Co-creation with Making More Health fellows

A social entrepreneur relevant to Boehringer Ingelheim’s core business – Helene Viruega is the founder of Equiphoria, an organization using the animal-human bond and a scientific approach to sustainably increase the health of patients suffering from diverse diseases.

A good portion of trust – A trust building process is necessary to achieve ambitious, win-win results. This is where Ashoka played a role as a mediator and “intention translator” between the social entrepreneur’s mindset and the business foundation of a big pharmaceutical company.

A team of employees open to the unknown – The challenge at the beginning is that nobody knows what will result from the co-creation journey. Being comfortable to work outside of Boehringer Ingelheim’s usual processes is important so that the co-creation workshop unleashes creativity and innovative possibilities.

A healthy dose of transparency – In the journey with Equiphoria, each party was super open and straight forward in sharing the challenge they want to solve, the assets they could bring into the collaboration and the opportunity they see in working with each other.

Boehringer Ingelheim was interested in the animal-human bond demonstrated by Equiphoria’s work and in finding new innovative solutions to support their patients after treatment. Equiphoria was interested in benefiting from a partnership with a well-known pharmaceutical company to strengthen their scientific approach and gain recognition of their work from the medical community.

A dash of empathy – we fostered empathy using a very simple game: participants had to put themselves in each other’s shoes and express the key challenge they are facing from the perspective of their co-creation partner.

Set all these ingredients in a powerful common goal – Once everyone understood each other’s perspectives, we entered a creative phase that resulted in 17 very different and dynamic proposals. To prioritize them, Boehringer Ingelheim and Equiphoria mapped the ideas on an impact scale to find a common problem to solve. The two clear “winners” were:

1) working together on post-treatment protocols for patients recovering from a stroke.

2) develop a post-treatment program for patients suffering from a disease within the scope of Boehringer Ingelheim, in particular cancer.

Yoann Germain, Sustainable Development Manager Boehringer Ingelheim France and Claire de Lafarge, Ashoka France. 

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