Shell Eco-marathon: People's Insights Vol. 2 Issue 10


Published on

This week, we distill insights around the Shell Eco-marathon - a collaborative social innovation challenge that inspires students and young engineers around the world to design the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles.

100+ thinkers and planners within MSLGROUP share and discuss inspiring projects on social data, crowdsourcing, storytelling and citizenship on the MSLGROUP Insights Network.

Every week, we pick up one project and do a deep dive into conversations around it -- on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself but also on the broader social web -- to distill insights and foresights. We share these insights and foresights with you on our People’s Insights blog and compile the best insights from the network and the blog in the iPad-friendly People’s Lab Quarterly Magazine, as a showcase of our capabilities.

For more, see:

Published in: Business, Technology, Sports
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Shell Eco-marathon: People's Insights Vol. 2 Issue 10

  1. 1. crowdsourcing | storytelling | citizenship | social dataPeople’s Insights Volume 2, Issue 10Shell Eco-marathon
  2. 2. People’s Insights100+ thinkers and planners within MSL- In 2013, we continue to track inspiringGROUP share and discuss inspiring proj- projects at the intersection of social data,ects on social data, crowdsourcing, story- crowdsourcing and storytelling, with a fo-telling and citizenship on the MSLGROUP cus on projects that are shaping the FutureInsights Network. Every week, we pick up of project and curate the conversations Do subscribe to receive our weekly insightsaround it — on the MSLGROUP Insights reports, quarterly magazines, and annualNetwork itself but also on the broader reports, and do share your tips and com-social web — into a weekly insights report. ments with us at @PeoplesLab on Twitter.Every quarter, we compile these insights,along with original research and insightsfrom the MSLGROUP global network, intothe People’s Insights Quarterly Magazine.We have synthesized the insights from ouryear-long endeavor throughout 2012 toprovide foresights for business leaders andchangemakers — in the ten-part People’sInsights Annual Report titled Now & Next:Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engage-ment. People’s Insights People’s Insights People’s Insights weekly report quarterly magazines Annual Report Volume 2, Issue 10, Future of Shell January - March, 2013 Citizenship Eco-marathon
  3. 3. What is the Shell Eco-marathon?The Shell Eco-marathon is collaborative social sustainable mobility. In recent years, Shellinnovation challenge that inspires students and has begun opening up the event to the publicyoung engineers around the world to design through offline labs at the Shell Eco-marathonand build the next generation of fuel-efficient in Europe and the Americas, an online Shellvehicles. The Shell Eco-marathon traces its Energy Run Game on Facebook, and a series ofroots to 1939 when it was an internal challenge blog posts and videos documenting behind-the-amongst employees. Now, the eco-marathon scenes action.takes place annually in three continents – theAmericas, Europe and as of 2012, Asia. Studentscompete for cash prizes and the opportunity toset new records.Shaun Stone, team manager, Aston University noted:“The purpose of the competition is to go as far aspossible on 1 litre of fuel, with off track awards foraspects such as sustainability and design alsoavailable.”Through the eco-marathon, Shell aims to inspire Source: Shell Eco-Marathon Legacya new generation of engineers passionate aboutSource: shell.comThe initiative has achieved significant scale – 513 teams from 45 countries are participating in the ShellEco-marathon this year.How it worksStudents spend a year in designing, building andtesting their vehicles. Students can choose fromtwo classes of vehicles and seven types of fuel:“The Prototype class focuses on maximumefficiency, while passenger comfort takes a backseat. The UrbanConcept class encourages morepractical designs Cars enter one of seven categoriesto run on conventional petrol and diesel, biofuels, Source: made from natural gas (GTL), hydrogen, solaror electricity.” Finally, students compete in the annual race onShell uses Facebook as its central platform of city streets or on a professional circuit:coordination, with invite-only groups for each “Over several days, teams make as many attemptsregion. Here, students and Shell representatives as possible to travel the furthest on the equivalentanswer technical questions and clarify contest of one litre of fuel. Cars drive a fixed number ofrules. In addition, Shell uses YouTube to share laps around the circuit at a set speed. Organisersinformation around event logistics, technical calculate their energy efficiency and name a winnerengineering concepts, and even an animated in each class and for each energy source.”video of the track. 3
  4. 4. Prepares students for the real world The Shell Eco-marathon is a good outlet for students to test their skills and creations, to face real world challenges and to explore a future in engineering and sustainable mobility. A staff report in The News Star notes: “The Tech students, who come from many differentSource: Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2012 from Rotterdam academic degree programs, participate in the project as volunteers and do not get class credit.Integration at schools and They design, build, paint and test the cars on their own time, usually in the evenings, after class anduniversities on weekends. They also assist with fundraisingSometimes, students develop the cars over years, and publicity. While employing skills they learn inas older students graduate and new students the classroom, these students are also developingjoin the teams. As a result, universities produce leadership and project management skills that willmultiple, diverse eco-cars and students can build serve them throughout their careers.”on past efforts.The team at Chalmers University of Technologyreflected:“At the competition we realized that it was not thateasy to complete a race, and definitely not to becompetitive. Many teams had spent several yearsand (in some cases) several millions and it wasclear that we would have to wait a few years beforewe could expect to be among the best.”Indeed, some schools, like