Project Everest

Work Update

Project Perception with the January Team Inception

Matilda Dowse
Matilda Dowse | Jan 8, 2018 | in Knowledge Base

When the January Energy Group first touched down in Timor Leste, none of us could imagine how far we’d come in only a day’s work. After some icebreakers and health check-ins, the 10-person team moved straight into establishing the direction we wanted the project to follow. Despite drastically different personalities and backgrounds, it soon emerged that each of us had come here for the same reasons - to instigate real, lasting change in disadvantaged areas to improve global quality of life.

Though amazed by the framework the December team had left with Sundaya and Hugh Collett, the expectations it seemingly set us were initially concerning. Many of us were concerned that we had been forced into being salespeople for an external company, with no input, autonomy or relation to the engineering and empathising we chose Project Everest for.

To avoid a month of discomfort, the team ran a Project Perception workshop to establish why we came here, what we wanted from the energy project, what path we think it should follow, and how we think it should get there. Through the group’s shared visions and a rainbow’s worth of post-it notes, we defined our collective goals and all points of interest critical to fulfilling them. These were then synthesised into the single goal of providing a desired, sustainable, and adaptable energy solution to the people of Timor-Leste.

With only a fraction of the working day left, the team was determined to set out all the goals necessary to our vision for first the entire month, and then the remainder of the week. Meetings, establishing new contacts, research into alternatives, and even an inaugural team mascot (the adorable pup ‘Lean startup’), and chant were set out, leaving the team tired yet satisfied with the path ahead.

We’re one week down and three to go, and judging by how many of our goals we’ve managed to smash out in such a short period of time, we’re more than certain that this is going to be a fantastic time for us, and for the energy situation of Timor-Leste.

Until next time, Adeus!

edited on 8th January 2018, 01:01 by Matilda Dowse

William Lee Jan 8, 2018

Can you expand on the renewed vision for this project? What direction, and what market segments, have you guys chosen to focus on?

Reply 1

Matilda Dowse Jan 9, 2018

Hey William! The main conclusion that came out of the workshop was that although sales under Sundaya will be necessary as a revenue stream for the project, we need to ensure that our business is adaptable, sustainable, and exploring all possibilities. We essentially have 4 sectors in the project: education and training, rural expansion, alternative solutions, and business/sales.

Business and sales will be pitching to mid-to-large businesses for the 5% sales commission we gain from Sundaya. They will be focused on (but not limited to) the Dili area, and we're hoping to make 16 sales this month (moonshot)!

Education and training will be working with DIT, CNFEP, and UNTL to train and educate the Timorese people in electrical maintenance and installation. We're also looking to bring in people from an Australian university for a partnership in this and thereby make the business locally sustainable.

In rural expansion, we're looking to use our sales revenue and partnerships/aid from external organisations to determine energy solutions for rural communities. This is going to involve empathising with villages and collaborating with local NGOs.

Finally, alternative solutions is concerned with investigating alternative solutions to our current business plan, just to ensure that we remain independent of any one partner, channel, or revenue stream. They will be looking at not just alternative renewable energy sources, but also suppliers other than Sundaya and the potential for a fuel project similar to Fiji's.

We decided that this was the best course of action, given that we need the Sundaya partnership for capital, but few of us wished to work purely as sales-people on project. I've attached photos of our week 2 and monthly goals, but these will likely be revised as things are ticked off.

Hope that helps!

Reply 1

Kaushik Bilimoria Jan 8, 2018

Great idea! Goal setting and getting everyone on the same page is key ! But...would be interesting to see what actually has come out of the brainstorm! Pls post !

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Matilda Dowse Jan 9, 2018

Sure thing! I replied to Will's comment with a total summary of our situation at the moment. Hope that helps.

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Thomas de Heus Jan 10, 2018

This sounds great guys! I was definitely concerned handing over the December project at the point where getting organised to make sales was our focus. As we faced several bottlenecks with Hugh the final weeks of our project we started to shift our focus to rural areas and other ideas such as education. Seeing you guys identify these and break them down into four key sectors is incredible, and definitely in line with where the December team saw the project heading in the long term.

Using the 5% Sundaya comission to unlock the potential for experimentation within these sectors is exactly what December wanted to see happen, so it's great to see the January team's enthusiasm to innovate and prevent the project becoming stagnant. Hopefully the Hugh and Sundaya venture can gain a bit more traction during your month, because your goal of 16 sales would be incredible. With this kind of revenue coupled with your team's enthusiasm and knowledge, the Timor energy project could see incredible growth.

The education side of things is definitely one I was very interested in, since the long term social benefit of that was huge. Definitely focus on building relationships with the uni's and CNEFP, especially in conjunction with the other PE teams in Timor (I know Agriculture in December ran a really successful workshop at UNTL). Would be cool if you have some more experienced engineering students who could put together a presentation on the technical side of solar energy that could be presented to the uni as a pitch for teaching it. Issac from December emailed DIT some course information about a solar subject he took at UoW, so it'd be awesome to follow up and see where that goes.

Rural areas is where solar would have the most social benefit, which you guys obviously agree with. The issue of subsistence farmers having next to no money is a big problem, but taking advantage of the agriculture team's (planned) demonstration plot and integrating solar into farming practises could be a great way to benefit both teams and show farmers the benefits of solar power. It'll also give you guys some hands on experience innovating which would be so much fun.

Alternative solutions would also be a lot of fun, especially if you get around to building working prototypes. Not sure how engineering-heavy your team is, but I'm sure you've got a heap of smart people who could come up with some unique solutions that could be tested in the market. The beauty of recieving comission on the Sundaya sales is that you can afford to take risks and play around with a lot of prototypes. Would love to see any cool ideas up on Crowdicity to discuss!

Keep us posted because you guys are killing it and I know I speak for the rest of the December team when I say we really want to see where this goes. You guys have the same vision as us and you'll be amazed how much you can accomplish in a month!

Reply 4

Wade Tink Jul 2, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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