Two Stories About Strongly Sustainable Business Models


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A 30 minute video of this talk is available on the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group's youTube Channel:

In these slides Antony Upward, Sustainability Business Architect, tells two stories about Strongly Sustainable Business Models - explaining why they are better models for better business, and sharing the quest to find better tools to design these better business models.

This was a presentation delivered at the TiE Institute's Social Entrepreneurship Program - in the session entitled "Business Model Canvas and Customer Development" (

The other speakers on that night (Prof. Dave Valliere, Director, Entrepreneurship Research Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management (Ryerson University), and Seema Pabari from Tiffinday) can be viewed on the TiE Institute's channel (

If you'd like to stay in touch with our work on Strongly Sustainable Business Models then please
- Watch our ~3 minute introduction -
- Like our facebook page -
- Join the linkedin group:
- Give us your ideas via our survey ( or just sign-up for email updates (

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  • Thank-you Lalit for that kind introduction. Its good to be here!
    (So as Lalit said, my name is Antony Upward, and I’m a sustainability business architect with Edward James Consulting and a co-founder of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group at the Ontario College of Art and Design University’s Strategic Innovation Lab.)
    Tonight I’d like to introduce you to a new visual tool for designing all kinds of businesses that are fit for the future: the strongly sustainable business model canvas. I’m also going to talk about the 3 year research project that created the tool, and our plans to bring it to the world.
    Bu, before I start I’d like to know: What are you curious about? What questions do you have you’re hoping I’ll answer? (pad board answers if possible)
    OK, I’ll answer as many of those as I can during my talk, and the rest we can get to in the Q&A: I am really want to hear your reactions to our ideas and plans.
    I’m trying something a little new tonight – since I only want to take a few minutes so we have plenty of time for the Q&A – I’m going to tell you a story (a couple of stories actually)!
    Antony Upward ( is a Sustainability Business Architect with Edward James Consulting (  Antony is the creator of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas, the result of a 3 year research project at York University's Schulich School of Business and Faculty of Environmental Studies.  Antony is a co-founder of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group ( at the Ontario College of Art and Design University's Strategic Innovation Lab.  Together, they will shortly be launching a crowd-funded collaboration project to bring a Strongly Sustainable Sustainable Business Model Innovation Toolkit to market (to receive notifications about the project - join their mailing list -  
    Twitter: @aupward #SSBMG
    Web: /
    Email: [email_address]  
    Required:  Introducing the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas Visual Design Tool (   (Highly recommended download the presentation which is embedded in this blog post - URL for just the presentation is
    Optional: Willard, B. (2012). Introduction From the new sustainability advantage: seven business case benefits of a triple bottom line (Completely rev. 10th anniversary ed.) (pp.1-25). Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada: New Society Publishers
    Optional: Blattberg, C. (2000). Welfare: Towards the Patriotic Corporation. From pluralist to patriotic politics: putting practices first (pp. 172-184). New York City, New York, United States of America: Oxford University Press.  (attached pdf)
  • Ok let’s begin…
    1: Once upon a time most business people, went to work every day with the goal of maximizing profit.
    And this profit was used to do all kinds of good things for many people: education, pensions, health care, roads, fire services, public transit, police and so on.
  • 2: But these business people started to see that despite all the benefits of the wealth their organizations generated over the years, the unintended social and environmental impacts of their operations were growing larger and larger. Businesses were creating some bad outcomes for a lot of people and our environment.
    Increasingly these business people understand that these bad outcomes are preventing humanity and other life from flourishing; Their children and grandchildren are hurting and they can see it is getting worse!
  • 3: Not only that, but everyday they could ALSO see increasing risks to their company’s supply of raw materials, their social license to operate, as well near-term profit and long term viability.
  • 4: And worse, they were missing out on opportunities to innovate in response to all these challenges.
  • 5: Result: The thing they said they cared about most, profits, were in trouble!
  • So, one day these business people decided they needed to imagine and embrace a new definition of business success.
