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Sustainability & CSR

306 Posts

For teachers in India, the challenge is vast and low–cost private education can play a huge role in helping improve the lives of children.  A social entrepreneur with a business lens to organize, streamline and replicate good systems– this is the story of Manish Kumar and SEED Schools.

‘You can’t become an entrepreneur for the sake of it.  You’ve got to have a connection to the mission because it’s really going to test your patience… It’s going to be extremely tough, so you’ve got to choose something you are passionate about and motivated.’


My colleague Amira Polack spent some time with Manish during SAP’s Social Entrepreneur Fellowship to interview him and learn more about SEED, amplifying a much needed voice from the field of education in India.


CEO & Co-founder: Manish Kumar

Company: SEED Schools

Description:  SEED is a school management company that works with affordable private schools to implement targeted academic and operational improvements to address the gaps in private K-10 education.

HQ: Hyderabad, India



More on SAP’s Social Entrepreneur Fellowship

In July 2015, 9 CEO’s from social enterprises across Africa and India convened in Silicon Valley for a 10-day training and networking boot camp.  SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility team in conjunction with nonprofit partner Acumen leveraged SAP’s talent, technology expertise, and partner ecosystem to help crack these entrepreneurs’ most complex problems.

Press coverage of SAP’s Social Entrepreneur Fellowship can be found here and here

Additional interview with another participating CEO found here.

In July 2015, 9 CEO’s from social enterprises across Africa and India convened in Silicon Valley for a 10-day training and networking boot camp.  SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility team in conjunction with nonprofit partner Acumen leveraged SAP’s talent, technology expertise, and partner ecosystem to help crack these entrepreneurs’ most complex problems.


For greater insight into the work of a founding CEO in an emerging market, I got the chance to interview Mark Davies, one of the participating social entrepreneurs and CEO of Esoko.  Esoko is doing great work, running a rapidly growing and inspired business in an emerging market.  Mark’s take on entrepreneurship, and doing work that moves you, will be the best 2 minutes of your day!


CEO: Mark Davies

Company:  Esoko

Description: Web and mobile app providing original agricultural content, on-the-ground deployment services for marketing, monitoring and advisory needs of farmers.  More on how Esoko works here…

Year Founded: 2005

HQ: Ghana



Press coverage of SAP’s Social Entrepreneur Fellowship:

Nish Pangali

Meaningful Work

Posted by Nish Pangali Aug 1, 2015

It seems that everywhere you look…we are all striving to find meaning in our lives.  Each of us wants to feel like we are doing something worthwhile, making a difference, helping the world run better.   Over the last few weeks I have had the privilege to sit with a group of 9 amazing CEOs, all Acumen investees, who are running businesses across Africa and India, all focused on making a difference for underserved populations in the countries they operate.  The companies fall into a category often referred to as social enterprises…wikepedia’s definition being ‘an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being’.  So what does that really look like?  Take Ajaita Shah, CEO of Frontier Markets

linked in blog.jpg

She is forging a business focused on delivering clean, solar products to rural villages in Ragistaan.  When you see the passion she has for her ‘customer’…to find effective ways to deliver remote villages light and power, and remove reliance on dangerous kerosene, stories of which cause me to shudder and wipe away tears…there is instant connection and motivation to find ways to accelerate her success. 


And Ashifi Gogo, CEO of Sproxil, who is combatting the dangers of counterfeit medicine by provide authentication on mobile devices and help fight the epidemic of 700K annual deaths from ingesting false medication.  These leaders operate with a sense of urgency and commitment that is truly humbling…and their challenges are those that any business executive would relate to as they look at scaling organizational growth – human capital management, leveraging technology, understanding customer insight, and developing leadership skills.  It was a distinct honor to bring together a powerhouse of a cohort to the first SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship, in an effort to increase their capacity and growth, and in turn affect more positive change in society.  The Fellowship, a collaboration with Acumen, married together a structured agenda focused on core topics most relevant to their business, with 100 experts and executives across SAP, Silicon Valley corporates, start ups, investors, and influencers…and let’s not forget the tremendous knowledge and insights each of the CEOs carry from their experience.  Over the course of 10 days, the CEOs worked through exercises, engaged in dialogue with experts, questioned panelists, dived into business model canvases, challenged me, developed an incredibly special bond as a cohort, and honed in on what they could tangibly walk away with.  And now we continue over the next 90 days to keep our foot on the pedal…support the CEOs to find that sought-after balance of progressing against goals and managing day-to-day business…to see if the needle can move, and if the investment all around can propel these incredible businesses forward.  It’s an exciting time in the SAP corporate social responsibility team – this is meaningful work and we are just getting started!  To learn more about the CEOs and the work they focused on in the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship, watch this short video.


Press coverage:



In 2014, over 13,000 learners joined our Sustainability and Business Innovations course. Learners enjoyed collaborating and sharing sustainability discussions while learning about SAP’s approach to sustainability. Due to popular demand, we’re creating a follow-up sustainability course but to prepare you for this, we’re offering the opportunity to join the foundational Sustainability and Business Innovation course once again.


Why is sustainability so important to business innovation? There are many reasons that this course will explore but for example, young professionals are starting to choose employers based on their sustainable practices, with 90% searching for employers with sustainable attitudes reflecting their personal behavior. Employees aren’t the only stakeholders taking an interest in your sustainable behavior: consumers are also looking at a company’s behavior towards employees, environment and social responsibility before entering into any deals.

