The pilot project took place in a private company, a SME, called Smart Revolution, in conjunction with a University, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, from where most of the interns of the company come from. Both institutions are based in Italy.

Both institutions had an interest in the topic of Sustainability/CSR but none of them had ever had a specific learning offer on it. The main challenge was to draft a CSR strategy suitable for a small-size company as Smart Revolution and, in general, raise interest and awareness on the topic. From the perspective of the university, it was important to exercise on concrete (business) cases in order to properly prepare students for their future jobs.

Also, two important side competences were identified while defining the learning plan: creativity, often given for granted, and project management & development. Therefore, the design thinking approach was included as methodology to facilitate the development of such skills.

The learning offer consisted in a self-learning phase, through the T4S App and online material on design thinking, an online Sustainability workshop and a practical phase, either on the job or in conjunction with the module on Project Cycle Management.

The Sustainability workshop was the first milestone of the project. Participants were coming from different parts of the world and this variety of backgrounds and experiences definitely brought an added value to the group works. None of the participants had previous knowledge of design thinking, but all groups were able to present very valuable and creative prototype ideas on Sustainability on their Miro boards.


The workshop inaugurated the practical phase, which was key to develop a specific CSR, or better “SR” strategy, for the company and apply the knowledge and techniques acquired during the previous phases on concrete cases.

The pilot was a success and the lesson to bring home is that the topic of Sustainability can be meaningful to every individual and every company, therefore it is just a matter of tailoring the learning offer to the context and needs.

“I feel proud to actually contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and to have defined a clear path to increase our efforts towards sustainability with the help of a learning process tailored to our needs.” (Rossella Altamura, Founder and Administrator at Smart Revolution Ltd.)