    1: They realized that by integrating the achievement of environmental, social and economic goals a whole new world of innovation was possible; innovations that simultaneously increased profit while reducing risk!
  • In other words, all these business people are imagining that business success can and should create the possibility for human and other life to flourish on this planet forever!
    Ehrenfeld, J. R. (2008). Sustainability by design: a subversive strategy for transforming our consumer culture. New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.: Yale University Press.
    Ehrenfeld, J. R., & Hoffman, A. J. (2013). Flourishing: a frank conversation about sustainability
    Blog post by John Ehrenfeld on the difference and complementary nature of between Sustainability and Resilience
    Short summary of Allen, T. F. H. (2003). In Hoekstra T. W., Tainter J. A. (Eds.), Supply-side sustainability. New York City, New York, U.S.A.: Columbia University Press.
  • And of course all these people, after they had embraced this new definition of success, realized they were not alone!
    1: There were lots of people who had already changed their definition of success for their business – and despite the economic, social and environmental challenges – these businesses were doing good and doing well. These are the so called mission or impact oriented businesses, also known as green, values-driven or social enterprises.
    And the group of business people who have realized the need to redefine success is not limited to the group on screen!
    For example… there are:
    … All companies who are certifying against ISO14000, the Benefit Corporation standard, or the many other better business certifications
    … All sustainability professionals in the increasing number of companies seeking to improve their sustainability
    … All companies who belong to all local ethical sustainable business groups,lLike BALLE
    … All co-operatives
    … All credit unions and many of their members
    … of course this is not to mention all the people in the room and on-line tonight!
    And these are just the most obvious groups – there are many many other groups pursing projects and initiatives to bring about this new operating logic for business.
    So my work sets out to make a key contribution to an already large community of leaders in business sustainability… because so far no one has proposed a toolkit that can help all these groups to efficiently and effectively design businesses that apply apply this new definition of success.
    Now imagine how much larger the market for our toolkit gets when you realise, as Bob Willard has been highlighting for years, that more sustainable businesses are simply *BETTER* businesses – even if your goal remains predominately to make money. Businesses that embrace this new definition of success as simply fitter for the future!
    We want any business person to want to engage with our toolkit… simply because by doing the right thing you can do better: generate more wealth, be happier and have a flourishing community and environment.
    So the group I am working with believes our market for our Strongly Sustainable Business Model Design toolkit includes:
    … All entrepreneurs and innovators
    … All business owners
    … All venture capitalists and investors
    … All consultants
    … All business educators
    … All business Incubators (OCADU, MaRSDD, RyersonDMZ, etc.)
  • So, what’s allowed all these people to embrace this new definition of business success? Let’s break it down:
    1. First, they have come to understand the real context for business wasn’t just the economy….
    2. These people realized the economy, the financial system, is something created by society;
    They understand society has far broader concerns than simply money.
    Societies care about people, and seek to help everyone achieve their potential. In other words the highest purpose of a human society is to give all its members the possibility of flourishing!
    3. But it doesn’t stop there. These people also understand that society is entirely dependent upon the environment. Without clean air, water, and healthy soil society would go bankrupt and we would ALL about out of business.
    4. So, finally, at the end of this story, we find that what all these people have come to understand is something pretty simple!
    A sustainable business model is one whose definition of success recognizes and must relate to all these contexts: the economy, society AND the environment.
    In ever increasing numbers people are now choosing to redefine business success by considering how each part of their business model relates to its real contexts. And as a result their businesses are more resilient, more innovative AND do a better job of managing risk.
    In other words, what all these people have understood is that businesses that recognize their connections to all their contexts are simply better businesses.
    They are fitter for the future than businesses that believe profit maximization is their only concern.
    Businesses that recognize their real contexts not only create less unintended social and environmental consequences, they can actually proactively create outcomes that enable the possibility of flourishing for us, our children, our grand-children and the world around us.
