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Former Member

Hey SCN,

We are sam.alexander and dahnpratt and we’ve teamed up to tackle a major project through the SAP mentor initiative. Our awesome mentors (alexp and jim.spath) are also an integral part of the team and have dedicated their valuable time and resources towards our undertaking. Bear with us while we explain the project, its goals, benefits, some of the success metrics we’ve set for ourselves, and our aspirations for the near future and beyond!


Our passions intersect at the love of technology as well as the need for sustainable energy. Because of our mutual interests we have decided to pursue solar efficiency as our main challenge, specifically rethinking and reworking the commonly held views on solar panels through the use of design thinking. The desired aim therefore is “to decrease the manufacturing cost of solar panels and increase the overall efficiency in a sustainable manner to benefit the community”.

The main objectives to achieve our goals are:

1.   Recognizing major problems with solar technology/production

2.   Understanding the technical aspects of solar technology

3.   Applying the design thinking technique to the aforementioned   

4.   Analyzing process and expense structure of manufacturing panels

5.   Understanding laws/regulations around solar panels     

6.   Incubating strategic, unorthodox ideas

7.   Making sure ideas meet laws, regulations, and codes

8.   Finalizing concrete solutions

9.   Taking action and beginning an implementation stage

10. Measuring success metrics (KPI’s) for change

11. Monitoring results post-project

These tasks will involve the engagement of many people including: our team, solar energy wizards, NGOs, government organizations, panel production companies, solar farmers, and perhaps most importantly; you, the SCN community.

The benefits of undertaking such an ambitious project have the potential to go beyond that of the mentors or mentees and even the SCN community at large.

Benefits for all those involved include:

Benefits for SAP:

Project Correspondence with Present SAP Initiatives:

According to reports, SAP is looking to become 100% reliant on renewable energy. To have project congruence with SAP can be beneficial to both the company and those involved in the project. Not only would our undertaking comply with SAP’s goals but would also show internal motivation and execution of SAP’s aspirations.

Engagement of both students and mentors would boost SAP's image and help change energy consumption and production while ultimately reducing carbon emissions, a true win-win situation. The final and most salient benefit is the possibility for use of infrastructure, algorithms, knowledge, and innovation directly from SAP. Currently solar energy is extremely easy to produce but very hard to store or transfer (i.e. to generators or through the electric grid) utilizing SAP’s software to manage, distribute, calculate, or otherwise make information tangible will be invaluable. These solutions would not only make solar power cheaper and more appealing but will also put SAP at the forefront of the next huge change to the way humanity produces and consumes energy. This has the potential for enormous financial advantages but also shows immense corporate social responsibility.

Public Relations:

Referring back to the first point – SAP can gain great public relations from our project. Solar efficiency is already changing the demographics of the energy sector, with the potential success of this project, SAP will be able to showcase our collective work as part of the efforts and initiatives to a cleaner, greener tomorrow.

Benefits for Students and Mentors:

Sustainability, Greener Planet:

Increase in efficiency often leads to less waste and the overall greater utilization of resources.  This gives way to a more sustainable world that is able to feed off its own renewable resources. If costs are to be brought down – panels can be implemented into different parts of the world where previously panels may not have been feasible or affordable. The three-tiered benefit of green energy, empowering disadvantaged populations, and providing cheap power is not only efficacious, it’s sound business strategy. Finally and most importantly to us, being a part of an economic, social, and environmental change such as this would be an exceptional honour.

Personal Mastery:

Peter Senge is the ideologist behind the phrase: “it is in human’s interest to reach personal mastery at their interests”. As our team is interested in renewable energy, sustainable communities and a greener planet – we find it beneficial for our personal mastery to be learning and developing ourselves around these topics.


Renewable and sustainable energy options are no longer merely an abstract concept or exalted delusions of grandeur. The pragmatic approach therefore is to engage and invest in the movement of humanity’s energy needs. The touchstone for the progress made to the way the world produces and consumes energy are the success of projects such as ours.

So that’s what we have in mind for our SAP Mentor project. We would love any and all input. Don’t hesitate to reach out with comments, questions, suggestions, or if you want to help in any way!

Thank you for your time.

Dahn and Sam (and Jim and Alex!)