Leapfrog Projects is a network of entrepreneurs, researchers and designers with a shared passion to solve complex sustainability challenges. We help organizations and networks leapfrog to their next level.


From complex challenges to sustainable solutions


Sustainability challenges are complex and global

Leapfrog Projects is a mission-driven enterprise based on research and innovation from Aalto University, New Global. We have deep knowledge on sustainable market organizing in emerging market settings. 

We are motivated by stabilizing natural ecosystems that create the foundation for all life forms on earth. We want to see forests, lakes and rivers restored, and sustainable lifestyles mainstreamed globally. Our work is guided by the planetary boundaries framework. 


Our strength lies in the social realm. We base our work on deep understanding of people, communities, business models and collaboration processes. We use this knowledge to help create impactful market creation and innovation.


Sustainability challenges are complex and global. Our approach is always challenge based. For this reason, we do not promote any specific technology or skill set. Instead we are a network that can flexibly engage a wide range of expertise depending on what is needed in a specific context.


Our core competences are:

  1. Design and systems thinking

  2. Inclusion and participation

  3. Sustainability and interdisciplinarity

  4. Sustainable business model design

Through our network of experts we do a wide range of things, including:

Urban planning, affordable housing designs, product, service and business design, market innovation, digital platforms, innovation and R&D related to energy, water and environmental engineering. 

Our work is based on science and we aim to work in collaboration with internationally acclaimed researchers in each of our projects. We are a learning organization. We believe that a learning approach is essential when dealing with complex challenges.




Combining human-centered design and systems thinking to solve our greatest challenges

Change processes that cuts across several organizations is typically not the responsibility nor the core business of any organization. Yet, it is precisely this type of innovation that many sustainability challenges require. Leapfrog provides tailored solutions to successfully create systems change. Together with clients and partners, we identify causes for systemic bottlenecks, facilitate the creation of new and inspiring pathways and opportunities, and provide support in the implementation of new, leapfrogging ideas. We are a learning organization, continuously creating and sharing new knowledge.


We design and facilitate multi-stakeholder projects that aim for systems change towards improved sustainability. The setting is often African cities. We provide project management and design, network coordination and leadership services as well as tailored expertise for implementing projects.


We design and provide training programs on topics related to impact business, impact entrepreneurship, SDG business, multi-stakeholder collaboration and innovation. We do executive education, multi-stakeholder workshops, academic lectures and capacity building programs.


We co-design inclusive business models to support entrepreneurs as change makers. If it is a radically new idea, it becomes a question of market innovation. We design and support market innovation processes.



Training on impact business and financing

In collaboration with Finnpartnership, we provide monthly training for small and medium size companies called “Know your impact - enhance your business”.

We make the argument that impact is strategic and a key to accessing finance in the future. We train the companies on how to understand and enhance their social and environmental impact.

We provide insights on new investment opportunities for companies that solve SDG challenges, particularly in low-income markets. Through this project, we have trained more than 600 companies.

Kenya-Nordic Green Hub & Urban River regeneration

Together with Nordic and Kenyan partners, we have established the Kenya-Nordic Green Hub. The hub aims to accelerate Kenya’s transition to a greener future by identifying,

inspiring, forming, and accelerating  collaborative climate projects between Kenya and the Nordics. The initiative is funded by the Nordic Development fund. The local partner is Kenyan Association of Manufacturers – representing Kenyas private sector. The other Nordic partners are Danish Industries, Quercus group and Inclusive Business Sweden. 

Within the frame of the Kenya-Nordic Green Hub, we are developing an innovative multi stakeholder approach

for accelerating Nairobi's urban rivers regeneration processes, to address river pollution as a direct threat to Kenya's climate resilience.

Afrifurniture market creation in Tanzania

This project aims to create new local demand for sustainably planted wood in Tanzania. Our approach is to reimagine the future furniture

industry in East Africa and to map the potential for developing a digital marketplace for local sustainably-grown wood and innovative production technology with the leading Nordic and local design, marketing, and wood processing talent. We work together with The Private Forestry Program Panda Miti Kibiashara, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indufor, and Aalto University.

Urban and social development in Tunisia

We are developing a proposal for urban development and social inclusion in collaboration with network organisations in Finland and various Tunisian stakeholders.

The project aims at the sustainable development of the Sebkha Sejoumi salt plane to prevent flooding, preserve Ramsar values, and create a pleasant, affordable, and modern neighborhood. Our approach addresses, with a holistic view and participatory methods, the ecological, social, and economic potential of the area.




Sara Lindeman

Sara Lindeman

Sustainability innovation

Thomas Holm

Thomas Holm

Impact investing

Sara Gottschalk

Sara Gottschalk



Ruth Mashika Lugora

Financial management

Helena Sandman

Helena Sandman


Tatu Lyytinen

Tatu Lyytinen

Sustainable business

Marleen Wierenga

Marleen Wierenga

Grassroots innovation


Venkat Bandi

Energy transition

Jarkko Levänen

Jarkko Levänen

Circular economy


Emma Nkonoki

Business in East Africa


Pohjoiskaari 5A1, 00200 Helsinki +38504485040