Forth Innovation: Covid-19

We are all familiar with the saying, “nothing changes if nothing changes.” So how do we excel as human beings if we are not willing to change? How do we treat the concept of change within our organisations, in order to adapt to change?

Urgency sparks innovation!

It is seldom that the need for innovation outweighs the necessity thereof, and with the global announcement of Covid-19 as a world health pandemic, a team of international innovators decided to step in, in order to contribute to their own social societies in bringing real implementable solutions.

An international esteemed innovation approach, called FORTH, will be the structured innovation process used to undertake this journey of leading-edge inventive thinking and collaboration. The process will encourage future proof innovations and will foster innovative thinking roots for future pandemics.

Keep up to date with our team’s progress, by selecting an island in order to view what is happening during each phase of the innovation journey

Keep up to date with our team’s progress, by selecting an island in order to view what is happening during each phase of the innovation journey.

  1. Why?
    We need 3-5 innovative solutions that significantly reduces the estimated negative impact of COVID-19 by 50%.

    Our focus:
    • The current healthcare systems are unable to cope with the infection rate and in particular critical patients. We are required to innovate these frictions in order to alleviate the pressure on the healthcare systems.
    • Mitigate the economic and social consequences of "lock down”.
    • Post-Corona opportunities.
  2. Who? (Target group)
    • Focus group 1: Healthcare providers, patients, the public
    • Focus group 2: SME’s, learners, social structures
    • Focus group 3: Society and business
  3. Where?
    Global contributions taking into account developed and developing nations.
  4. What?
    Evolutionary innovations on existing initiative, new revolutionary innovations.
  5. When? (Intended year of introduction)
    • Focus area 1: Available 4 weeks after final FORTH presentation
    • Focus area 2: Available 4-8 weeks after final FORTH presentation
    • Focus area 3: Post Carona: Avaliable within 6-8 months from final FORTH presentation.
  6. Which?
    • To be as inclusive as possible to all countries, their people and SME’s.
    • Minimal or no cost to users.
    • Every product or solution should have a clear and innovative communication plan.

During this phase it is essential to identify customer frictions that’s going to be addressed. Our team identified the following customer frictions based on their specific focus areas and target audience.

Shortage on Nurse professionals
As a hospital director, I want to offer same level of care to all patients, however I don’t have enough staff.
Time spent on travelling and protection preparation
Travelling country-wide to perform Covid-19 screening tests takes up time, along with our protective gear preparation process.
Fear of getting sick
I am looking after loved ones outside my home, which might increase my chances of getting infected. In return, I can also infect others with a lower chance of survival.
Health professional burnout
Extended working hours, increases the risk of staff burnout (physically and emotionally).
Am I immune?
I want to assist Corona treatment facilities, however I suffer from a congenital heart defect. I also believe that I’m currently infected, and faced with the fear of testing, the desire to extend my own services and the risk of increasing my own chances of being infected.
The future is now
A manager in health care, faced with the limitation of extensive market overview and finding the time to prioritise for a new future.
Working remotely is ineffective
I’m an engineer/business consultant that’s required to keep up the same level of productivity as before, however working from home is ineffective.
Missing out on the little things of life
Confined to home, as an elderly or disabled person, undergoing current treatments. I am unable to spend my last few days with loved ones or attend to the little things in live that brings me joy.
Technological unfamiliarity
Older generations required to stay in touch with relatives, however struggling with the use of technology.
Desire for a multi-dimensional experience
11 year old student, going to school remotely. Require physical interaction and finding it hard to connect with peers and teachers digitally.
Unable to reach clients
As owner of a small consulting business I need to find a new way of delivering services and products, and to understand the needs of my clients better.
Decline/halt in ongoing projects
As an independent innovation consultant, I need to restart my daily operations, however companies have reduced their overall spent.
New technological competency
Older generation (living alone), not tech equipped to survive in a new digital way of living and uphold current relations.
No physical connectivity
Working as an electric project manager, I am unable to enter client’s homes to sustain operations. For my workers, that’s allowed access, I have no means of protecting them from getting infected.
Emergency Innovation Toolkit
As an entrepreneur, I flourished before the pandemic. I now need to change my current offerings, business model or find something new. I need to innovate, but don’t know how.
Emergency plans offered by Government
The owner of a medium-sized manufacturing company, financially struggling due to country lock-downs. As a business we require financial emergency plans from Government immediately.
Trends & Technologies

Current trends and technologies, related to the frictions identified:

Innovation Opportunities

After comprehensive research initiatives the following innovation opportunities have been identified. These opportunities will guide the raising idea phase.