SAP has been placed in the top 100 sustainable companies in the world and is placed in the top ten US tech companies. SAP continues to improve its sustainability goals with an increase in women in management positions to 21.3% and remained with a stable employee retention of 93.5% in 2014. SAP is concentrating on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the level of 2000 figures by 2020. You can find more information on www.sapintegratedreport.com.mple is young professionals are starting to choose employers based on their sustainable practices, with 90% searching for employers with sustainable attitudes reflecting their personal behavior. Employees aren’t the only stakeholders taking an interest in your sustainable behavior: consumers are also looking at a company’s behavior towards employees, environment and social responsibility before entering into any deals.


During this course, the SAP sustainability team will provide you with the tools to articulate a sustainable strategy for your organization, to make the business case for sustainability and sell it to the right people in your company. Going forward you will learn how to embed sustainable principles into your organization and the catalytic role IT can play in driving and executing a sustainable strategy.


The course was originally recorded by Peter Graf, the previous Chief sustainability officer who has since left SAP. You can meet Daniel Schmid, SAP’s current Chief Sustainability Officer and the rest of the sustainability team in the forum. Daniel has been a key figure in the SAP sustainability team since 2008 and has a wealth of experience to answer your questions together with the sustainability team!

The course duration is six weeks with a learning effort of approximately 4 hours per week to complete the course content and weekly assignments. It is beneficial to bring some basic business or IT knowledge to the class, but everyone is welcome to learn more about sustainability from a business perspective. Find out more at openSAP and get ready to benefit from SAP’s sustainability experience to date.

Other courses now open for enrollment on openSAP

Experience SAP Cloud for Customer

Software Development on SAP HANA (SPS 09)

Organizations involved with refugee relief from the Rhine-Neckar region came to SAP to present their work and ask for help. Many interested employees showed up to find out where and how their help is needed most.


This is a hot topic. Many people escape to Germany as refugees, and many people here want to help them. But as soon as the desire to actively help is there, all these questions pop up: Where and how is my help needed? Who do I contact to get started? This is exactly what the Heroes' Arena Special event was for. SAP Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) invited more than ten associations and organizations involved with refugee relief to Walldorf for half a day. They are all active in the Rhine-Neckar region and need all kinds of help: Donations in kind, volunteers to teach German, or people to play soccer with the refugees, and much more.HElden_TL.jpg

The idea behind the event was to encourage direct communication and conversation between the organizations and interested SAP employees. To this effect, the "marketplace" was in the center of this event. Anyone interested could go from stand to stand and talk to representatives of each organization. In addition to information brochures, they had to offer many personal experience reports. After a while, everyone was invited to gather in front of the stage. Three social startups supported by SAP introduced themselves and talked about their refugee initiatives. Later on, some refugees stepped onto the stage to share their side of the story. They opened a round of discussions and brought the reality and graveness of the refugee situation to life by sharing their own stories. A dentist from Syria described how he is trying to find a foothold in Germany. Even though he himself lives in misery, all his thoughts and concerns are for the family he had to leave behind. "My greatest wish is that the war in my homeland comes to an end." Right next to him sat Herbert Kohl from the "Ich bin ein Viernheimer" initiative, and Zerai Kiros Abraham. Both of them already have much experience with refugees and shared useful and encouraging information. "These people are not refugees, but heroes. They have made great sacrifices to get a chance for a better life," said Zerai Kiros Abraham. He came from Eritrea in 1990 to seek asylum in Germany. Today, he is actively engaged in refugee relief, to help others like himself.


The desire to help and the drive to do something were almost tangible. There were conversations everywhere. The stands were always full. In the end, both employees and representatives had many positive things to say about the event.



"I find it very useful that we can find information right at our workplace, and without any effort," said Michael Bellem, SAP employee. Marlene Brueggemann agreed with him. "Heroes' Arena Special made it incredibly easy for me to slip out and gather information in my spare time."


Ina Daniela Weber is part of the team that organized the event. "I am impressed by how many colleagues want to get involved with refugees and help their integration in any way they can," she said. "It was nice to see so many people making contacts and exchanging ideas, also among the organizations that came here. The need for help in these initiatives is great, but I think we have created a good platform for volunteers to get involved through this event."


Right after the event, there have been more than 50 donations, including laptops, bicycles, and several pledges to help.


Information about the participating organizations


Arbeitskreis Asyl Speyer


Arbeitskreis Asyl Walldorf


Asylkreis Neckargemünd


Ich bin ein Viernheimer


Kids World Cup DJK Handschuhsheim


Mannheim sagt JA! e.V.


Netzwerk Asyl Wiesloch


SC 08 Reilingen


SpVgg Baiertal e. V.


Waibstadter Initiative für Flüchtlinge


Über den Tellerrand Kochen e.V.


Wir für Flüchtlinge e.V.




Photography by Dana Roesiger

Deutsche Sprachversion des Artikels hier

Organisationen, die sich im Bereich Flüchtlingshilfe in der Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar engagieren, stellten sich bei SAP vor. Das Interesse bei den Mitarbeitern ist groß – und die Möglichkeiten sich einzubringen zahlreich.


