Impaired lives: Understanding a new market
Banking, Insurance & Real Estate
Prototyping & Testing
Applied Methods

→ Design sprint
→ Qualitative user interviews
→ Rapid prototyping
→ User testing
→ Business modelling

Digital tools

2 month strategic alignment and focus identification, followed by a 1 week design sprint

See how Spark Works helped a Swiss reinsurance company explore the potential of a new market segment by gaining a complete 360° view of the needs and requirements of the main stakeholders involved in the journey.
Strategy development
Design sprint

Strategy development

Over two months, we aligned with the Swiss Re steering team to identify the scope of the project, the key stakeholders involved, the assumptions to be validated in the market and the expertise that would be required to create a well-rounded sprint team.

Design sprint

An international team of seven Swiss Re experts met inToronto, ready to fully dive into the challenge. During our five day intense sprint, the team repeatedly engaged with three key stakeholder groups: underwriters, policy-holders (or declines) and agents. Interviewing each target group allowed them to identify crucial pain-points and challenges at each step of their respective journeys. With this new understanding in mind, they were able to agree on which major problems required addressing, and generate two alternative solutions that were tested with the three key groups.


The team presented their solutions to one of their major clients in Canada and received valuable feedback to inform the next steps required for further validation in other regions. We worked with the team to create a roadmap for their first pilot test.

"I never really talked directly with someone whose health insurance was denied. You could feel their sadness (...) I now start to understand that behind numbers, there are real people with real emotions. We need to do something about it. This was an eye-opening experience"

Sprint participant, Underwriter at Swiss Re


key stakeholders interviews


rounds of user tests


solutions generated


Pitch in front of an existing client


The team gained an insight-driven understanding of their users’ needs and business requirements. They validated a select set of hypotheses regarding the potential of the impaired lives market segment, and proposed two actionable solutions to address major challenges in the market.

Project Lead
Alan Cabello
Senior Partner
Alan holds a PhD from EPFL focused on human-centred innovation processes, having been a Visiting Researcher at Stanford’s and a participant at Potsdam HPI’s He also holds a M.Sc. in Management and a Dip.Eng. in Mechatronics. He is a co-founder of Spark Works, CEO of Sparkademy, sits on the board of a couple of start-ups and lectures at ETHZ.
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