At Kopernik we conduct a lot of lean experiments, some of which result in very promising solutions to a range of social and environmental challenges. But what happens after that - beyond the experiment phase? In order for the solution to be adopted at a larger scale - it needs to be implemented by a dedicated team - this could be a government program, a NGO or development program, a private sector partner, or - the promising solution could become its own company or organisation - or what we call a spin-off.
In order for our lean experiments to have a larger impact, we are seeing great promise in the spin-off model. Inspired by the Vera Institute’s long history of transforming their projects into independent organisations, the spin-off model is intended for Kopernik employees engaged, excited and inspired by our experiments to launch a new entity, that can have a greater impact.
As is the case for Vera Institute, Kopernik is able to remain flexible by not operating its projects for the long term at a large scale. If an experiment proves successful, it will either be adopted by another organisation or Kopernik will spin it off - into its own independent entity. While this process is complex, it ensures that Kopernik has the resources and energy it needs to stay focused on its core mission - finding what works to address social and environmental challenges through lean experimentation.
We recognise that Kopernik team members who are deeply engaged in the experiment process are best placed to continue the evolution of the experiment, and with Kopernik’s organisational support to build strong, solid organisations or companies that take these experiments to the next level and achieve a much bigger impact. As a result we have recently introduced a new program at Kopernik - the ‘Next CEO Program’ for Kopernik team members who are passionate about taking our promising lean experiments and transforming them into independent impactful organisations.
Encouraged by these two entities, and their ability to create a greater impact, the Next CEO Program will provide selected team members a one year period of in-depth support to build the entity, together with seed funding, with the selected team member becoming the next CEO of the new entity.
We have just completed the first round of the selection process and are excited to announce the program’s first participant - Soma - who will launch the Magi Farm - an entity that was inspired by Kopernik's black soldier fly experiment. Magi Farm addresses food waste and promotes a circular animal feed system. We see Magi Farm as a potentially impactful and financially sustainable solution.
Congratulations to Soma - the first ‘Next CEO’ and we are excited about more spin-offs in months and years to come.