AI & L3: strengthening SME's purposeful Performance
SME's workers/families improve their soft and social skills using Artificial Intelligence-AI within a Life-Long Learning-L3 strategy
Pitch us on your solution
Small companies in Latin America (social entrepreneurships), normally don't have the cash-flow & time to invest in organizational development. By creating a scalable--thanks to AI--platform where SME's can connect and use, we would be able to help them focus and strength their purpose and social impact.
The platform works in four basic elements: 1) Corporate Culture; 2) Organizational Climate; 3) Leadership styles; and 4) Personal authenticity. Within those elements, the platform--App--delivers a diagnostic, a route to becoming a purpose-driven company, and some tools for improving soft-skills for their workers.
The platform will be located on the cloud and will be in English and Spanish--in the first stage. It is designed for facilitating human and organizational growth. Hence, we used a L3-Life Long Learning approach.
Competitiveness and higher productivity will emerge thanks to the help of our project. Localilities, SME's, workers and families will benefit from it.
Film your elevator pitch
What is the problem you are solving?
CASE STUDIES: Las Mazamorras de Urabá and Heincke S.A.S.
Since 2017 we are helping these two Colombian social entrepreneurships. We have been working with their founders, Angela and Fernando, in strengthening their strategy, their organizational behavior and their workers' soft skills. During this time, we realize that they don't have the cash-flow and time to invest in organizational development. Hence, the question emerged: Can we create a scalable, on the cloud, platform that could help these and other social entrepreneurships?
Both companies have their businesses in semi-urban and/or rural regions of Colombia. In Apartadó-Colombia, normally small business don't even pay the basic income, neither social benefits. That is not the case for Mazamorras, since they are helping more than 60 employees in 5 smalls towns in Urabá--one of the deadliest regions in the 90s in Colombia. By helping these kind of companies, we are creating a leverage to have better social fabrics.
In Villeta, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and Antioquia (Colombia), Heincke SAS is helping brown-sugar (panela) producers (peasants) to receive a fair income. By helping Heincke grow and become a purpose-driven company, we are helping those regions as well.
Both companies are B-certified thanks to our help.
Who are you serving?
It is important to clarify that we have been working with these two companies, but also have been supporting others in a small scale, like: Bancalimentos, Bioambientar and InspirandoT.
However, we need more funds and time to fully develop the platform. We can describe here the companies and communities, but this project wants to scale the impact by using the cloud, artificial intelligence and long-life learning approaches. Thus, once this becomes a reality, we would help different communities and social entrepreneurships.
The KEY element in this project is that this platform won't be for any SME. They will be filtered by us within the purpose-driven elements present in two global platforms: Humanistic Management Network and B-Corporation.
What is your solution?
The product is the cloud-AI platform. The service is partnering purpose-driven companies with an easy-to-use, low-cost, technology that will help SMEs to improve their organizational development. By doing this, we are impacting social entrepreneurships that have themselves social impacts in needed communities in Colombia (and in Latin America, in the future).
We don't want to go into deep details about the cloud-AI platform, but we are including here part of the project already awarded by Fulbright so our main investigator/activist of our group will go for four months in August 2020 (or January 2021 if the Covid-19) o four Universities in USA: University of Miami, Florida International University, University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Kentucky. Five scholars and researchers from those universities are already working with Carlos Largacha-Martinez.
The main objective of this project is: To study the most advanced theories and projects available in human computer interaction and machine ethics to design, develop, and implement a research project that can humanize the use of artificial intelligence within the workplace.
At the core of this project is the creation and design of a process that gathers the deep rooted beliefs—mindsets—of top managers & workers that block businesses to implement humanistic management practices. Workers’ beliefs will be uploaded in a dataset. Data mining will be done next, where patterns will emerge. By using AI to learn from these patterns we will be more efficient to help top managers know straightforward were are the barriers in their businesses. Then, a path to a humane transformation will be more clearly deployed. Hence, the design of the structure and fields of this dataset is vital to the success of this project. Finally, the next challenge is to define which AI to use to analyze the fields, so the end result of this process creates a novel strategy for businesses to improve and humanize the use of AI.
The scope of this project is thus fourfold:
- Define the process to gather the mindsets and paradigms of top managers & workers
- Define the best key elements and fields’ structure for the dataset
- Define the best artificial intelligence protocol to analyze the fields within the dataset
- Create a strategy to use the AI-analysis of the dataset to be implemented into businesses in a humane manner
Select only the most relevant.
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Bogota, Colombia
Our solution's stage of development:Pilot
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
We have been connected to several change agents in the last decade, especially the Humanistic Management Network where we work toward generating a life-conducive economy (von Kimakowitz, 2014). But also, Carlos is a B-Corp ambassador and a B-multiplier of Sistema-B Colombia, where we are working to ‘redefine the meaning of success in the economy’ and support the ‘Best Companies for the World’. Additionally, we are involved with the MIX web2.0 initiative, where we are working to create the ‘moonshots’ for management and to ‘hack’ leadership. We participated in the London Business School-Harvard-McKinsey ‘Leadership Challenge’ and were selected as one of the nine winners around the world. In sum, we have been working in the last decade to humanize the workplace and management.
Now is time to scale this knowledge to social entrepreneurships in Colombia and Latin America. How? By using artificial intelligence and the cloud. Now we want to humanize the use of AI within SME's.There are several paths to make this happen. But the key question is: Which road should be taken? For example, between affective computing, computing storytelling, sentiment analysis, game theory, grounded theory, automated deduction, or latent semantic analysis, among many possible routes to analyze data gathered in the workplaces ? Or should be an intersection of several AI-theories and methodologies? We don't know. Yet! We need more time to make the most parsimonious decision to create an effective path to humanize the workplace with the help of artificial intelligence—bots, robots, intelligent machines, virtual social agents.
Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?
During the last two years we have been working with companies and with start-ups to answer two challenges (problems):
1. What is the path toward being a purpose-driven companies?
2. How to use artificial intelligence and deep learning in order to create a scalable cloud-platform to help more social entrepreneurships?
For the first question, our team (Angela, Cristina, Ernst & Carlos) sent a proposal to AcademiaB and was awarded U$10,000 to have an answer--funds were given by the International Development Research Center--IDRC (Canadá). During the Fall 2018 we researched seven purpose-driven Colombian companies and two Kenyan companies. We interviewed eight women founders, and 16 employees (from Las Mazamorras de Uraba, in Apartado, Colombia). The result can be found in this link in the free ebook at Kindle: https://amzn.to/39puROG
For the second question, our team (Willington, Carmenza, Ernst, Wolfgang & Carlos) we sent a proposal to Fulbright and were selected. Also, we presented a Poster at Krakow, 2019, in the International Conference by the Humanistic Management Network. Willington is the CEO of Ama-gi, a knowledge development start-up in Colombia, and we have been developing the prototype in Google-Cloud, using Drupal. Now we are creating a Keras protocol for deep learning. Although in its first stages, here is the link (it is really nothing yet to show): http://bit.ly/2kp5UPG
Select the key characteristics of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean your solution serves (or will serve).
In which countries do you currently operate?
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?
This is hard to state exactly.
We have been supporting these companies. For example, Mazamorras del Uraba is helping 60 families, and 10 indiganous families. Heincke is supporting 200 families (panela peasants). Bancalimentos is helping 100 women-led families in rural areas.
And we could continue. Clearly, we are not the only ones helping them, but we have an impact. That is what their CEOs of these SMEs say to us.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
With the support of Ama-gi, during the last year—2018—we have been creating a preliminary dataset—a pilot—for this project that would be very helpful for the plan presented. We made this initial design of the dataset, as stated, using the Left-Column method created by the late Oxford/Harvard Professor Chris Argyris (2012). This data collection has been helpful in allowing us to explore in more depth the challenges that we will face during the development of it, and also in creating networks with Colombian businesses that will be the end users in Colombia in the year 2021 and above. But after the reassessment undertaken by the experts in the United States, these data will be interpreted and improved. As part of the assessment of these data during Carlos' visits to USA research Universities, a determination will be made whether or not to continue this process based on the judgments of the experts who are consulted. The point in the end is to make draft designs of the process and the dataset’s structure and use this information in small pilots with students in Colombia in some of the graduate business courses that Carlos teach.
What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?
1. Small funs to create the cloud-AI platform
2. Knowledge (more research)
3. Time to develop the easy-to-use tools to upload in the platform
4. The dataset must be Creative Commons. We need legal expertise to make it happen.
5. This is a long-terms process, meaning, that changing/strenghtening organizational development processes within companies take time.
6. In order for SMEs to buy the license an enter into the platform, we need governmental or angel investors or impact investors to support our project. By doing this, we can charge a 10% of the whole cost to SMEs.
How are you planning to overcome these barriers?
Presenting this project to TPrize :)
We already present this project, in an informal way, to the Vice President of iNNpulsa, America Castiblanco, and she got interested. We also exchange emails with Marcela Acosta, Senior Consultant of the Minister of TICs in Colombia, and its program Apps.co. She got interested too.
If you selected “My solution is already being implemented in Latin America/Caribbean,” please provide an overview of your current activities in the region.
If you selected “I am planning to expand my solution to Latin America/Caribbean,” please provide an overview of your expansion plans. What is the market opportunity for your business or product in Latin America and the Caribbean?
This will depend on the results of the Fulbright Research Scholarship' results.
Select an option below:Not registered as any organization
If you selected Other for the organization question, please explain here.
How many people work on your solution team?
The 'Other' comes from:
1. Quantic Humanism Initiative
2. Humanistic Management Network
3. Fundacion Universitaria del Area Andina
6. Las Mazamorras del Uraba
7. Heincke SAS
For how many years have you been working on your solution?
Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?
