Developed by Venture Innovation’s Studio team, City Builder® by Citi is a free, data-driven platform designed to help investors, developers, municipalities, and community members make impactful, place-based investments.
As part of the Strategic Innovation in Product and Service Design course, my team took on the challenge of designing a strategy for helping investors find climate change mitigation investment options.
Through contextual research consisting of societal, economic, scientific, and technological analysis, we realized the importance of this challenge. Our planet's temperature is increasing at an alarming rate. To save the planet, the Paris Agreement set a goal of limiting this rise to 1.5 degrees per year above the pre-industrial era by 2030. The World Bank recommended investing $9 trillion to reach this ambitious target.
We interviewed ten leading investors based in NYC and developed empathy maps to synthesis our interviews and extract user pain points, needs, and behaviour. Based on our research, our target users were not only professional investors, as suggested by the stakeholder, but a smaller niche of investors called "impact investors." These investors are interested in creating social impact in addition to monetary returns.
We estimated to reduce carbon emissions by almost 50 million tonnes while the cost to reduce this impact would be $7 million dollars invested. In our model, we assumed a growth rate of 10% annually will all projects funded. As a result we estimated to reduce carbon footprint of US by 7% by 2030, which really sold our effort and story.
According to our strategy, we proposed to launch the pilot for the first year focusing on attaining as many climate change mitigation projects on the platform. In the next year, we planned to merge with the current platform to onboard current users as well.
I picked this project because I am passionate about designing for sustainability. However, such "wicked" problems seem complex and intimidating. But, through using the 4D design process, which is build upon the IDEO's design thinking process, I am more confident in tacking challenging problems.
We found these stories through engaging with users and listening to what they had to say. I found that user told stories are a powerful way to help stakeholders empathise with appropriate design decisions.