Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).
4.f 1/1: Strategic Design of Sustainable Business Models
Concerns about the societal and environmental impact of how companies operate have generated increasing interest on more sustainable ways of doing business. Research and practice from the past decade shows that a Business Model Innovation lens is suitable to embed sustainability into firms’ objectives and operations. Consequently, Sustainable Business Model Innovation has been emerging rapidly as a research field. Recent developments in this field are building upon seminal work on Design for Sustainability from the past two decades to establish a connection with Strategic Design. Strategic Design is a research stream and innovation approach that studies how to leverage the discipline of Design in the context of Strategy and Innovation Management. More specifically, it is about applying the practices (ways of working), methods, and tools of Designers to help organizations gaining competitive advantage by balancing desirability (what customers want), feasibility (what is technologically possible) and viability (what is financially possible). The connection between Sustainable Business Model Innovation and Strategic Design is mainly supported by the bottom-line argument that Design’s strategic and experimental nature allows for the integration of stakeholder objectives including sustainability concerns while also providing the process dimension needed to move away from theory towards concrete practice and tangible impact. However, research on the role and contributions of Strategic Design to Sustainable Business Modeling is still in its infancy. Consequently, the goal of this track is to collect contributions from both academics and practitioners that address the following questions:
2:00pm - 2:25pm
The evolution of the Strategic role of Designers for Sustainable Development
1Delft University of Technology; 2Lund University; 3Eindhoven University of Technology
Design for Sustainable Development refers to the application of a design process to solve a problem related to sustainability, such as creating a pair of shoes that can be recycled or managing waste collection in a large city. Since the origins of this concept in the 1960s, Design for Sustainable Development has been evolving, gradually broadening its scope over time from the design of products to the design of services, business models and wider ecosystems. In this evolution, designers have come closer and closer to business problems, thus becoming more strategic. In this paper, we explore this evolution from a business perspective. We visualize it into a framework and interview eight academic experts about the Strategic role of Designers for Sustainable Development. We find that the evolution can be framed around five topics: the strategic goal of designers, and their related perspective, language, key activities and main challenge. After discussing how the evolution took place around each topic, we draw implications for designers and managers who are willing to play an active role in the transition towards sustainable development.
2:25pm - 2:50pm
Service Blueprint For Sustainability Business Model Evaluation
Loughborough University London, United Kingdom
The adverse societal impacts caused by sharing mobility - a form of service-based sustainable business model innovations, showed that operation activities and managerial practices impact heavily on the sustainable value of a service offering. To identify how new service development (NSD) activities can better support the proposed service offering for sustainability, evaluating sustainability of service operations is needed. This study draws learnings from service design, product-service system and sustainable innovation research streams, to build sustainability evaluation framework into service blueprint. Six expert-interviews and two mobility case studies were developed, to illustrate service blueprint's capability in mapping sustainability input and benefits created during NSD and service operation activities. Results revealed a) the shift from using sustainable ‘value’ to ‘benefits’ concept in service operation evaluation, b) the public-private collaboration dilemma and c) the agile NSD and sustainable innovation incompatibility. This paper aims to offer a springboard for practitioners and researchers to uncover compelling insights, discuss latest service design developments, and envision future directions for integrating sustainability into service-based business model innovation.
2:50pm - 3:15pm
Minding the gap: The road to circular business models
Sao Paulo State University, Brazil
Despite strategic design (SD) and product portfolio management (PPM) play a pivotal role in driving companies toward a more sustainable economy, it is still not clear how SD and PPM can contribute to the advances of circular business models (CBM). In this context, the aim of this research was to analyse the main literature about SD, PPM and CBM proposing an integrative framework, as well as to reduce the gap on drivers and barriers in the development of CBM through a case study in a biodiversity company. As conclusions of this work, SD helps companies to define the strategic vision for innovation, integrating sustainable stakeholder objectives, meanwhile, PPM activities support the decision-making process, being responsible for the alignment of projects with firms’ strategy when generating circular business. In addition, regulatory requirements and cost of production have shown the main drivers, whereas technological restriction is the main barrier to overcome.
3:15pm - 3:40pm
Circular Archetypes – a feasibility study exploring how Makerspaces might support circular innovation, within the Scottish textile sector.
V&A Dundee, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
We live in a ‘throwaway and replace’ culture. Our growing population and demand for new products has placed huge pressures on our planet’s resources. The research argues design can play a strategic role in supporting the adoption of new mindsets, methods and models to enhance awareness and understanding of the need to design for a circular economy. This paper provides a practical example. Drawing upon a feasibility study into Makerspaces, it will explore how they might be developed in the future to support circular innovation, within the context of textiles, to address complex issues around material waste. The insights drawn from this research act as a starting point for future work, reflecting on the implications of the methods applied, concluding the circular economy is the same imperative whether people are focusing on ecology, economy or just their own business. Furthermore, it will suggest that design-led approaches play a role in embedding collaborative ways of working to integrate sustainability into the business modelling process.
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