company today shows that it has taken important steps in relation to organisational maturity.
Thus, a commitment to take bold and transformative measures that are urgently needed to direct the world towards a sustainable and resilient path, was eminent. After our meetings and workshops, it became evident that one of the next steps would be the formalisation of policies and processes, making the company’s commitment to people and the environment clear and public.
The first step was already taken with the definition of values, vision and purpose of the company with the support of a third-party consulting company following our workshop. We are excited to see the results on the company’s website soon.
Speaking of a service company with a small team and everyone working remotely, makes the environmental impact relatively small. The following two main areas were selected for closer scrutiny:
- Business travel to meet customers and clients, especially those that are at flight distance (Brazil has no rail network, therefore the only way to get around is to take buses or flights in a country the size of Europe)
- Class materials (handouts), as well as other materials used in the courses, including the ones used at workshops and training (papers, pens, pencils…), and used during catering, like serving coffee (how to eliminate the use of disposable cups and cutlery)
Regarding the first point, the current worldwide situation (the coronavirus pandemic) has already forced a shift in a sense that all meetings and work moved online, something that can be maintained in the future, even when the world goes back to normal.
In relation to the second point, the company pledged that all handout materials are to be digital from now, they will avoid all unnecessary printing, a benefit for the planet and the company (or client), as it will save costs, too. Considering the amount of training materials and the courses offered to companies, the estimated CO2 reduction with saving paper can reach up to 1.8 tons / year. This estimate is based on Environmental Paper Network PaperCalculatorVersion 4.0. For more information, visit the website and learn more about the methodology.
There are also other points that can be of quick action, such as the migration of the company’s hosting services to “green servers”, those that use renewable energy and / or invest in CO2 offsetting.
The next steps for Insituto Tiê
As I mentioned in the beginning, it was an absolute pleasure to be part of that process with Instituto Tiê and the entire team. In fact, in all the meetings we have had so far it was impossible not to feel an incredible energy, the energy of those who want to make a difference and also do make a difference, not only by transforming the organisation itself, but serving as an example for others to follow path. Hereby, we continue to monitor and support this journey along the path to an authentic sustainability.
And, of course, if you are interested in learning how this process could take place in your company, do not hesitate to contact us.