  • And that’s the end of the first part of my story…
    But hopefully this has provoked a few questions in your minds…
  • Firstly I hope you’re asking yourself can this really be true that so many people are redefining business success is this way?
    1: Let me reassure you – the answer is a big Yes… the shift is happening… and surprisingly quickly. Just look at all the organizations I mentioned earlier!
    And of course since you’re all here taking a course on social entrepreneurship you’re a part of this wave of change! Congratulations for being amongst the leaders!
  • But I also hope you’re wondering what did I do when I realized I agreed with all these other people that business needs to adopt a new definition of success?
    1: That’s a great question… and it leads to the second part of my story…
    What did I do?
    2: I went on a quest!
  • So….here’s part 2….
    It’s a story of how I went on a journey from being a profit-first business architect working for some of the worlds big corporations to a social entrepreneur, just like all of you, with a mission to change the world!
    Once upon a time (actually it was about 5 years ago!) I realized that I had reached this same conclusion as all the people I mentioned a moment ago: businesses that do good and do well are simply better businesses
    1: I got inspired (and excited!)
    2: Everyday I tried to imagine how I could help all the people who had redefined business success to have an impact and realise their dreams, not just maximize profit!
    So one day in 2009 I decided to set myself a goal: to use my 20+ years of business architecture experience to help all these people do a great job of designing businesses that do good and do well.
  • But how?
    What could I do to help this growing community who have redefined business success?
    What could I do to make a real impact, and help in some small way to change the world for the better?
    1. Everyday I saw that Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas was having a big impact.
    It was rapidly becoming the visual design tool everyone was using to create profitable businesses… and as we’ve heard it’s a wonderful tool… if profitability is your singular goal.
    (Alex Osterwalder’s crowd-funded collaboratively created book, “Business Model Generation” has now sold over 700,000 copies in 26 languages since its launch in 2009)
    2. But I wanted to create a better canvas – one that could help all the people who are redefining business success as doing good AND doing well;
    I started to imagine a tool that could help all business people get their companies fit for the future.
  • But, I also realized if I was to do a good job creating a better tool, I needed to go deep.
    I had a lot to learn!
    1. I needed to go on a quest to find out a lot more about business models, economies, societies, our natural world and how they were all inter-connected.
  • 1. So one day in 2010 I went back to university full time to do an interdisciplinary masters degree.
    I chose the highly customizable program in Environmental Studies and Business jointly offered by York University’s Schulich School of Business and Faculty of Environmental Studies.
    During my quest I met a lot of wonderful people, some of whom are here tonight, and all of whom wanted business to be a force for positive change.
    2. One day in January 2012 I met the folks from the Ontario College of Art and Design University’s Strategic Innovation Lab (the sLab).
    Some of them had helped Alex develop the Business Model Canvas and funded his very popular book: Business Model Generation.
    The people in the sLab were inspired by the progress I was already starting to make towards a better tool to create better businesses.
    Because of that, they decided to join me in my quest! Now I wasn’t on my quest alone (its so much better being part of a group!)
    3. So in early 2012 we created the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group.
    We decided the group should focus on creating a toolkit to help new and existing small and medium business move to better more sustainable business models. And we decided my new tool would be at the centre of this toolkit.
    4. Finally, few months back, after nearly 3 years of work, and with a lot of help from a lot of people, our now shared quest reached a major milestone: I successfully defended my thesis and graduated.
    OK, I’m going to take a pause in the story at this point to describe the result of our quest so far, but then I’ll come back and bring you right up to date with our quest and our plans.
    (If you’re *REALLY* keen you can download my thesis at the URL shown - Its licensed under a creative commons license – but until we publish the book – we’ve put a commercial restriction on it.
    However, as you’ll hear shortly, we have an easy path so you can use the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas now)
  • So what had I done during those three years?
    1. Well I went all the way back to Alex Osterwalder’s 2004 PhD.
    Then I used all my new learning about how to design businesses that do good and do well, to extend Alex’s original ground-breaking, but rather technical PhD.