Das Thema brennt. Viele Menschen kommen als Flüchtlinge nach Deutschland -- Viele Menschen wollen sie unterstützen. Doch unmittelbar nach dem Wunsch sich aktiv zu engagieren, stellen sich viele Fragen. Wie und wo wird konkret Hilfe gebraucht? Wer sind die Ansprechpartner? Genau an diesem Punkt setzte die Veranstaltung „Heldenplatz Spezial“ an. SAP Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) lud mehr als zehn Vereine und Organisationen für einen Nachmittag nach Walldorf ein. Alle sind in der Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar tätig und benötigen Unterstützung in vielfacher Form, zum Beispiel durch Sachspenden, Deutschunterricht oder auch beim Fußballtraining.


Bei der Veranstaltung sollte vor allem der direkte Austausch zwischen den Initiativen und interessierten SAP Mitarbeitern angeregt werden. So stand der treffend bezeichnete „Marktplatz“ im Zentrum. Interessierte hatten die Möglichkeit dort von Stand zu Stand zu gehen und mit den Vertretern der jeweiligen Organisationen in Dialog zu treten.

Nicht nur Informationsmaterialien, sondern auch allerhand Erfahrungsberichte konnten die Besucher sammeln. Im Laufe des Nachmittags wurde aber auch zur Bühne geladen. Dort stellten sich zunächst drei durch SAP geförderte Social Start-Ups mit dem Schwerpunkt Flüchtlingsarbeit vor. Damit alle Stimmen zu diesem Thema Raum erhielten, kamen später in einer Talkrunde schließlich nicht nur die Hilfsorganisationen, sondern auch Flüchtlinge selbst zu Wort und führten durch die Schilderung der eigenen Erlebnisse die ernste Situation vor Augen. Ein Zahnarzt aus Syrien berichtete, wie er gerade versucht in Deutschland Fuß zu fassen. Trotz der eigenen Misere gelten seine Gedanken den Familienmitgliedern, die er zurücklassen musste: „Mein größter Wunsch ist, dass der Krieg in meiner Heimat endlich beendet wird.“ Neben ihm saßen Herbert Kohl von der Initiative „Ich bin ein Viernheimer“ und Zerai Kiros Abraham, die bereits viele Erfahrungen sammeln und zahlreiche nützliche und aufbauende Informationen geben konnten. „Diese Menschen sind keine Flüchtlinge, sie sind Helden! Sie haben einen hohen Preis bezahlt für die Chance auf ein besseres Leben“, sagte Zerai Kiros Abraham. Er kam 1990 als Asylbewerber aus Eritrea nach Deutschland und engagiert sich heute selbst in der Flüchtlingshilfe.

Beim Rundgang über den Marktplatz sind das Engagement und der Tatendrang deutlich zu spüren. Man kommt schnell ins Gespräch. Es herrscht beinahe Andrang an den Ständen. Am Ende konnten sowohl Mitarbeiter als auch die Vertreter der Initiativen ein positives Fazit ziehen.



„Ich finde es sehr praktisch, dass man sich arbeitsplatznah und ohne viel Aufwand informieren kann“, sagt Michael Bellem von SAP. Auch Marlene Brueggemann stimmt zu: „Heldenplatz Spezial macht es für mich unglaublich einfach zwischendurch hierherzukommen und mich zu informieren.“


Ina Daniela Weber ist Teil des Teams, das die Veranstaltung auf die Beine stellte. „Ich bin beeindruckt von der großen Bereitschaft unserer Kollegen, sich aktiv für Flüchtlinge zu engagieren und deren Integration in unterschiedlichster Form zu unterstützen. Es war schön zu sehen, wie viele Kontakte geknüpft und Ideen ausgetauscht wurden, auch unter den teilnehmenden Organisationen“, sagt sie, „der Bedarf an Unterstützung der Hilfsorganisationen ist groß, aber ich denke, dass wir mit der Veranstaltung eine gute Plattform zum freiwilligen Engagement bieten konnten.“


Im direkten Anschluss an die Veranstaltung ergaben sich bereits mehr als 50 Spenden, darunter Laptops, Fahrräder oder auch konkrete Zusagen zu helfen.


Alle Informationen zu den teilnehmenden Organisationen



Arbeitskreis Asyl Speyer


Arbeitskreis Asyl Walldorf


Asylkreis Neckargemünd


Ich bin ein Viernheimer



Kids World Cup DJK Handschuhsheim


Mannheim sagt JA! e.V.


Netzwerk Asyl Wiesloch


SC 08 Reilingen


SpVgg Baiertal e. V.


Waibstadter Initiative für Flüchtlinge



Über den Tellerrand Kochen e.V.


Wir für Flüchtlinge e.V.




Fotografie von Dana Roesiger

English version of the article here


The APPSTOSS AWARD 2015 recently kicked off in
Walldorf, and further hackathons involving young soccer players are set to
follow around the world.


It's game day in mid-July 2015 in Walldorf.
Five teams comprising a total of 28 SAP employees from Products &
Innovation in Walldorf and St. Leon-Rot – as well as a number of college students
and trainees – are locked in and listening to tactical instructions for the
upcoming APPSTOSS AWARD competition. Their coaches: 20 soccer players between
the ages of 16 and 25. The templates, two ideas submitted by young members of
the local soccer association Badischer Fußballverband, are set and ready for
the participants to turn into prototypes in the space of just three days. These
ideas were meant to answer the question of how an app could benefit the young
athletes' own clubs; after all, even amateur soccer teams have long since
entered the digital age. SAP Executive Board member Bernd Leukert, who is also
the event's sponsor, has also come to cheer on all the teams from the
sidelines. "We're happy to be hosting the APPSTOSS AWARD tournament for
the second time right here in Walldorf," he declares.



