Cafe Timor-Leste: Concept Creation
The international innovation network, Qi GLOBAL, hosted an international event at the Goodman Arts Centre in October 2011 at Goodman's Art Centre in Singapore.
The summit themed 'Designing Asia 2.0' attracted more than 300 participants who heard notable figures including Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and President of Timor-Leste.
In an interview, Ramos-Horta shares an idea and opportunity in his home country. Following the interview, a team of volunteers from Qi, Insead Business School and other organisations worked on a concept creation indea for a social entreprise that was presented the following February.
The interview kickstarted an idea of a new kind of coffee shop. One that would benefit the whole value chain, especially the impoverished Timorese coffee farmers while investing some of the country's oil revenue in international real estate.
In the next few weeks, Qi Global put together a team of sharp volunteers to look deeper into the idea. The members were Allan Agustin, Kristine Oustrup Laureijs, Nils Van Wassenhove, Christophe Delacroix, Henrik Meltesen, Heena Patel and design company Hjgher.
After several study trips and long evenings after work with a group of volunteers, we came up with the an innovative concept for such a place: Cafe Timor-Leste. What really stood out then - and still does today - was the idea of a fourth place.
Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, position his coffee shops as a third place, somewhere between home and work.
The fourth place is about bringing the farm closer to the consumer, literally, by screening live footage from the coffee plantation on the main walls in the cafe. Its the place between home, work and the farm. Imagine sitting in Singapore watching the sunrise in Timor-Leste, hearing the farmers chit chat as they return with their coffee bean harvest and - if you stay long enough - admire the sunset while tasting those beans.
The final plan was presented on Friday the 24th of February 2012.
Meanwhile, BluJaz Cafe had been collecting thousands of aluminium pull-tabs for our Timor-Leste social impact upcycled bag project.