    I extended Alex’s profit-first PhD work to create an Ontology for Strongly Sustainable Business Models.
    But, also like Alex, I knew I needed to simplify and make a tool that was easy to use, but without loosing any of the rich possibilities for designing better business that I had learned about.
  • 2: So, again following Alex’s lead, I used my ontology to power a new easy to use visual design tool to help design better businesses: The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas.
    3: So lets dive into the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas.
    I want to share with you what it is, and what’s new and different about it.
  • To do this I want to go back to Alex’s Canvas – which I now refer to as the Profit-First Business Model Canvas!
    We all know the 9 questions from the Profit-First Canvas: the ones you must answer to increase the likelihood of creating a profitable business
    (These questions are based on the best scholarly knowledge we have about the necessary and sufficient conditions required to have a higher quality profitable business design).
    Its worth noting that prior to the Profit-First Canvas, tools to help design businesses were few and far between: so clearly its a big improvement.
    If profitability is your primary goal, using the Profit-First Canvas can improve your efficiency and reduce your risk when you design your business model.
    And, as we also know, the Profit-First Canvas is very widely used, even by people like you, who want to create social enterprises with environmental, social and economic benefits.
    But what happens when we look at the Profit-First Canvas in light of the “real context for business” that I mentioned earlier: the environment that contains society, that contains the economy, that contains all businesses
    There is a 2 x 1.5m version available via a creative commons licenses for free commercial use at
    Osterwalder, A., & Smith, A. (2012). Strategyzer: Your Business Model Toolbox on Strategyzer . Switzerland: Business Model Foundry GmbH.
    Smith, A., Osterwalder, A., Business Model Foundry GmbH, & Hortis - Le Studio. (2011). Business Model ToolBox. Apple AppStore / Switzerland: Business Model Foundry GmbH.
    Osterwalder, A. (2010, 2011). Business Model Canvas. Switzerland: Business Model Foundry GmbH.
    Osterwalder, A. (2004). The Business Model Ontology: A Proposition in a Design Science Approach.(Ph.D., l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de l’Université de Lausanne). , 1-172.
  • Alex Osterwalder’s 9 questions give us a common language to discuss, describe, and improve our profit-first business model designs… and that’s clearly a good thing!
    1. But do these questions help if our goal is to create businesses that set out to enable human and other life to flourish? Or at least to create businesses with less unintended consequences?
    2. In my research I realized that while financial viability is very important, I needed to ask what’s missing from these 9 questions and why?
  • Looking at the 9 profit-first canvas questions you quickly see that there is a lot of focus on money and the people businesses do financial transactions with, in other words there’s lots about customers and suppliers…
    1: But there is almost nothing about everyone and everything else.
    (Not surprising… given the generally accepted current design brief for business that Alex (implicitly) accepts – a singular focus on profit and the generation wealth!)
  • So what’s missing?
    First… as I mentioned earlier, we must think about the real context for any business.
    The three dimensional view of the real context for business that I showed earlier is great…
    But its rather hard to work with as a visual design tool…
    So in the Strongly Sustainable Canvas I flattened this context into two dimensions!
    (But remember, these context boxes are nested within one another, mimicking the reality that the environment really does contain society, society really does create the economy and firms have complex relationships directly with all three!!)
    Note that
    None of this context is considered by Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas
    The boarder of the firms involved a business model in relation to the enviroment, society and the economy aren’t even conceptualized
  • During my quest I also realized just how complex businesses are; even being profitable is not simple! There is an awful lot to juggle.
    I realized that when you put a business into its real contexts a really inconvenient truth emerges: there are even more things to think about if you want to do good and do well.
  • So the second thing that is missing from the profit-first canvas is a way of helping the business designer deal with this additional complexity.
    One common way of dealing with complexity it to break things into more manageable parts or perspectives.
    From my earlier professional experience I knew that one of the most well known set of perspectives on a business, often used to help implement new strategies, is the Balanced Scorecard.