"Apps should make life easier"

The ideas to be realized include one app
for planning training sessions and games, and another designed to serve as a
digital club magazine. The three referees – Wieland Schreiner, EVP and chief
product owner for SAP S/4HANA; Clemens Frede, director of program development
at the IT donation portal Stifter-helfen.de; and Ronny Zimmermann, president of
Badischer Fußballverband and vice president of the German Football Association
– were clearly hard-pressed to select a winner from among the five teams. All
of them had shown plenty of what the refs were looking for. "The purpose
of an app is to provide added value to the user," explains Schreiner.
Zimmermann adds: "Most of those who work in the amateur leagues are
volunteers, so we ultimately wanted to see apps that would make their lives
easier in particular."

In the end, Maurice Breit, Dominik Finkbeiner, Roman Kostka, Anton Kharitonov, and Thomas
Jansen from the SAP Tools Team raised the trophy. In presenting “Coach+”, their
version of a training- and game-planning app based on the idea submitted by
Sabrina Roßmannek (VfB Bad Rappenau), the winners were on target in more than
just showing off their dribbling skills.


None of the participants came away from the tournament empty-handed, however: Development
employee Stefan Schwöbel, for example, sees the opportunity to meet new
colleagues from other areas and work together on a project at events like
APPSTOSS as a "definite plus" for himself and his coworkers.
"When it comes to sharing ideas on technology, you learn a ton of new
stuff here in a really short time," affirms Alexander Lenz, one of
Stefan's teammates.


Soccer can inspire us – what about technology?


Along with the hackathon itself, APPSTOSS had many more highlights in store. A number of
prominent guests offered glimpses behind the scenes of soccer: Sports
journalist Jens-Jörg Rieck, for instance, spoke about the challenges of live
commentary and the search for female commentators in professional soccer before
inviting the young athletes in attendance to a soccer commentator challenge.
During the experts' talk, former soccer pro and World Cup winner Nia Künzer
recalled some of the most shining moments she had playing for Germany.

In regular feedback sessions with the developers, the young participants also learned how
an app is eventually built based on an initial idea. Both sides wound up
convinced of the merits of this interplay. "It definitely helped to have
the young players included in every feedback session," one developer agreed.
"I really learned a lot!" reported Janina Leitzig, who plays for TSG
1899 Hoffenheim. "The activities were so fun, and I got to see what SAP
does and how apps are developed."

The participants also found time to lace up their cleats, of course: At the
facilities of FC Astoria Walldorf, they had the chance to get professional
training and join in a bubble soccer tournament, as well as a subsequent




APPSTOSS is one of the many projects and
activities of SAP Corporate Social Responsibility. Last year, SAP joined forces
with the German soccer association Badischer Fußballverband and the IT donation
partner Stifter-helfen.de to carry out this new initiative.



Members of the association between the ages
of 16 and 25 were invited to send in their ideas for apps, which SAP employees
then developed into prototypes as part of a hackathon.



The three idea categories were aligned with
the core aims of the German Football Association's master plan to promote
amateur soccer, which each of the country's state-level soccer associations is
required to implement by 2016.




From regional pilot project to global event


The APPSTOSS AWARD debuted in 2014 with a concept whose implementation truly resonated with
both the developers and young people who took part. The fact that the winning
prototype is currently being transformed into an actual product set to be
finalized this fall has probably played no small part in the event's

In light of this success, why not take the next step? Along with its cooperation partner, streetfootballworld, SAP is now
rolling out and expanding the concept around the world. The 2015 APPSTOSS AWARD
kicked off a series of four additional hackathon events that are being held in
different SAP development locations under the name KickApp Cup. This initiative
will be able to reach around 10,000 socially disadvantaged youths. Through
soccer, SAP and streetfootballworld are doing more than promoting teamwork and
social interaction; they're also teaching the younger generation about the jobs
available in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), along with possible ways to get started in the working world.

Providing long-term support to children and teens is a particular focus of the KickApp
Cup. "Getting young people ready for the job market is a key focus for
us," points out Frauke Horstmann from streetfootballworld.

The winners of the five events, the APPSTOSS AWARD, and the KickApp Cup can look forward to a prize that would have any soccer fan drooling: the chance to participate in the KickApp Cup finals in Lyon, France, during the 2016 UEFA European Championship. It’s a safe bet that Thomas
Jansen and his fellow competitors will be staying on the ball: "We
obviously want to stay involved in the ongoing development of our
prototype," he says. "We're also super excited to meet the other four
teams and check out their ideas in Lyon!"



KickApp Cup

The KickApp Cup is a series of hackathons
around the world at which young soccer players and SAP employees work together
on fine-tuning the experience of playing the Beautiful Game.



These events represent the continuation of
the successful APPSTOSS AWARD concept on a global level. Here, SAP has entered
into a partnership with streetfootballworld in order to provide ongoing support
to some 10,000 disadvantaged children and teenagers through the combination of
soccer and technology. The initiative also seeks to use sports as a means of
introducing participants to possible career opportunities in IT.



In seeking to answer the age-old question of whether money can buy happiness, Michael Norton, in his 2011 TEDx talk, gave an answer that had a slight twist to it: Yes, money can buy happiness, but on the condition that we spend it on others, not on ourselves. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking: spending money on yourself sure lends itself to happiness, or at least makes it easier to attain. You’re right to think this: research does reveal that higher income is correlated with higher levels of happiness.

