There will be a number of different event types to choose from driven by the topic and desired output:

Design sprint is a process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. Great ideas are everywhere, but the path to success is uncertain, even with the greatest ideas. Many traditional companies spend months to develop a solution, to only then find out that customers do not respond to their product. What a waste!  A Design Sprint helps you to save your precious time, energy and resources, by jumping into the future. (Monday to Friday using Sprint methodology to unpack a problem, explore solutions and create a prototype, usually takes place over 5 days but can be less)

Daily Dash is a meeting lasting 1 day at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project.  This is great for problem definition, idea creation or high-level solution finding. (A different topic each day Monday – Thursday)

A year’s worth of work in a week – 60 focused minds on a project = 2100 hours! It’s an opportunity to accelerate an existing project without the usual constraints in the office. Project on steroids!! (This is for working on developing an idea rather than solving a problem (Running Monday - Friday)

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 “In total more than 3,000 people have attended the two previous festivals from 650 businesses and organisations.”



Finding better ways to manage surface water - Design Sprint with Institution of Civil Engineers and Wavin

In 2012, the independent Climate Change Committee estimated that flood damage from surface water run-off could increase by more than 200% over the next 50 years.

During this sprint we will explore better ways of managing surface water and planning for those periods of heavy rainfall. Among other things our considerations will include sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), collaboration with external stakeholders, use of data analytics to target planned sewer maintenance and whether better storage could ultimately help us avoid water poverty.

The sprint will be sponsored by and facilitated by the ICE and Wavin who have completed significant work in this field.


Enabling the Rural Revolution - Design Sprint with CGI

How can we enhance rural communities and the environment using Emerging Technologies?

 There has been a lot of talk about smart cities, but much less about our rural communities. This sprint will explore how we can use key emerging technologies to build truly connected and collaborative communities, protect and enhance the environment, provide better access to services, and improve customer and citizens’ lives.

Expertise, knowledge or interests needed:


Unrivalled Customer Experience - Just add Water - Design Sprint with NWG and Connect Managed Service

How can we create world class customer service?

This sprint will see how we can step change our customer service, so we can truly delight our customers.

Expertise, knowledge or interests needed:


Designing vehicles of the future today - Design Sprint with Ford

We live in a world where technology is smarter than ever before, where fuel sources are changing and where our air quality needs to improve, how do we make that step into the brave new world?

This sprint will explore how to make a vehicle an office that is designed correctly for people who need to use them as their mobile office.  It will also look at what features vehicles of the future need to include for people who work remotely.  Exploring new ways of laying out the cabin area (& other areas as necessary) to cater for different types of user.  In addition will tackle how we can we take advantage of the Internet of Things & faster connectivity speeds to make vehicles safer and more efficient?

Expertise, knowledge or interests needed:


My Home Move - a Year’s worth of work in a week with IBM

How can we create a personalised, stress free and rewarding home move experience for customers and NWG?

Moving home is one of the most stressful experiences in modern life and in today’s fast paced world and it is the main reason (after payment) why people contact their Water Company. How can we create a personalised, stress free and rewarding home move experience for customers and Northumbrian Water? The 'My Home Move' team will continue the work from last years innovation festival to design, test and implement a game-changing home-move experience never before seen in a Retail business.



Plant Buddy - Design sprint with IBM & Special Guest

How does a water company work with plant lovers and food growers to help them use less water, share great ideas?

Plant buddy provides a platform, which hooks up simple sensors to plants can get specific information about how much water they need and when. But where else could we take this? Perhaps offering expert plant tips, based on visual recognition? Sharing ideas and tips and providing a way for Water companies to help plant lovers to use less water and have thriving garden. During the sprint we will develop new opportunities for Plant Buddy and new ways for Northumbrian Water to create a strong community or green fingered stakeholders!


Digital Twins: Data to Decision - a Year’s worth of work in a week with Newcastle University

How can we a design digital twin that enables better collaborative decision making between partners and stakeholders?

We know we can use digital twins to inform the decisions we make, but many of the choices we make in providing water and wastewater services are complex and involve other stakeholders. In this sprint we will use the Drainage and Wastewater Management Planning framework as the basis on which to develop the necessary tools to allow all the stakeholders involved in the planning process to include their data, information and insight in a shared digital twin that will allow the stakeholders to establish their own objectives, explore future scenarios together and co-create a long-term plan that best serves the combined interests of all involved.


5G - Super powering a smart grid - Design Sprint with O2

How can 5G create seamless societies, connected communities and industries?

5G is more than just 4G+1, it is a whole new vision for connectivity which will enable brand new business models, redefine ways of working and deliver a huge leap in Citizen benefits. It will embed mobile in our lives and into the fabric of our society, connecting things in a way that doesn’t exist today, however building this vision requires future-proofed networks and O2 are already investing in creating a super powered smart grid – And we’re all only just at the beginning of the 5G journey!

Expertise, knowledge or interests needed:


Mapathon 2 - Year’s worth of work in a week with Ordnance Survey

Mapping a next generation digital streetscape for utility assets

How can we step change the digital mapping and data quality of streetscape assets quickly? Our aim is to build a demonstrator of how streetscape assets can be collected, mapped and shared with utilities owners and find new and innovative ways do it quickly.


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Above and beyond - Design Sprint with Runway 2 Partners

How will Runway 2 partners and NWG deliver legacy benefits to the communities and businesses of the region?

The sprint will examine how the partners, including those in Runway 2, can innovate to deliver a legacy for NWG, its customers and communities through supporting Northumbrian Water’s delivery Project Legacy in AMP7. The Sprint Team will look at the Built Environment, Natural Environment, Relationships with Communities, Partnerships & Stakeholders and Shared Learning.

Expertise, knowledge or interests needed: