‘Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality’: in your ‘head’, inspiration opens doors, leading you to an idea that suddenly changes your perception of what is possible.
Fearless inspiration is at the heart of the company that is currently the fastest growing in all of europe, Catawiki. This company democratises a domain previously reserved for elite, closed-door organisations like Christie’s and Sotheby’s: they make professional auctions accessible to all. Another firm, Fairphone, has created a sustainable and honest smartphone: not just for the end user but for everyone in the chain of production. Blendle offers free access to every magazine or article. That’s super handy. For every pair of shoes bought, TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need: the One for One model. They even do the same with eyeglasses. SnappCar makes it possible to rent a car from private individuals; it’s an online marketplace that connects neighbours. Yet there is more behind their story than meets the eye: cars that drive don’t take up parking spaces. Less parking spaces means more green in cities, less paved areas, less problems when it rains, more space to play. And it’s also cool. Ever wanted to drive an english Mini for a day? It’s no longer a dream; it’s an accessible reality. There are many more examples of disruptive and innovative businesses to be found. These inspiring stories can be classified into three groups:
1. social enterprises
2. digital disrupters
3. existing organisations, renewed
They all have the power to grow into something big. What is remarkable is that they often operate in networks, forming clusters around related goals. This is illustrated in the case of Milgro. It’s also possible to operate alone, like Fairphone. do you work for an organisation that has been around for a long time? You can also find inspiration there, just look at Auping. This ‘old’ organisation renewed itself and continues to display an abundance of inspiration. In addition to the stories of Inspiring 40, we have added the following to show that the power of inspiration is not limited to a happy few but available to all who are willing to let it guide them.