Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Etihad Airways (Etihad), the national airline of the UAE, and Swae, an award-winning startup based in Vancouver, have partnered to launch iFikra, an artificial intelligence-powered platform aimed at unlocking the full potential of Etihad’s workforce by enabling every employee to contribute to innovation
.Designed to harness the collective creativity of the organisation, the iFikra platform is a pilot aimed at promoting intrapreneurship by allowing employees to propose innovative solutions to address Etihad’s ongoing business challenges and untapped opportunities.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, launched the new platform today, reaffirming the importance of innovation within the organisation. He said: “We recognise that there is an abundance of great ideas right here in our organisation and no one knows our business better than our employees, so we developed this tool to give them the platform they need to innovate. If we are operating more innovatively internally, our guests will have a far more superior experience when they choose Etihad.”
The new platform leverages artificial intelligence to support and augment written business proposals generated by staff, while enabling an open feedback and collaboration learning loop, based on the principles of transparency and meritocracy, to help escalate the best ideas forward efficiently.
For the first time, employees have the power to shape organisational strategy by voting, commenting and providing constructive feedback on their colleague’s ideas, playing a direct role in the decision-making process.
Ideas that ‘graduate‘ from the platform will be provided with seed funding and support through Innovate Lab, Etihad’s innovation lab. The Lab supports rapid trial and iteration of promising ideas and projects, accelerating the delivery of prototypes, pilots, proof of concepts and minimum viable products.
Chief Executive Officer of Swae, Soushiant Zangenehpour, said: “We’re excited to partner with Etihad on this integration of Swae. We believe Swae’s platform can help Etihad improve the inclusivity and quality of bottom-up ideas, and allow employee generated innovations to significantly influence the broader strategic direction of the organisation, leading to great successes.”
Following January’s launch of the Etihad AI Academy in partnership with Microsoft, the company has been making significant investments in driving greater adoption of AI across the organisation and supporting its innovation agenda to ensure that it remains competitive and delivers exceptional value and choice to its guests in the digital age.