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9/4/2019

Disruptive thinking welcome: The NXT SKNN Hackathon series was launched with a firework of ideas

Think laterally and digitally – across departments, beyond usual duties and under extreme time pressure. This year, ten Beiersdorf employees volunteered to face this challenge during the first two NXT SKNN Hackathons. Focus of the disruptive thinktank with startup character, for which the participants had applied specifically: Breeding on skincare innovations and diving into digital worlds. The result is a wealth of surprising ideas and many new impulses, which the participants also bring to their teams.

No idea too odd, no limits in innovative and creative thinking! Digital thinking was strictly in demand for two days for the participants from Beiersdorf attending the first two NXT SKNN Hackathons. Accompanied by the agency OneUp, the mixed teams from the R&D, Digital, IT, Marketing, Supply Chain and Quality Management departments tried out disruptive processes, brainstorming and design approaches. The shared goal: Shaping the future of skincare. “With the NXT SKNN Hackathons, we didn’t just want to encourage our colleagues to step outside their comfort zones. The use of innovative creative methods and working in cross-functional teams also gave the task a completely new framework,” explains Claudia Willert-Schneidereit, Senior Digital Transformation Manager at GBU Digital. She was responsible for the first two editions of the Hackathons – and is already preparing the third edition.

During the first NXT SKNN Hackathon everything revolved around the target group of the millennials. One of the team’s best ideas was: Booster. The imaginary P2P platform uses push notifications to provide skincare tips, product recommendations and immediate feel-good boosts. Further highlights were eYOU, an eGame skincare brand with a real counterpart and Honeycomb, a search platform for Indie Brands. The second Hackathon has already taken place under the initiative of the Face Cleansing Team with a concrete focus on this category. “It is exciting to see that a small group can create such a difference – I am impressed by the creative results that have been achieved in such a short period of time,” says Claudia Willert-Schneidereit. Digital change starts with a shift in mindset and should be carried by the corporate culture.

A hackathon is a great way to get creative beyond your own core competencies and comfort zones and to rethink the future with great ideas. Beiersdorf’s creative potential is immense.

In doing so, it is important to ensure there is maximum diversity within the group: “Anyone who is motivated to help shape the future of the company is welcome. The more varied the participants and their fields of work, the better,” she adds. The final ideas of the Hackathon teams will be evaluated and independently developed over the coming months.

The first NXT SKNN Hackathon took place alongside the BlueIO, where digital managers from different countries gather in Hamburg once a year to exchange ideas with international colleagues on current topics. More than 70 highly creative applications had been submitted in advance in response to the internal call to participate in the NXT SKNN Hackathon.

And finally, the big question: What is a hackathon?

The tongue-twister coinage that puts together “hacking” and “marathon” comes from the jargon of software and hardware development and describes increasingly popular programming festivals. At this hackathon, the goal was also to develop joint and interdisciplinary solutions for pre-defined problems.


Djordje Lukovic

About the editor: Djordje Lukovic

Djordje is responsible for Beiersdorf’s corporate digital presence taking care of corporate Social Media, websites, advertising, analytics, and content steering. He is always in the loop with the latest trends and keeps an eye for the digital opportunities for Beiersdorf.