The Geneva Innovation Movement curates and publishes practice insights in the form of white paper studies. The goal is to make changemaking initiatives available for the ecosystem in a central place.

INSEAD Business & Society

Should innovation initiatives remain inside or outside of organisations? Leaders debate both sides. Organisations across sectors set up their innovative initiatives with varying goals, yet they all struggle with the age-old question of how to maintain them — inside or outside? Should my innovative initiative, innovation team, or new idea remain structurally part of the organisation, or should we spin it off as a standalone entity to preserve its creativity, grant autonomy, and decouple it from day-to-day operations?
Case Study – Innovation at Geneva Airport (2023)


To address the issues of rising competition and lack of physical space into which to grow (given the urban nature of the airports location), there was a strong need at Geneva Airport to focus on new innovative strategies and approaches. In an era where technology was becoming more widely available, the Geneva Airport was one of the first airports in Europe to formalize its Innovation Unit in 2013 under the lead of CTO Massimo Gentile. The team was initially tasked with improving organizational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Today the team is increasingly working on permeating innovation throughout the airports various functions and across its ecosystem partners.


Sucafina, a Swiss-based global leading company in sustainable “farm to roaster” coffee, launched Farmer Connect in 2019. This blockchain-based end-to-end transparent solution for the coffee trading industry was a great success, disrupting the entire industry, creating value through innovation and generating positive social impact. It was quickly established as an independent tech-solution start-up to serve the food and agriculture sector by increasing traceability in the supply chain, while retaining close ties to Sucafina.

INSEAD (paywall)

The Office of Innovation at UNAIDS (a joint UN programme established in 1996 with the task to end AIDS) launched HIEx in 2019 as a platform to help healthcare innovation start-ups connect with decision-makers, investors, communities, international organizations and implementers. In 2023, the platform was spun off from UNAIDS to become a stand-alone association. Now an independent organization, HIEx functions as a multilayered platform, connecting countries and systems, identifying their health-specific priorities or challenges, and working to ensure that investments are channeled to support high-potential innovations for health that help countries move towards impact for the SDGs, particularly in the global South.

The Case Center (paywall)

The Innovation Foundation is an initiative launched by the Adecco Group – Fortune Global 500 company and global leader in talent advisory and solutions. Initially envisioned as a philanthropic body to manage the global social projects of the firm, the Foundation has now transformed into a Social Innovation Lab. It leverages the vast know-how of the firm to create innovative solutions to increase the employability and access to labor markets for underserved populations.

Geneva Innovation Movement & EY

Driven by the urgent need to accelerate the SDGs, The Geneva Innovation Movement (GIM) and EY joined forces to stimulate innovation and collaboration in International Development. As part of this joint effort, EY and the GIM co-hosted a thought-provoking working event in Geneva in June 2023, galvanizing 60 innovation champions from UN agencies, NGOs, and the private sector to explore and co-create new models and scalable platforms to harness cross-sector collective intelligence and propel the SDGs’ progress

Stanford Social Innovation Review

Despite a notoriously innovation-adverse environment in UN organizations overall, a growing body of success stories are changing lives and contributing to continuous organizational learning. These successful initiatives have in common that they leverage internal knowledge, empower people, integrate external knowledge, scale through ecosystems, and create room for experimentation.


A fascinating story about how blockchain technology is revolutionizing the coffee industry. Multinational coffee merchant Sucafina took transparency to the next level with their innovative solution, Farmer Connect. This INSEAD INTHECASE webinar dives into the challenges faced by Farmer Connect after its initial success, including scaling up the platform by involving the entire coffee “ecosystem,” determining its structure in relation to Sucafina, and addressing fundraising and partnership issues.

Journal of Organization Design

This article discusses the implications of different organization designs for solving the Grand Challenges. We outline different organization design choices for solving the grand challenges and provide a categorization of how selected types of organizations are fit to respond to these based on organizational goals (social–profit), organizational scale (local–global), and organizational decision making (agile–bureaucratic).