How can organizations become sustainable in economic, social and environmental dimensions, and contribute to a new strongly sustainable economy? Sustainability can be approached in many ways and from numerous perspectives. At the Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab), the multi-disciplinary Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group (SSBMG) has chosen to explore sustainability from the perspective of business models.
The SSBMG is
- An applied / action-research group, creating new knowledge usable by practioners, using a systemic-design epistemology
- A knowledge mobilization community, working to apply this new knowledge at scale
- A community of micro-ecological economists - hence our use of the term "strong sustainability".
The SSBMG was founded in 2012 with the objective of providing a focal point for collaboration in applied research on this topic. From the outset the group includes senior industry practitioners, faculty and graduate students.
SSBMG focuses primarily on the middle and bottom of the pyramid of organizations including start-up, SMB and SME categories. We are working to develop a approaches, frameworks, methods, tools, practices and techniques that can link into organizations’ decision-making, and help guide it toward holistic sustainability: Flourishing (from John Ehrenfeld and Positive Psychology), Strongly sustainable (from macro-ecological economics), Thriving, Future Fit, Resilient, Regenerative, Integral, Strategically Sustainable (from the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development), Living within the donut (from Kate Rayworth), Sustainable Prosperity (from Peter Victor, Tim Jackson).
To achieve our objectives our research agenda is organized along a number of topics:
- Undertake human-centric research how leaders in the categories of organizations concerned actually make decisions and what role, if any, business models play in this context
- Develop and validate the ontology for strongly sustainable business models
- Explore advanced methods of impact measurement and valuation of social and environmental benefits that can support decision making in organizations, particularly in the context of business models
- Identify and map the processes related to business strategy decisions in these organizations
- Use design methods to develop a tool kit and test the kit with organizations to further improve it and to create case studies
- Use learnings from the above activities to define new guidelines for incubation and acceleration activities.
Members of SSBMG are currently wortking on a number of major global action-research projects, and we welcome interested researchers and practitioners. For more information please contact our volunteer Community Animators or the co-founders and leading members of the SSBMGroup Dr. Peter Jones, Antony Upward, Stephen Davies or Dr. Nabil Harfoush.
The group is moving towards creating a planetary-wide network of nodes forming a Flourishing Enterprise Institute.
Today you can join the group via our LinkedIn forum forum.SSBMG.com - which includes details of our integrated F2F / Virtual monthly meetings.
You can learn more about the group and all its projects at our wiki wiki.SSBMG.com, this includes details of all past meetings (which are recorded with all presentations downloadable)
Other internet presence includes our Blog, Bibliography YouTube Channel, Facebook Page, Twitter @StronglySustain, Web)