Yet research also backs up the idea that materialism alone will not make us happy.

Norton’s conclusion, then, should cause us all to reflect on how we perceive happiness. While it is undoubtedly important that we take the time to indulge in ourselves, it is just as important that we take the time to give back, whether that be to our community or to our loved ones. And every little bit counts. As Norton says about his findings:

What we see again…is that the specific way that you spend on other people isn’t nearly as important as the fact that you spend on other people…So you don’t have to do amazing things with your money to make yourself happy: you can do small, trivial things and yet still get these benefits…. 

Remember this next time you’re thinking about possibly donating your time or money, or whether you’re mulling over participating in a charitable team build. Giving back has benefits that transcend merely helping the less fortunate among us.

Earlier on this year we received an invitation to join a new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program in Ireland, chosen with a few other locations worldwide to pilot the local version of the global SAP Social Sabbatical program: SAP Engaging for Local Impact.


I was drawn to this call straight away, first because for the past 6 years I’ve been very much involved in other SAP Ireland CSR programs supporting my local non-profit organizations, such as submitting STEM related projects for funding to the SAP Ireland Foundation Grant Cycle or leading Community Involvement Forum volunteering events; second because I like a good challenge and helping a established non-profit organization with non-SAP related challenges looked like would definitely get me out of my comfort zone!


The ELI program at a glance:

  • 6 weeks / 11 days commitment
  • high-impact volunteering offering
  • cross-functional teams
  • solve concrete business challenges for non-profit organizations in local market


I was lucky to be one of the 12 colleagues selected from both Dublin and Galway offices to join. In April, we were introduced to our team and our non-profit client.


Together with three other colleagues (David Lacey, Sean Kelly and Taha Zahoor), I was asked to develop a business plan to support the sustainability and expansion across Ireland of their Early Education flagship program called “Parent Child Home Program (PCHP)” currently hosted by the National College of Ireland (NCI) in the Dublin inner-city area.


Straight away I thought, what did I get myself into?… not sure what project I was expecting but, really? how am I going to fulfil the brief?, I don’t know anything about early education or community services and we are supposed to advise them on strategic planning...well, I did want a challenge after all… so I pulled myself together, did some deep breathing and tried to take one step at the time.


I had also never met the other team members, we all came from different teams in Dublin: sales, order management, CoE and Enterprise Support. We got to know each other during the weekend workshop and quickly became each other’s support in this journey.


The project scoping day with the client came. We learned about the organization and what makes the program unique, decorated the walls with requirements, SWOT analysis, timelines, key deliverables and more. It was intense to say the least and the client expectations were very high.


Then it was time for the week embedded in the client organization. For the first part of the week we met with a lot of people from all parts of the organization that played a role in the delivery of the program. Because of all these conversations touching all levels of the organization, we gained a huge knowledge of the current situation, challenges, gaps as well as opportunities in a very short period.


Then all the pieces started to fit together and we could see how our proposal would work, not without some push back from the client, they wanted to reach as many families as possible but not with a “one size fits all” franchise model. By mid-week we had a breakthrough after a long brainstorming session and found a scenario-based expansion model that the client believed could actually implement.


This was exciting and definitely an “a-ha moment”, from then on we worked out the detail, developed the business plan and the rest is history :-)



Photo: SAP & NCI teams


We went back onsite after 3 weeks of hard work consolidating the details to present our results. We presented the business plan proposal to the operations team first and then to the strategy team, including NCI board members. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, we got such a high, it is hard to describe. We were told our expansion proposal would be included in their annual strategy plan and hopefully implemented starting next year. They have also already started using our tools and manuals to select and setup site partners as well as developing their MIS and IT roadmap.


This has been an amazing experience for me. I also know I will remain involved with this non-profit organization, I feel deeply connected with them after this journey and will definitely continue to be involved with their cause.


Here is a short video from the Early Learning Initiative Director, Dr. Josephine Bleach, talking about their experience:  NCI Early Learning Initiative Project Video


All the best, María

In February this year, I was delighted to read that SAP CSR was launching a new global program called SAP ELI (Engaging for Local Impact), and Ireland was chosen as one of the locations for 2015. In short, this is a 6 week program where SAP employees get involved with a local non-profit organisation, and work on a specific project tailored to the needs and priorities of that organisation.


On first glance, this program really stood out to me as:

  • a challenge, both personally and professionally.
  • a chance to move out of my comfort zone and try something different.
  • an opportunity to put my knowledge and skills to use for the better of a non-profit organisation, and hopefully learn something new along the way too.



“Knock knock, who’s there? Opportunity…..Don’t be silly, opportunity does not knock twice”



Following a successful application, Eoin Hurley, Michael Mulvey, John Keogh and I were assigned as the team to work with the Coderdojo Foundation. Delighted.


coderdojo kickoff team pic.jpg
Some of the SAP employees who took part in the ELI kick-off weekend in Dublin.




We kicked off the 6 week project by meeting with Coderdojo’s Community Associate, Laura Ivers, on a sunny Sunday in April for a project scope-athon. The day was spent defining the scope for the project, a mission statement, and just getting a feel for what Coderdojo was all about.


Our project was to “Complete an entire audit of the current content available via Coderdojo’s knowledge database KATA. Provide recommendations for a more intuitive content structure. Identify redundant, irrelevant and non-value-adding content, as well as gaps in the existing content.”