Protecting people that’s commuting/health care professionals etc.

Surfaces as transmission device

Flexible resource

Flexible hospitals

Rural area hygiene

Governmental leadership

Small & local communities

Empty buildings

Shared e-commerce platform

Embed health-boosting measures

Enhance informal interaction

Innovation-focused leadership

3D printing capabilities

Fight against fear & over-reaction

Sustainable behavioural change

What can we learn from volunteers?

We’ve reached our homecoming phase and would like to introduce 5 viable solutions designed to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on a global scale.

No idea is too small, and all sorts of ideas have the potential to change the world. We've organised our 748 ideas into the following areas for you to explore and use.


FORTH Process explained

Full steam ahead
You never start a professional expedition unprepared. Phase 1 illustrates how you can challenge management to start a real innovation project and how you formulate an innovation assignment.
Observe & Learn
Start viewing things differently, by detaching yourself from your own existing thought patterns & habits. Phase 2 illustrates how you can explore innovation opportunities, trends, technology and customer frictions among target groups.
Raise Ideas
Phase 3 consists of new product brainstorming sessions (where new ideas are prepared and developed into concepts) and concept improvement workshops (where concepts are further developed).
Test Ideas
Phase 4 is where the attractiveness of ideas are tested with customers and then concepts are improved based on customer feedback.
Phase 5 delivers 3-5 attractive new product or service concepts with enough support to be implemented immediately.

Innovation Team Biographies

Coenie Middel

South Africa

Founding partner of Middel & Partners, along with Left Post Production, Method Unknown, Dondoo Studios, Createchinteractive, Talentplantation, Mocap SA, Enjin, TiXSA. Nominated as one of the world’s most inspiring accountants, and becoming one of the first FORTH accredited facilitators in Southern Africa, his key focal area is making innovation a key strategy for short- and long-term success, and establishing frameworks for radical and incremental innovation.

Gijs van Wulfen


A worldwide authority in innovation & founder of the FORTH innovation method, a proven methodology for the start of innovation, which is implemented in six continents. His book ‘The Innovation Maze’ was crowned recently as Management Book of the Year 2017 in The Netherlands.

Divan Swanepoel

South Africa

A Chartered Accountant and Associate at Middel & Partners with valuable experience in the field of auditing, assurance and advisory services. His expertise, and passion, lies within Advisory, Strategic Financial Analysis and Financial Modeling where Innovation plays an integral part in his career.

Dr. Alexander Madl


A researcher, expert and speaker on innovation, residing in Berlin - the creative start-up capital of Germany. He made a career in Research and Development in the chemical industry and went through the full cycle: from ideation to market, from strategy to execution. As a freelance consultant he supports clients all over the world to grow through change, by innovating themselves.

Nereo Lanzoni


Graduate in Economics, he has over two decades of experience as marketing manager in medium-sized companies. In 2012 he founded Innova. Nereo helps companies and start-ups to innovate their business model. As a business coach for innovation, he imagines a world where innovation improves our everyday life, making people freer and richer in solidarity-based relations.

Maria Vittoria Colucci d'Amato


With extensive experience and passion in supporting people, organisational development and in fostering innovation, Maria is a graduate in Business Administration, Bocconi MBA, Executive counsellor coach and FORTH facilitator. As Co-founder of Evidentia, a consulting company based in Milan, she aims to contribute to a culture of sustainability in organisations.

Letizia Migliola


Has thirty years' passion and experience in designing and managing people development in large organisations. From 2008 to 2012 Director at FS Formazione, Italian Railways Group's Corporate University, and from 2015 she became the co-founder of Evidentia. It's time to make a dent in the universe.

Marco Stehouwer


Has a master in Public Administration and over 20 years of experience as an innovation grants and incentives consultant in the industry and ICT. He’s been active as a FORTH innovation facilitator since 2017, with special interest in the financial business services sector.

August Eckhardt


Has a background as industrial design engineer with a master degree in Strategic Product Design. He also has 10 years of experience as an innovation grants and incentives consultant for technological companies. Since 2013, he’s been active as a certified FORTH innovation facilitator.