Human flourishing is understood here as an intersection of self-actualization, happiness, resilience and optimism. Additionally, humility and human flourishing go hand in hand. In his work on greatness in Leadership, Jim Collins discovered (2005) that in almost 1,500 Fortune500 companies, only 11 had a humble CEO. Within that environment, there should be no surprise that human flourishing is rarely prioritized in the workplace. The result is that 86% of employees in formal workplaces in the Western hemisphere go to work mostly for their paycheck (Gallup, 2013). According to Gallup’s annual surveys (Ibid.), this situation has not improved in the last 5 years, but has actually deteriorated. Why? Because traditional management’s mantra of ´command & control´ continues to be present in roughly 95% of businesses in the world (Collins, 2011). And because of the rejection of deep transformations of old paradigms (Kegan & Lahey, 2009) (Argyris, 2012) (Senge, et al., 1994). This inaction has tremendous social risks related to the competitiveness of companies, but also at the workplace, where burnout, demotivation, family problems, and solitude, among other concerns, are harming societies (see Hamel & Breen, 2010). In contrast, purpose-driven management seeks, through responsible freedom and passion-at-work, to unravel humanistic management practices (Correa, 2012) (Kimakowitz, Pirson, Spitzeck, Dirksmeier, & Amann, 2011). Our research in the last decade “is focused on developing the soft-skills needed in top management to allow for working environments in which people can flourish. Authenticity is the founding skill for a humanistic manager” (Largacha-Martinez C. , 2019).
With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?
All of these organizations are supporting this project.
Leading Organization (think-and-action tank): Quantic Humanism Initiative
What is your business model?
- Key Partners
- Humanistic Management Network
- University AREANDINA
- Fulbright (UM, FIU, UIC, UK)
- Key Activities
- Building an AI-Cloud platform
- Building the legal framework for the Creative Commons status of the dataset
- Building the network with social entrepreneurships around Colombia
- ANDI del Futuro
- Key Resources
- Seed funds to maintain:
- Cloud platform
- Machine Learning development
- Webpage development
- Travel to global conferences
- Intangible marketing strategy development
- Intangible marketing tools
- Social Media Manager
- Computer Science Engineer
- Director (part-time)
- Copyrights development
- Seed funds to maintain:
- Value Propositions (SERVICE)
- Organizational development metrics (KPIs)
- Corporate Culture
- Organizational Climate
- Leadership Styles
- Personal Authenticity
- Soft-Skills Analysis (including the 'Five Disciplines' (Senge et.al.)
- Personal mastery
- Shared vision
- Mental models
- Team learning
- Systemic thinking
- Emotional Intelligence Appraisals
- Organizational behavior diagnosis
- Low-Cost OD Tools (Organizational Development)
- Self-Paced and 'Self-serviced' cloud platform to be used by SMEs
- Life-Long Learning approach (L3)
- If the customer wants, accompanying in the 'Path to Become a Purpose-Driven Company', which emerges by using our low-cost service at the cloud-platform
- Organizational development metrics (KPIs)
- Customer Relationships
- Low-cost (with government agencies, impact investors, angel investors funding our operation (90%) and the (10%) rest is paid by the Customer.
- Great on-line service and support, but it is thought as a 'Self-Paced' Self-Serviced' service
- Social Media campaigns
- Local SMEs networks
- Internet (webpage)
- Entrepreneurial programs
- Government SMEs projects
- Customer Segments
- Start-ups that want to change the world
- Social entrepreneurships
- Impact Investment supported SMEs
- Angel Investors' supported SMEs
- Organizations that have an impact on society
- Small NGOs
- All businesses that want to become 'Purpose-Driven Companies'
- Cost Structure
- Revenue Streams
- 90%: Angel Investors + Impact Investors + Government/Local funds
- 10%: SMEs
What is your path to financial sustainability?
The key goal is scalability, but we would start as small as possible. We have already done this service pro-bono to five SMEs in Colombia. They all talk really positive about our service. We can't continue pro-bono, and we can't reach more companies being in the 'Pro-Bono' stage.
Why? Because from our more than 10 years of experience dealing with companies around the world, not all the companies want to embrace a different path towards a sustainable capitalism and a new management model. Hence, it could be a waist of money if we allow all of them (at least in the first years until we get break-even point financial stability).
Being said this, we have a strategy of having 90% of the cost of functioning thanks to grants/funds by:
- Angel investors
- Impact investors
- Colombian government agencias
- Entrepreneurial Latin American Funds
And the 10% will be paid by companies. Why? Based on our experience they have top priorities besides OD-Organizational Development. If we don't make it 'easy' and affordable, to the best of our knowledge, they won't buy it. Remember, working in OD takes time for the founder and the top-management of the SME. Normally, they don't have the knowledge and time to do it. That is the purpose of scaling with a cloud-AI platform this service.
Why are you applying to the TPrize Challenge?
During 2018 we participated in the TecPrize done by TEC of Monterrey. At that moment, there where looking for stories using Singularity University methodology to forecast Education in year 2049. Carlos' story was chosen as one of the finalists, within 400 received worldwide. Although didn't make it to the winners, one of the workshops done within the TECPrize was organized by Carlos in Bogotá, with the support of the impactHUB-Bogotá.
We have been connected since then to this project.
Besides everything said so far, we think that what we need the most is:
5. Seed funds
What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?
Dr. Carlos Largacha-Martinez Quantum Researcher, Quantic Humanism Initiative