    (Aside: In fact Alex Osterwalder also used the Balanced Scorecard approach in his PhD Business Model Ontology, but it was largely dropped from the Canvas).
    1: The balanced scorecard has four perspectives, but it too just focuses on profit.
    So I had to adjust the four perspectives in light of the real contexts of business.
    So, what does that look like?
  • 2: First is the Stakeholder perspective “Who a firm…”. You’ll note we change the order we talk about things from the Balanced Scorecard: Finance no longer comes first; and, second we had to generalize some of the names of the perspectives to properly recognize all three contexts. In this case we changed customer to stakeholder. Now we can talk about all the stakeholders of a firm, not just the ones who pay.
    3-5: …
    Kaplan, R. S. (1996). In Norton D. P., NetLibrary I. (Eds.), The balanced scorecard: translating strategy into action. Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.: Harvard Business School Press.
    (Note the sustainability extensions proposed for the balanced scorecard fundamentally do not recognize the true context for the business, but ‘tack-on’ the environment as an afterthought and largely ignore the larger society.
    Figge, F., Hahn, T., Schaltegger, S., & Wagner, M. (2002). The Sustainability Balanced Scorecard - linking sustainability management to business strategy. Business Strategy and the Environment, 11(5), 269. )
  • So then I put the real contexts for any business to do good and do well together with four perspectives to help manage the additional complexity.
    1: The final step was to add the questions that must be answered by a business designer to create a strongly sustainable business.
    I developed the 14 necessary and sufficient questions, 14 questions that must be answered well to create a strongly sustainable business model from a broad review of all the natural, social and managerial science that I had studied. They include the 9 questions from the profit-first canvas, suitably modified based on the real context for business. So any business model you can describe using the profit-first canvas you can also describe with the strongly sustainable one; nothing has been removed.
    To come up with good answers to the questions, you first need to have an idea for your business – just like with the profit-first canvas.
    But now the business model designer considers their proposed answer to each question in relation to each of the 3 contexts and the 4 perspectives.
    BTW, you might find it useful to think about these questions as a way to help you construct a story about how your better business is going to be successful. Your answer to each question becomes part of your narrative, part of your sustainable business model story.
    Then you can more easily tell your story to all the other people whose help you need in order to succeed, not just customers, but investors, suppliers, employees, communities and governments… in-fact the strongly sustainable canvas helps you tell a story which is attractive to all your stakeholders
    In short, using the Strongly Sustainable Canvas can increase your confidence by helping you remember all the things you need to think about so your business will do good and do well!
    One important thing to note is that I found is Alex’s Osterwalder’s 9 questions on the Profit-First Business Model Canvas, are all still necessary. So they remain – although adjusted in light of the real context for business.
    However, the profit-first business model canvas’s 9 questions, even adjusted in light of the context are not sufficient.
    The natural, social and management science literature I reviewed suggested that just 5 more questions must be answered to have the possibility of describing a strongly sustainable business model – to get the total of 14 questions in the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas. The additional 5 areas are as follows:
    Actors and their Needs
    Decisions / Governance (Power)
    Bio-Physical Stocks
    Eco-system Services
  • So finally, here it is, the result of the quest so far: The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas.
    This new better canvas turns the 3 contexts, the 4 perspective and the 14 questions into a visual design tool, with space for your sticky notes for your answers – just like the Profit First Canvas.
    (If displayed: for those in the room you can see a wall sized canvas, showing an example of the business model design of the Timberland Company as it was described in 2011 by all the public information available on their website)
  • So that’s a very quick introduction to a first version of a better tool to design betters businesses!
    Let’s now pick-up where we left of on the story of our quest:
    1: Now the Strongly Sustainable Canvas exists is that now really “the end”? Is our quest over?
    Or is there another chapter to this story waiting to be written?
    Or perhaps you’d like to get your hands on the Strongly Sustainable Canvas to design your better business now !
    Or perhaps you’d like to help write the next chapter of this story to bring a better business design tool to the world!
    Or perhaps you’re wondering what other stories are being written and told about creating better businesses!
