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Thecamp: A Base to Explore the Future

Thecamp is a base camp for exploring the future.

Background

Thecamp came out of an ambitious idea of french entrepreneur Fréderic Chevalier. He said it would be a transdisciplinary, transcultural and transgenerational place in which learning, reflection and experimentation could come together. When he initiated this project in 2013, he was repeatedly told he was crazy. He kept hearing ‘It will never work’. 4 years later, this dream became a reality.  With a total cost of € 80 million, the campus includes a fab lab, an amphitheatre, a start-up incubator, residences for young creative talents and thinkers, workspaces as well as 250 rooms and two restaurants.

The unique value of thecamp is its broad ecosystem of private and public organisations, technology entrepreneurs, academics and artists - all working together on innovation projects under topics like urban innovation, education and health, ocean, alternative business models, etc. Each participant of thecamp’s learning experiences can tap into the ecosystem for support and collaboration.

Challenge

With an initial physical and financial investment of this scale, expectations from both private and public partners are high. The founder’s vision puts sustainability and innovation in all of thecamp’s initiatives. Nested in the south of France, away from most global innovation poles, with close to 20 independent programmes to launch, thecamp needs all the external support it can get, during its “beta” launch phase.

Solution

Thecamp reached out to SIX to design and deliver an ongoing social innovation training programme included in the essentials.

The learning experiences at thecamp start with workshops, which they call “The Essentials”. “The Essentials" workshops cover key subjects allowing participants to explore issues shaping today’s world and make strategic decisions with confidence.

The first training delivered focused on exploring key challenges from thecamp and key corporate partners, such as Sodexo, applying a variety of frameworks and co-design methodologies to collaboratively come up with a set of actions for them to test in their respective organisations.

This led to the creation of an informal peer support group and further collaboration opportunities with thecamp, to help them craft their programme offering and connect them to a wider international audience.