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Employing a transition management approachto discover a new role for the social enterprise ‘Recycling Shops’ in a region aiming at climate neutrality
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Employing a transition management approach to discover a new role for the social enterprise ‘Recycling Shops’ in a region aiming at climate neutrality


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Transforming business models by the use of a transition management approach

Transforming business models by the use of a transition management approach

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  • 5 centers, 16 recycling shops in Limburg
  • Feasibility studies
  • Transcript

    • 1. 24/06/2013Employinga transition management approachLeen Gorissen, Saskia Manshoven & Karl VranckenIST 2013to discover a new role for the socialenterprise ‘Recycling Shops’ in a regionaiming at climate neutrality
    • 2. 24/06/2013 2© 2013, VITO NVIntro
    • 3. 24/06/2013 3© 2013, VITO NVThe Organisation» Recycling centers in Belgium represent a social enterprise that recyclesdonated goods for reuse and sells these at local recycling shops (eg thriftshops). At the core of the activities of the recycling centers liessustainability: they employ disadvantaged personnel (people), theyrecycle and repair used goods (planet) and they sell second hand goods atlow prices (profit).
    • 4. 24/06/2013 4© 2013, VITO NVThe Quest» What is the new role for the social enterprise ‘Recycling Shops’ in a regionaiming at climate neutrality ?» Business model under pressure“Dependent on the goodwill of policy makers”“Increasing competition for key resources”“Dependent on subsidies”“Tension between product reuse and material recycling”“Vulnerable to political changes”“Not resilient, not adaptable to changing dynamics”Interview Quotes
    • 5. 24/06/2013 5© 2013, VITO NVMethods
    • 6. 24/06/2013 6© 2013, VITO NVThe Approach» The involved research team used the transition management frameworkas inspiration to guide the process of discovering the recycling shop’s newfuture role in a region aiming at climate neutrality.
    • 7. 24/06/2013 7© 2013, VITO NVThe TM Approach» Process guided by a ‘transition-team’ that co-designs and feeds in relevantinformation to the local transition ‘arena’.» The arena is the actual initial incubator of change:» empowerment of niche-actors by creating ‘space’ to exert innovative power» connecting niche-actors to each other so that they can form a broader andstronger network, a ‘niche-regime’ that can exercise transformative power» connecting niche-actors to regime-actors that can exercise constitutive powerto establish a new distribution of resources at a structural level and anchorthe new roles and collaborations at the regime level.» The arena is well balanced in terms of innovative niche players andchange-inclined, open-minded regime players.» Aims to develop a new discourse with higher ambition level, a reformagenda inspired by systemic thinking, a shared language, newnetworks/coalitions, shared transition experiments, returned trust
    • 8. 24/06/2013 8© 2013, VITO NVThe ActivitiesInternal group Transition arenaMeetings (ranged from 3 to 8 hours):- (1) Business Canvas exerciseTo envision the future business model and review the currentbusinessmodel (strengths, weaknesses, risks andopportunities)- (5) Synthesising of results and feedback onarena results and transition approachTo stimulate an internal dialogue and prepare a conceptnote for the new management agreement and an internalengagement declaration to formalize the shared strategy; tosynthesise the new vision and strategy in an attractivebrochure for communication- (6) Conceptnote and engagement declarationTo further discuss different views and perspectives; tofinalize the conceptnote and sign the engagementdeclarationWorkshops (ranged from 3.5 to 4 hours):- (2) System analysisTo explore the system (actors and factors) and learn aboutniche innovations and landscape trends; to learn aboutperceptions of threats and opportunities- (3) EnvisioningTo reflect upon values and principles; to develop a narrativeon a desirable future state that can give direction toshort/medium term action- (4) Transition pathwaysTo translate the vision into future-oriented plans; to identifytrend breaks/shifts that are required to realize the vision; toidentify breakthrough experiments in function of therequired shifts/realization of the new rolesInternal group + Intermunicipal waste companyMeetings:- (7) Exchanging visionsTo exchange the vision of the recycling shop and of theintermunicipal waste company; to identify points of synergieand points of divergence; to stimulate anchorage of the newvision in the regime- (8) Towards a new management agreementbetween the recycling shops and theintermunicipal waste companyTo discuss how a new role for the cycle shops can betranslated into the new management agreement; to discussa mutual transition experimentPhaseI:Vision&PathwaysPhaseII:Anchoring
    • 9. 24/06/2013 9© 2013, VITO NVResults