    Let me use the last few moments of my talk to bring you right up to date…
    Image purchased from
  • There are three things I’d like to share:
    1. My thesis, which contains the canvas, is licensed under a creative commons license. But this has a commercial restriction. So if you want to start using the Canvas today you need join our “First Explorers” program. There is just a simple mutual NDA and sharing agreement to sign because we want to encourage as many people as possible to start to use the new canvas. (There is no cost involved).
    2. Next you can join us in writing the next chapter of our quest. Just as Alex did, we’re launching a crowd-funded collaborative book project to further test and improve the canvas and then explain the canvas, the known good answers to the 14 questions and recommend steps to use the canvas effectively.
    The core team for the book now consists of an international group of 12 co-authors. And of course, we’re using the Strongly Sustainable Canvas to design the business model for the project and for the business we plan to launch to develop and enhance the tool after the book is published (i.e. the app, toolkits for specific industries and class-room use and so forth)!
    3: The details of the crowd-funding is now being planned. But we can already say that we’ll be seeking both individuals and organizations to back the project. As one of several incentives, our backers will also get immediate commercial rights to use the new canvas, and have input into the content of the book.
    4: We hoping to publish in 2014, and when we do, the final version of the Canvas will be released under a Creative Commons License free for commercial use (BY-SA) (again just like the profit-first canvas)
    5: Finally, perhaps you’d like to connect, share and learn from other people involved in the project who are all in the growing movement that is redefining business success and already creating better businesses
    We have both a Linkedin group and a Facebook page to help with this, so we hope to see you there soon!
  • Finally, before I take questions I also wanted to mention another story that is also being written right now, one which beautifully inter-twines with the stories I’ve just told you.
    If the Strongly Sustainable Canvas asks the questions that when answered well, can enable flourishing….(slow down) how do we know the businesses people are designing are actually enabling flourishing?
    For this we need a benchmark against which to measure actual business results; but this is not a typical measurement of business performance. We don’t want to continue to measure business results as we do today by comparing a businesses performance against past results, against self-defined future goals, or against businesses who are thought to be “leaders”. No, we need a benchmark of actual business performance against the boundary conditions that increasingly science tells us create the possibility for flourishing.
    Creating this science based benchmark is the goal of a new international, collaborative project of The Natural Step Canada; The Gold-standard Benchmark for Sustainable Business.
    As you can see there are a growing list of partners in this project, including the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group, several of whose members are deeply involved in this project.
    I know the Natural Step would love you to get involved in this project too!
    For more details of the Gold Standard Work see: (Video)
  • So now you’ve heard the whole story… and have some idea of how our quest to create the better businesses we so urgently need will unfold over the coming months…
  • I really hope you want to stay in touch with our work, and perhaps even get involved… here’s how…
    So lets go back to your questions – did I manage to answer them?
    What’s outstanding? What new questions do you have now?
  • I really hope you want to stay in touch with our work, and perhaps even get involved… here’s how…
    So lets go back to your questions – did I manage to answer them?
    What’s outstanding? What new questions do you have now?