Following on from this, we spent 1 intense week onsite at the Coderdojo Foundation headquarters in Dublin’s CHQ building meeting with the Foundations staff and community members. We then dedicated approximately 8 virtual hours per week, for 3 weeks, to work on the project. As well as deep-diving into the Kata system and completing the project mission statement, this time also included learning about the different Coderdojo community members, all Kata user types and, most importantly, the Coderdojo ethos…an eye opener for us all coming from corporate backgrounds.


coderdojo postits.jpg
Just a little insight into some of the methods we used to brainstorm during our week onsite with Coderdojo!




The project has now run its course, and having presented our final deliverables last week, now is the ideal time to reflect upon my SAP ELI program involvement using perfect hindsight!


It was a fantastic program to be part of. Earlier in this blog, I alluded to 3 reasons the ELI program stood out to me at first, and I can honestly say it lived up to each of those expectations and more. I learned so much from, working in a team of diverse backgrounds, time management and flexibility when it came to fulfilling my duties as a Support Engineer while being involved in this pro-bono project, remaining open-minded, project management skills, leadership skills, to adaptability! Stepping out from under the corporate umbrella to the non-profit sector involved unexpected transitioning for the entire SAP team. Understanding the cultural differences between the two sectors became surprisingly essential during our project.


Thankfully, my team and I successfully completed our project and were able to handover a complete new sitemap for Kata, including an audit of the content currently available (Kata As-Is versus Kata To-Be). We received great feedback from the Coderdojo Foundation who are delighted with the outcome of the SAP ELI program. This is a huge achievement for them as they did not have the resources available to carry out such a huge project. This will impact over 25,000 children, parents, and mentors who are registered for Dojo’s across over 50 countries. Coderdojo have already begun implementing our suggestions and are hoping to have this completed in the coming months, with a complete new launch of Kata planned later this year.


Exciting times ahead!


Students from SAP partner high school, Templeton Secondary in Vancouver wrap their first year of STEM programming with a community celebration.


Late-June is an exciting time of year. It marks the last days of school, and whether you have children or not, the feeling that summer is around the corner is palpable.


While it’s been four years since I was last a student, this past year my work at SAP has sent me back to high school more times than you might expect. At the same time that students are celebrating the end of a successful year, SAP North America can share in a bit of that excitement.


June, 2015 marks the close of the inaugural year of SAP North America Corporate Social Responsibility’s signature initiative. In both Queen’s, New York and Vancouver, British Columbia students were enrolled in a program – a partnership between their local school board, a local post-secondary partner and SAP – that would see them focus much of their learning on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content.


In Vancouver, this past October, in partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology and Vancouver School Board, SAP launched Templeton STEM – a first-of-its-kind program that uses project-based learning, mentorship, workplace experiences and a pathway to post-secondary to inspire and prepare students for careers in technology.


On Wednesday, June 17, the first year of Templeton STEM culminated with an event called TEMPTalks. In TED style, students presented a series of short talks that tackled big topics, including how the education system must adapt to celebrate the spectrum of learning styles, the strength of interdisciplinary collaboration, and suggested solutions to the tech gender gap.


To an audience of over 150 attendees, students Arjun and Sean closed the evening with an inspired talk that argued human connection is the fabric that powers technology.


As I sat in the audience, surrounded by the students’ SAP mentors, teachers, friends and family, what struck me was how much these young people had grown from when we met them back in October. The students that stood on the stage demonstrated poise, maturity and thoughtfulness. I think this is on account of two main factors: project-based learning methodology, and their exposure to industry professionals in their SAP mentors.


Project-Based Learning: Integrates many facets of design thinking, including an iterative design process. Rather than learning the material, being tested and getting the answers right or wrong, students instead had the opportunity to immediately see practical, relevant applications of the theory they were taught in class. By building mousetrap racecars, load-bearing cranes, wireless rovers, thermal cubes, and more, students were able to see real-life applications of, and make connections between, concepts that might typically taught in silos.


Mentorship: Before the event, students had the opportunity to come on-site to SAP Vancouver, where a team of 10 mentors gave feedback on the dry-run of their talks. The mentors in the audience that evening consistently remarked on the students’ eagerness to accept feedback and integrate it into their talks.


In addition to these in-person mentorship opportunities, students and mentors collectively spent over 1,500 hours this school year on an online mentorship platform, completing exercises that ranged from self-efficacy to career planning. The proudest moments for me during the TEMPTalks event were when students said things like, “my mentor taught me to think in sprints,” and “my mentor introduced me to so many technology careers that I didn’t know existed.”


And the students weren’t the only ones learning. When asked to share her reflections on the evening, and her experience as a mentor this year, Celine Burgle put it best:



"What comes to mind is 2 words: Raw Talent.

I’ve had the privilege to follow the evolution of students going through STEM this year and the progress they have made is astonishing. This platform is a fantastic opportunity to prepare youth to today’s work environment. It allowed them to be so creative, collaborative, passionate and confident, let alone presenting in front of a large audience, very impressive!

It is not just mentoring, it is also reverse mentoring. They are so effortlessly talented in so many ways. I know we will hear more about these individuals in the years to come."



Reflecting on the first year of STEM reinforced for me the power of this program to inspire our next generation of technology leaders while also inspiring the talented people we have at SAP today who are passionate about making the world run better.