Eveline van Eck (MSc.)


With a background in Public Health and over 20 years of experience in Health Innovation. Eveline is a Master FORTH facilitator, Innovation Expert and trainer. She works as an Innovation Manager at GGD Innovation Lab (GGD West-Brabant) and has her own company as an Innovation Consultant (Trainer Facilitator). She is co-founder of the first regional Health Innovation School and EIT Health Alumni.

Jessie Wagemakers


A project manager and policy advisor, with a master degree in epidemiology, who works on innovation in health care. She successfully completed the health innovation school South West Netherlands in 2019 and currently works in a health care organisation for the elderly (nursing home and home care) involved in social innovation and health care technology.

Corina Ghiatau


A FORTH Master Facilitator with 15 years’ experience in HR and organisational psychology, psychotherapy and coaching. She has developed and implemented organisational development processes such as Performance Management, Talent Management, Employee Wellbeing, Engagement, Organisational Culture and Employee Experience in Romania, Poland and France.

Rienk Venema


Has a background in industrial engineering & management, and is the owner of Meovida. He is driven to bring people together to think of meaningful innovations. In his opinion we should consider innovating by listening to our past when speaking about our future.

Dr Wouter van Leeuwen


Based in the Netherlands, he is the team lead of the geothermal team at IF Technology, offering mainly subsurface related consultancy services to accelerate energy transition. Besides his team lead role he is also coordinating the R&D and innovation initiatives within the company.

Ing. Geert Vermeir


An international product manager at Ammeraal Beltech with 31 years of experience in industry belting solutions worldwide focusing on product innovation in the last 15 years. As a FORTH-facilitator he started "BeMoved" with the mission to facilitate companies to become future fit helping them to explore in-house talents.

Mathijs Niehaus


With over 22 years of experience in the field of innovation who started as an employee at Philips Consumer Electronics he supports companies with innovative thinking & innovative processes. His experience reaches a broad spectrum of companies; from public to commercial and small to multinationals.

Silvia Zubeldía


As a graduate in Law, MBA at IESE Business School and AMP in ESADE Business School she is a Master FORTH facilitator. After a long professional career leading Marketing and Innovation teams, she became the founder of IMAGO Innovation where she has developed several innovation projects for companies from diverse sectors.

Geert Schols MMI


With over 30 years’ experience as a nurse, policy advisor and innovation consultant in mental health care he is the founder of SAMEN EEN innovation, helping healthcare and non-profit organisations to develop new service/product or process innovations. He is currently also a product innovation manager at the Red Monkey Company.

Akos Zala


A senior consultant, trainer and Managing Director of Human Telex Consulting, a leading organisational development consultancy in Hungary, President of the European Training and Media Association. For the last 4 years his attention turned to assisting innovation projects, and he became a Master FORTH facilitator in 2018.

Jens Emrich von Kajdacsy


A project manager, systemic business coach and FORTH Facilitator with 20 years’ experience in the IT, logistics and retail sector. Jens is passionate in working with teams to take them to their next level and motivate them to go the decisive extra mile. His focus is on people - making them effective, visible and successful in their direct environment. He is convinced that teamwork is a key for innovation.

Florian Hameister


Has a background in carpentry, industrial engineering & management, and as project manager in the field of product development. He now consultants and act as facilitator to help companies to become more innovative and to get the right projects running. He is driven by sustainable innovation and the idea of circular economy. In the current Covid crisis he sees a massive chance for us as a society.

Monique Custers


For 25 years she’s been working passionately at the cutting edge of innovation, strategy and creative development. Connecting minds, visions and projects that drive Inclusive Sustainable Economic Development and Social Cohesion. As co-founder of, she incubates and accelerate projects for measurable and sustainable impact and believe in making a difference in the world.

Fiona Newson-Smith

Fiona is an innovation consultant who helps companies focus on product and service innovation using cross-industry thinking. She has 20 years of experience with SMEs in Europe and the Middle East. She has been an innovation coach since 2015 and is a Master Facilitator of FORTH Innovation Method. Fiona has delivered innovation projects for companies from various sectors including government, energy and utilities. She is fascinated how the impact of a great idea can enrich lives and is a keen trendwatcher.