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What is your vision?

Having defined the problem and possible solution, the next step is a clear Vision statement: what would the world look like if your problem was solved? You can form a Vision statement starting with the phrase ‘We envision a world where…’

Your vision isn’t something that would be achievable by any one organisation alone; it should act as a guiding inspiration. Some real world examples might be: 

  • ‘We envision a world where every girl in India aged 6-13 is going to school’ 
  • ‘We envision a world where all elderly people in the UK have access to affordable home care’ 
  • ‘We envision a world where every young person in Boston can get the training needed to find a well paying job’   


Your Vision Statement needs to be punchy enough to attract investors with the breadth and ambition of the statement. Here are some tips of how to form a good Vision Statement: 

  • Be bold and ambitious. The vision needs to be inspirational if you are to attract supporters and investors, and motivate staff. 
  • Avoid empty slogans. Be as specific as possible. ‘We envision that every young person has a great start in life’ is a poor vision statement. ‘We envision every 16 year old in London to have the opportunity to find well-paid work’ is better. 
  • Be concise. A Vision Statement should be no more than one single, short memorable sentence  
  • Don’t confuse Vision with Mission. A good Vision statement should ideally describe an end state, not an intermediate goal (a means to an end). So, for example, ‘We envision a world where there is no more malaria in Tanzania’ is preferable to ‘We envision a world where every household in Tanzania has access to malarial tablets’. The reason is that the Vision shouldn’t pre-judge the solution: it may be that distributing malarial tablets isn’t the most effective way of eradicating malaria, and that distributing bed-nets, or draining the local swamps and eliminate mosquitoes, might actually be much more effective. You don’t want to lock yourself into one solution and preclude discovering better ones. 

 

Case Study

SolaRise decided that the core problem that it wished to tackle was the use of dirty fuels, particularly kerosene, by off-grid rural households across Sub Saharan Africa. The team therefore set themselves the following mission: 

We envision a world in which ‘every rural, off-grid household in sub-Saharan Africa has replaced kerosene with more affordable, cleaner alternatives.  

Note this is a good Vision statement because it is: 

– Ambitious (it covers a massive potential market) 

– Inspirational  

– Simple and concise 

– Specific (it defines its region broadly but clearly: Sub-Saharan Africa 

– Clear about its beneficiaries (rural off-grid households) 

But does not prescribe a solution (solar products are not mentioned) or reference the company itself (it’s not ‘we are the No. 1 seller of solar products across Africa’). 

Exercise

Create a Vision statement

In one sentence, write out a Vision Statement of the format “We envision a world where…” 

Remember: be bold, ambitious, inspiring, and specific in your Vision. Don’t confuse mission and vision – the vision statement should describe what the world would look like if this problem were solved. 



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