Purdue University,have been building eco cars since 1993 andparticipating in the Shell Eco-marathon since2008. Purdue Solar Racing even showcased theireco car at the recent New York International AutoShow. Source: Engineering junior and participant John Rockwell reflected: “There’s a lot of stuff I’ve learned on this team that I wouldn’t be able to normally. Working with companies and sponsors ... you definitely don’t get that just sitting in a class.” Journalist Christine Des Garennes reported: “The prize is a trophy and $2,000, but the realSource: reward, many [University of Illinois] team members said, has been the learning experience that has come along with designing the vehicle and working with a group of students with backgrounds in a wide range of subjects.” Faculty advisor of the Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team Mark Westlake reflected on the experience: Volume 2, Issue 10, Future of Shell January - March, 2013 Citizenship Eco-marathon
  5. 5. “Members of your team tend to blossom when The Great Energy Challenge Blog. Participantsgiven enough time to fail. Students surprised me and Shell community managers contribute towith how creative they were and how willing they the blog. Many students also document theirare to learn new skills.” own experience and design process online on Facebook or on team websites and blogsEngaging the public (Chalmers University of Technology, Aston University).Online, Shell engages people around the eventthrough video series such as the two part “Road In 2012, Shell launched a social game onto Houston.” Structured like a reality show, the Facebook, the Shell Energy Run Game, thatseries documents the behind-the-scenes activity enables people to participate in the Eco-and challenges faced by the teams in preparing marathon virtually. Players design their own carfor the contest. Other video series feature the and race it on a virtual circuit. The game providesteams participating or cover live events at the educational tips to help people increase theirvarious Shell Eco-Marathons. In addition, Shell virtual car’s fuel efficiency, and incorporatespartnered with National Geographic to cover elements like points, trophies and a leaderboardthe eco-marathon on National Geographic’s to keep people playing.Source:, Shell has organized activations like the Mobility Footprint Zone at the Shell Eco-marathonAmericas and the Het Lab at the Shell Eco-marathon Europe.Writer Flori Meeks covered the experience in theAmericas:“New this year is an interactive learning experiencefor visitors. Activities include a “Mobility FootprintZone” with a kinetic dance floor where visitors canrace toy cars powered by salt water, a Formula 1car display, a self-guided tour through Shell Eco-Marathon Americas and the mPowering ActionMobile Recording Studio, where visitors can recordsongs or messages about their energy solutions for Source: future.” detailpage&v=iDg7rdVW3vwIn Europe, Shell and creative agency Imaginationused RFID cards to make the experience moreinteractive and memorable:“Visitors used RFID cards to store photos, videosand data from their visit, and could afterwards‘Replay the Day’ by entering their personal code onthe micro-site.” 5
  6. 6. Larger social impactAs collaborative social innovation programs Bloggers and faculty advisors also note that thebecome more common, thinkers are beginning to technology developed for the eco-marathonplace more emphasis on measuring success and would eventually enter the mainstream.finding successful models. Blogger Vijay noted:Indeed, Ashraf Engineer, member of theMSLGROUP Insights Network, noted: “The competing vehicles are highly specialized and optimized for the event and not intended for“I think [the Shell Eco-marathon is] a superb idea. every day use. The designs represent what canThe question is this: Will the competition translate be achieved with current technology and offer ainto an actual ultra-fuel-efficient vehicle? The glimpse into the future of car design based onquest for such a vehicle has been on for decades minimal environmental impact in a world withand prototypes have been paraded in automobile reduced oil reserves. Nevertheless, the work ofshows for years. Yet, there are hardly any successful the participants can still be used to show waysmodels.” manufacturers could redesign their products.”Participants note that the eco-marathon has Purdue University team’s faculty advisor andhelped inspire a new generation of environment mechanical engineering professor Galen Kingconscious engineers. Several participants have said:gone on to intern or work not only at Shell, butalso the larger engineering industry. “I don’t think we’ll see these cars on the road, but the tech used in them will always be incorporated.High school junior and participant Jake Nyquist Carbon fiber material, computer-integrated controlreflected: systems, electric propulsion—you’ll see all those“It’s very valuable, especially for high school components.”students. There are all sorts of students who wouldnever consider going into engineering as a career,or looking at fuel consumption, without this.” Volume 2, Issue 10, Future of Shell January - March, 2013 Citizenship Eco-marathon
  7. 7. People’s Lab:Crowdsourcing Innovation & InsightsPeople’s Lab is MSLGROUP’s proprietary comment on other people’s content andcrowdsourcing platform and approach that collaborate to find innovative solutions.helps organizations tap into people’s insights forinnovation, storytelling and change. The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platform and approach forms the core of our distinctiveThe People’s Lab crowdsourcing platform insights and foresight approach, which consistshelps organizations build and nurture public of four elements: organic conversation analysis,or private, web or mobile, hosted or white MSLGROUP’s own insight communities, client-label communities around four pre-configured specific insights communities, and ethnographicapplication areas: Expertise Request Network, deep dives into these communities. The People’sInnovation Challenge Network, Research & Insights Quarterly Magazines showcase ourInsights Network and Contest & Activation capability in crowdsourcing and analyzingNetwork. Our community and gaming features insights from conversations and communities.encourage people to share rich content, vote/ Learn more about us at: |
  8. 8. For People’s Lab solutions,