As part SAP’s Networked Economy Forum taking place in Paris, France this June 17th and 18th, it has been my privilege to be given the opportunity to demo our brand new application SAP Digital Farming.


This application is just stunning, and has been given a warm welcome by all our guests on this first day of the Forum. And one can see why.

It addresses the needs of farmers, and beyond this, one topic concerning us all, that is food production, and how to make it more efficient, less resource-intensive, economically viable for the farmers while more eco-friendly for the planet. This equation has always seemed elusive to resolve up to now. But finally the agility and power of HANA as an IoT platform is bringing key answers in the path to solve those issues.


SAP Digital farming provides a satellite map of the entire farm (fig. 1).


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Fig. 1 - Farm overview


Using geo-fencing, it allows farmers to zoom on each plot constituting the farm where they can immediately see information pertaining to that particular piece of land: crop, humidity level, real-time standing of work taking place in the field, phytosanitary health of the plants, etc.


Information is streamed back to the platform either by sensors physically installed on the land (such as humidity sensors), and/or human action (Ex: pest or fungus detection) sent back through a mobile device. Fig. 2 shows such detailed view.


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Fig. 2 - Plots of land in detail


Additionally, the platform also receives real-time weather data (Fig. 3), alerting the farmer of potentially dangerous weather episodes for his crops: hail, gusts of wind, storm, etc.

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Fig. 3 - Weather forecast


Predictive analysis allows the system to calculate the future impact on the fields of such events (Fig. 4)


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Fig. 4 - Affected plots of land by weather event (flooded plots in this case)


Using HANA to process all this data and SAP Lumira for decision support, the farmer can then choose where and when to fertilize and what concentration of nitrates to use (depending on the soil analysis: e.g. chalky soils will need more fertilizer than argillaceous ones). He can water the fields with the exact amount of water needed by the crop, thus allowing precious saving in drought areas. Finally, he can spray pesticides only on those plots that really need it, and not as a global preemptive action on all the fields as previously.

The impacts are numerous: lower water consumption, lower and optimal fertilizer consumption, lower and targeted pesticide usage: all this not only makes economic sense, but of course also makes ecological sense.


Once a task needing to be done has been identified by the system, the farmer can dispatch it to subcontractors working in his fields. It can be his own network of farm workers, or he can contact them through the Business Network. (See Fig. 5).


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Fig. 5 – Affecting a task to a subcontractor


Using GPS, and tractor sensors, SAP Digital Farming can track work’s progress and visualize it in real time. The farmer can then monitor all the tasks taking place, which are assigned to his different fields.


For example, in Fig. 6, one can see in real-time a tractor spreading fertilizer in the field. The color coding corresponds to different concentration of nitrates applied depending on the quality of the soil.

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Fig. 6 – Tractor action in one plot.



Multiple applications of this technology can be considered, and discussions with partners and customers have been lively at the booth as the potential of the tool is huge. For example delegates from an African country were interested into the opportunity using it for better land and water distribution, but at the scale of a whole country! Agricultural cooperatives to offer new services to their members, helping them optimize their land use and increase the crop yields. Finally, it could be a great tool for winegrowers, especially in area of very complex terroirs, such as Burgundy for example.


From a purely technical standpoint, SAP Digital Farming is built on HANA Cloud Platform (HCP), leveraging HANA’s GeoSpacial Engine (SAP’s partner Luciad (www.luciad.com) providing the real-time situational awareness geospatial software), SAP Vehicle Insights for farming equipment data stream, and SAP Lumira for real-time decision support and predictive analysis scenarios.


I hope that these few insights will raise your excitement on the tool as much as it has for me and I will be keeping track on its adoption in the field, and keep you posted on real life project that it will help to power.

SAP has taken customer feedback and input from various projects around the world to create a compelling Feature Pack for MOC 1.0. It has been released on June 8th and is available for download from the service marketplace. Please look for Support Pack 6 (FP1=SP6).


The new features include a new user status concept, more table-driven checks and automation features to lower TCO for customers.


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We've revamped the online help as well as the former RKT material and built a new course for consultants in the Early Knowledge Transfer area of the SAP Learning Hub - the course code is: EKT_MOC10CONS.


Please refer to this document regarding access to the Learning Hub: http://service.sap.com/~sapidb/012002523100000886992015E.pdf


Early Knowledge Transfer - Learn, Collaborate, Practice - Early!

SAP’s enablement methodology for key innovations, available with Release to Customer.


The updated online help documentation is available under: https://help.sap.com/managementofchange100/


Regards, HaJo


HaJo Lockermann

Product Management

Operational Risk Management

Natural Resources & Sustainability Solutions



3410 Hillview Ave

Palo Alto, CA 34310


T +1 650 320 3077

F +1 650 320 3709

M +1 650 576 5643

E hans.joachim.lockermann@sap.com

* Written by Aimee Feaver

Youth empowerment is at the crux of GENYOUth Foundation’s mission, specifically around health and wellness. By bringing together education, government and business, they are uplifting the student voice, and empowering America’s youth to achieve a healthier future.

In 2014, under the North America CSR initiative, SAP fostered a partnership with the organization to lend a technology voice to youth empowerment, and cultivate social entrepreneurship.

The potential of youth to create lasting, impactful change was brought into high relief last week when two key SAP executives convened with peers and influencers, along with GENYOUth leadership and outstanding students, for a meaningful dialogue.