    • 10. 24/06/2013 10© 2013, VITO NVIn the future, the recycling centers of the province of Limburg are anchored into thelocal communities and create substantial shared value in terms of the communityfeeling and fabric. They root into the local couleur locale by embracing the motto‘think global, act local’. The recycling centers are an important engine forinnovation and entrepreneurship in the creative and circular economy. Thanks tonew business models focusing on shared value creation and handicrafts, moremeaningful employment is created for people from marginalized groups. Thecenters make both money and talent work - but differently than in the past. Thisway, the social cohesion is strengthened while people from marginalized groups areempowered to deliver an acknowledged and meaningful contribution to society.Happiness and talent are the keystones on which the recycling centers businessmodel builds. The centers initiate and exploit new collaborations focused on closingcycles and they provide tailor-made high quality products and services. Therecycling centers have a positive environmental impact: through their activities theenvironmental quality is enhanced instead of deteriorated. To achieve this, newways have been developed to work in harmony with the environment, family andcommunity life. Through their focus on simplicity, legitimacy, resilience and slowrhythms/patterns, the centers renew the attention for craftsmanship and quality.The centers will ‘de-care’ the customers which means that they will providecoherent services that aim to make sustainable choices easy. In their multi-perspectif ambition, improvement of quality of life of the people in their localcommunities is central. The centers are connected by a shared and supported visionthat avoids monocultures and embraces diversity.Results Phase I: The VisionThe recycling centers of Limburg round the circle and co-create an inclusive and circulareconomy
    • 11. 24/06/2013 11© 2013, VITO NVMaterial Match MakerClosing material and resource cycles requireslabour and coordination. The centers can usetheir expertise on collection, sorting anddismantling to enhance circularity and explorenew pathways of higher shared and addedvalue.Service Match MakerMaking sustainable choices easy requires anextension of the service portfolio towardscustomers. The centres can use their expertiseon repairment, refurbishment and restoring toenhance product life cycles and promote andpreserve these ‘forgotten’ skills. Because oftheir local anchorage, they can also unfold,organize and promote product-servicesystems to reduce material consumerism.Results Phase I: The Pathways
    • 12. 24/06/2013 12© 2013, VITO NV» Towards a concept note and internal engagement declarationThe internal group translated their ambition into an internal engagement declarationthat commits the five non-profit organisations to the future vision.-> even though there is shared support for the vision, there aredifferent views when it comes to short term action» The vision from the intermunicipal waste company (IWC)It was striking to note that the vision formulated by the intermunicipal wastecompany was very similar to the vision that had been developed in the arena session.-> co-creation in arena did result in ‘ownership’ of the vision» Towards a new management agreement with the IWCThe NMA currently being drawn up will allow experimentation and reorientation ofthe recycling centers’ future role while at the same time offering stability in currentpractices. A first joint breakthrough experiment is being set up.-> towards a more synergistic relationship between recycling centersand IWCResults Phase II: Anchorage
    • 13. 24/06/2013 13© 2013, VITO NVConclusions
    • 14. 24/06/2013 14© 2013, VITO NVIs the transition management framework a workable approach to discover anew role for the social enterprise ‘recycling shops’ in a region aiming atclimate neutrality and did it deliver the objectives?Research Question I» promoted systemic thinking by thinking about the bigger picture;» the formulation of a new discourse with a higher ambition level;» development of new business model concepts that fit in an envisionedfuture society that functions within the boundaries of significantlydifferent material management principles» initiation of a more synergistic collaboration with the local intermunicipalwaste company» first seeds of anchorage in regime through the new businessmanagement agreement allowing experimentation and reorientation ofthe recycling centers’ future role» joint steps wit IWC in setting up breakthrough experiment(s);» dispersion of new ideas and concepts into new and relevant networks (i-cleantech antenna Limburg, umbrella organisation KOMOSIE)YES
    • 15. 24/06/2013 15© 2013, VITO NVIs the transition management framework a workable approach to discover anew role for the social enterprise ‘recycling shops’ in a region aiming atclimate neutrality and did it deliver the objectives?Research Question I» no shared sense of urgency and no collective motivation to develop thenew future role between the five centers jointly;» no shared trust and confidence between the five directors;» no joint strategy across the five centers;No» Several aspects have contributed to this : (1) the fact that not all the directors werecongruent to the ‘frontrunner’ profile that is the preferred profile in transitionarena settings due to restrictions in the assignment; (2) the diversity in startingpoints/short term focus between the centers; (3) the thereby related diversity inperceived sense of urgency; and (4) the different views on the need fortransparency between centers.» In fact, our empirical example shows that frontrunner profiles are critical toprompt action and that early involvement of non frontrunner profiles actuallycomplicates and decelerates progress.
