"It's about applying design thinking in innovation and designing start-ups that pay more attention to the needs of people and the environment as a whole." - Svafa Grönfeldt, one of the founders of MIT designX in Boston and mentor and representative from the advisory board of Snjallræði.

About Snjallræði

Snjallræði is a 16-week growth space (e. incubator) that supports powerful teams that are passionate about solutions to contemporary challenges and support the United Nations' global goals. There may be solutions related to healthcare, welfare technology, improved education systems and equality issues, for example.

Snjallræði was founded by Höfða Peace Center in 2018 and has been run five times since the beginning. The growth space is in collaboration with MITdesignX, and is the focus of workshops where experts from MIT come to the country and share their knowledge. Participants get access to education and training from national and foreign experts in the field of social issues and innovation and meetings with experienced mentors.

The goal of the growth space is to promote innovation that tackles contemporary challenges and is thus an important platform for social start-ups. The focus is on promoting sustainability in innovation and building startups that directly support one or more of the United Nations' global goals from the very first steps.

Programme 2024

The MIT designX workshops are four, in addition, participants meet mentors three times over the course of the period and participate in various events.

August 29 - 30: Understand

What problems are being solved and who will benefit from the solution?

Emphasis on:

  • Needs analysis
  • Market segmentation
  • Stakeholder map
  • Deconstruction

September 13: Group work and meeting with mentors

September 27 – 28: Solve

What is the solution and what are the benefits of it for stakeholders?

Emphasis on:

  • Mission design
  • Value proposition
  • User journey
  • Rapid prototyping

October 11: Group work and meeting with mentors

October 24-25 : Envision

What do we want to achieve, and what values are the basis for decision-making?

Emphasis on:

  • Vision design
  • Founder’s values / negotiations
  • Sustainable business model 
  • People and partners

November 8: Group work and meeting with mentors

November 21-22: Execution

What is the best way to implement, scale it and finance it?

Emphasis on:

  • Action plan
  • Budget
  • Financing History
  • Pitch

December 13: Final event of Snjallræði

Does your idea belong in Snjallræði?
  • Snjallræði supports teams that underpin sustainability in their core business and want to lead important social change.
  • Innovation is welcomed at all levels, from fresh ideas to advanced innovation projects and businesses.
  • Snjallræði is open to diverse teams, NGOs and companies that want the opportunity to develop their own ideas and find a sustainable pathway for them.
What can Snjallræði offer you?
  • 16-week program in collaboration with MIT designX
  • Access to networking and advice from a strong team of mentors and experts in the field of social affairs, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and Innovation
  • Facilities in Gróska, a welder of innovation in Vatnsmýri
  • Training from foreign and domestic experts in social innovation, e.g. from MIT, University of Iceland, Reykjavik University, University of Akureyri and the City of Reykjavík
What do you get out of participating in Snjallræði?

The teams involved in Snjallræði get to participate in four two-day workshops in Iceland hosted by Svafa Grönfeldt and her colleague from MIT designX. The workshops take place every four weeks, but in between, the teams are guided by skilled experts in Iceland to further develop the solutions. The workshops are thematic and address different aspects of the development process, from needs and stakeholders analysis, design of a sustainable business model and budgets to networking and conduct.