The VisionWorks Award is one element of the holistic innovation approach Aribus, Hettich International, DHL and Bayer MaterialScience are pursuing together. The basic idea is to develop different consistent scenarios of the future, by analyzing
trends in economy, society and technology. The interdisciplinary discussion between external and internal stakeholders is crucial to achieve a high consistency in the scenarios, to analyze them and thereby to understand the needs of the customers of the future. This led to the realization of this award in cooperation with players from different industries. Once specific needs have been identified, solutions that might result in new product and service development are worked out. Visionary prototyping can generate many impulses, triggering concrete innovation projects and transforming them into real world applications. The process diagram above summarizes this approach. The VisionWorks Award 2009 is focused on the field of future logistics for the year 2020.

Visionary Prototyping is a powerful method of conceiving visions for the future concretely and describes what the students were supposed to work out during the project phases of the Award. It all began with the Kick-Off meeting at the DHL Innovation Center. The atmosphere of this venue and to an even greater extent the intensive work-shop and discussion sessions with all the industry partners gave the students a broad knowledge basis about the logistics scenarios for the year 2020 already developed by the companies. The scenarios were translated into different story
groups, all telling the story of different protagonists in the future, like science fiction tales. The different protagonists represented different customers of the future, having different needs as far as logistics are concerned. Inspired by the briefing workshop and the future stories, the students themselves were able to look into the future and obtain a basis from which to develop their very own picture of logistics in 2020. This picture provided each of the students with an individual framework and inspired them to devise three concepts in an attempt to answer the three questions to be addressed.