    • 16. 24/06/2013 16© 2013, VITO NVDid the TM approach contribute to the development of new businessmodels for the social enterprise ‘recycling shops’?» The TM approach did contribute to the development of new business modelconcepts (material match maker and service match maker) that fit in anenvisioned future society that functions within the boundaries of significantlydifferent material management principles.» The identified concepts are all inspired by closed lean cycles of materials and/orproducts thus fit the concept of the circular economy.» Some of the emerged concepts are being investigated for their business potentialand new collaborations around these concepts are being explored at this verymoment.Research Question IICall from i-Cleantech Flanders to fundfeasibility studies for new business cases inLimburg:• 2 recycling centers and IWC formed aconsortium and IWC will co-fund half ofthe budget.
    • 17. 24/06/2013 17© 2013, VITO NVDid the TM approach contribute to transformative and constitutive power?» The delivered objectives clearly show that a niche-regime interaction hasunfolded to both enable transformative and constitutive power» In the new management agreement :• an opening is created for a more synergetic collaboration between bothorganizations;• an addendum is inserted that will enable joint new experiments focusingon (1) new ways to deal with resources /new resource distributionoptions that favour more effective product reuse or upcycling and on (2)new roles for recycling centers that can be developed.» The ideas have dispersed into new and influential networks that» (1) can upscale the ideas from the province of Limburg to the whole ofFlanders (e.g. the umbrella organization KOMOSIE that represents all therecycling centers named ‘kringloopwinkels’ in Flanders)» (2) can provide funding opportunities (e.g. the policy group of the i-CleantechAntenna Limburg);Research Question III
    • 18. 24/06/2013 18© 2013, VITO NVDid the TM approach contribute to transformative and constitutive power?E.g. new funding opportunities:» New business model concepts of ‘material match maker’ and ‘service matchmaker’ have been picked up by the policy group I-Cleantech Limburg, that willfund feasibility studies for the most promising business ideas.» This policy group is comprised of many influential members (eg Governor ofLimburg, a representative of the Ministry of Innovation, several CEO’s and generalmanagers…).Research Question III
    • 19. 24/06/2013 19© 2013, VITO NVDid the TM approach contribute to transformative and constitutive power?» The examples illustrate that the TM approach fueled niche-regimedevelopment that can probably lead to up scaling of the formulated newactivities and roles from the province to the wider Flanders region» The interaction with regime actors resulted in first explorations aroundtransformations of current resource distribution» A shift in resource distribution in the new management agreement with IWC» Proposal for joint transition experiment, co-funded (50%) by the IWC» If proposal gets granted; they managed to successfully redirect innovation fundstowards new business models concepts concerning the circular economy» The new management agreement opens the door for a more synergeticrelationship between the recycling centers and the IWC» Transitionizing the regime or Lock-in?» Time will tell…Research Question III
    • 20. 24/06/2013 20© 2013, VITO NVQuestions?Something old, something almost new,something borrowed, something to redo.Saves more euros in your