On the heels of their report that documents GENYOUth’s commitment and learnings on the potential within youth-led change, Alexis Glick, the Foundation’s CEO, facilitated an estimated 25-person assembly of academic and government researchers on youth empowerment, student health and fitness, as well as corporate executives from a variety of industries, including SAP North America president, Jen Morgan, and Concur CEO, Steve Singh.

Held on Wednesday, May 13 in Silicon Valley, the objective of the executive roundtable was to have an honest and open discussion – from a variety of perspectives – about the role each can play in empowering youth.  From Glick’s perspective, “By elevating youth voice, we can, and will, embolden a generation of social entrepreneurs and change agents.”

While the roundtable discussions focused on how private and public sectors can impact pressing issues, such as the lack of nutritious food available to high-need students and childhood obesity, it was in the technology-orientated breakout session that the power of possibility reached grassroots levels. It included SAP’s corporate peers and customers like Adobe, NTT Data, and MyFitnessPal (recently acquired by Under Armour, also in attendance).

Kate Morgan, head of SAP North America’s CSR program, mentioned there was a central theme guiding the discussion: Scalability. “When creating social change, face-to-face interactions are powerful, but technology takes any cause to a whole other level. How can we apply that to youth empowerment?”

Good ideas can spread like wildfire with a little tech support. She went on to describe the two main session ideas.

  • Using technology to scale social change. Social media, gamification – how can we use technology to promote healthy habits, and civic engagement with youth?  How can we empower these students to take the tech they know how to use inherently, and apply it to a greater good?
  • Using big data. Companies around the world are harnessing big data to impact business. Youth around the world are creating vast amounts of it (we’re looking at you, Facebook). How can technology gather, unpack, and analyze the Everest-like collections of posts, likes, tweets et al to affect social change and support youth empowerment?


Alexis Glick (far left) and Jen Morgan are joined by two AdCap finalists at the recent GENYOUth executive roundtable.

For SAP, that meant sharing insights on AdCap, the signature program of the SAP/GENYOUth relationship. Central to the three-year, three million dollar partnership (now in its second year), the recently launched social entrepreneurship platform helps students across the country, thirteen and over, bring to life their ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools and communities.

Using the site’s project planner, a wealth of supporting information (for example, creating and managing a budget, or delivering a pitch), and leveraging access to mentors – including SAP employees – students turn their vision into an actual plan for potential investors. Every project completed within AdCap finds its way to a rotating panel of judges – also SAP employees – who can award micro grants to help get winning ideas off the ground.

Prior to SAP’s involvement, the AdCap application program was very one-dimensional, Kate explained, and offered little to no support to get ideas off the ground; students simply submitted an essay for judging. The newly launched platform transformed that process. “We took the SAP passion for Design Thinking, and hunger for innovation that’s in our DNA, and applied it to a platform that allows technology to fuel youth and social entrepreneurship.”

Of the AdCap partnership with SAP, Glick commented, “it’s taken us to places we had never imagined.”

To learn more about the SAP/GENYOUth partnership, visit the CSR North America Jam group, or watch this video from a 2014 pre-Superbowl edition of CNN’s New Day, featuring Jonathan Becher and Alexis Glick.)

With Month of Service on the horizon, be on the lookout for a number of exciting AdCap-based projects to participate in.

Tell it like it is: How do you think technology can be used to nurture social entrepreneurship, or create youth change agents?

co-written by: Alex Bogdan, Silicon Valley Marketing and Community Engagement


SAP continues to empower the youth, generate future leaders in technology, and create career pathways for students though the invested interest in STEM education. On Tuesday, May 19, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) announced a new college and career pathway with, SAP, Berkeley Community College (BCC), and the Career Ladders Project. This partnership will give Skyline High School students a chance earn Associates Degrees in business systems, information technology while still in high school. This landmark partnership marks the first “9-14” college and career pathway for students in the East Bay where students will not only build technical skills, and earn certifications; they will obtain workplace experience and receive mentorship from SAP employees.


Students spent the day attending game design classes and learning the ins and outs of what being a high school student at a community college is all about. At lunch they were able to mingle with SAP employees, ask questions, and learn about a day in the life working at SAP.  Students were (of course!) excited to hear about SAP and to learn about our work with the NBA, 49ers, and big data. While some of the students were unsure of their future in computer science or other technical degrees, after speaking to our employees, the students understood the importance of technical degrees and how this program could positively impact their future. Additionally, students learned about opportunities available to employees without a technical degree, as we shared personal experiences working at SAP in a variety of areas, ranging from legal to marketing and human resources.

Following the lunch students attended, a career panel which featured Lisa Brown, Head of IT Services Enterprise Mobility SAPsv, Mary Clarke-Miller, Adjunct Faculty Lead, Animation and Game design Berkeley City College, and Tom Miller, Lead Technical Director Sets: The Good Dinosaur, Pixar. The major threads of the, discussion focused on the benefits of a specialized program like this which offers technical training which wasn’t available to them. All three careers also emphasized how necessary it is for them to work on teams.


The high demand for employees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math is steadily increasing, and this partnership is aimed at filling the gap between vacant jobs and students unable to receive early and proper education to enter this workforce. Tuesday was only the beginning of this partnership. SAP employees will have opportunities to mentor Skyline High students, be featured career speakers and even possibly have these students as interns. This partnership will give SAP the opportunity to connect with these young students early on in their education, and help to develop our technology leaders of the future


Media hits:  San Jose Mercury News


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