  • As a working title we’re calling the crowd-funded collaborative book we’re planning to write and publish in 2014: “Strongly Sustainable Business Model Innovation”
    This slide gives an outline of the table of contents with
    section 2 describing the strongly sustainable business model canvas,
    section 3 describing how to answer the 14 questions the canvas asks well, so you will score highly, for example, on the B Lab Benefit Impact Assessment Survey, align with the BALLE localist principles or the Framework For Strategic Sustainable Development Sustainability Principles (3 environmental and *NEW* 5 social), plus Transition Towns, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, etc. and the emerging “Gold Standard”
    section 4 describes how to use the canvas to create a strongly sustainable business model
    section 5 provides more case studies…
  • Two Stories About Strongly Sustainable Business Models

    1. 1. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http:// The Strongly Sustainable Business Models – A Brief Introduction Version 1.3 2013-10-08 © Edward James Consulting Ltd. Some Rights Reserved. 1 Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas Lots o f spe notes aker , inc. r efere nces A New Visual Tool to Design Businesses Fit for the Future A Brief Introduction for TiE Institute Social Entrepreneurship Program: Week 5: Business Model Canvas & Customer Development October 8, 2013 Antony Upward, MES, CMC* * Masters of Environmental Studies in Business Model Design and Sustainability; Certified Management Consultant lides many s n Builds o view a d a nd downlo ow mode sh in slide roved for imp sion hen compre @aupward #SSBMG
    2. 2. = 2 Today…
    3. 3. = But… 3 Today… Unintended consequences for
    4. 4. = Increasing risks But… 4 Today… Unintended consequences for
    5. 5. = Increasing risks But… Missed innovation opportunities 5 Today… Unintended consequences for
    6. 6. = Increasing risks But… Missed innovation opportunities 6 Today… Unintended consequences for
    7. 7. = Do Good & Do Well Less Risk, More Innovation 7 But imagine if…
    8. 8. Sustainability is “the possibility that human and other life will flourish on this planet forever.” (Ehrenfeld, 2008 p.6) 8
    9. 9. Benefit Benefit Corporation Corporation Legislation Legislation Already all these people are innovating to embrace the possibilities of sustainability as flourishing 9
    10. 10. Real Context of Business All Business Context: Financial Economy (Monetary) (Social/Technology) Context: Society Context: Environment (Physical / Chemical / Biological) 10 © Antony Upward / Edward James Consulting Ltd., 2013 Some rights reserved. Permissions available at
    11. 11. THE END To Be Continued... 11
    12. 12. Really? People are redefining business success as the integrated achievement of environmental, social and economic benefits? Yes! And since you’re all here talking a course on social entrepreneurship, you’re part of this wave of change! Congratulations for being leader s! 12
    13. 13. OK, so what did you do when you realized you agreed with all these other people? Great question and that leads to the second part of my story… I went on a quest… 13
    14. 14. Inspiration 14
    15. 15. What Would a Canvas for Sustainable Business Look Like? 15
    16. 16. My Quest… for a Better Business Design Tool 16
    17. 17. The Quest Begins …and reaches a major milestone 2012 2013 2010 17
    18. 18. 18
    19. 19. V1.031 Introducing…The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas 19 © Antony Upward / Edward James Consulting Ltd., 2013 Some rights reserved. Permissions available at
    20. 20. The Profit-First Business Model Canvas: 9 Questions to be Profitable 20
    21. 21. But…does this help to design a sustainable business? 2. Value 2. Value Propositions Propositions 1. Customer 1. Customer Segments Segments 6. Key Activities 3. Channels 3. Channels 7. Key Resources 4. Customer 4. Customer Relationships Relationships 5. Revenue 5. Revenue Streams Streams 21 8. Key Partners 9. Cost Structure What’s Missing? Why?
    22. 22. Lots about money, and the people you financially transact with… …(almost) nothing about everyone and everything else 22
    23. 23. The Context… Flattened 23 © Antony Upward / Edward James Consulting Ltd., 2013 Some rights reserved. Permissions available at
    24. 24. “Just” Being Profitable is Not Simple “And that, in simple terms, is how you start a profitable small business” 24
    25. 25. Useful Perspectives 4. Learning & Growth 3. Internal Processes 1. Financial 25 2. Customer
    26. 26. Useful Perspectives What does a firm do now and in the future? Who does a firm do it to, for and with? How, where and with what does the firm do it? 4. Learning & Growth 3. Internal Processes 1. Financial 2. Customer How does a firm define and measure success (in Environmental, Social & Monetary units)? 26 © Antony Upward / Edward James Consulting Ltd., 2013 Some rights reserved. Permissions available at
    27. 27. Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas – 14 Questions V1.032 27 © Antony Upward / Edward James Consulting Ltd., 2013 Some rights reserved. Permissions available at
    28. 28. Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas V1.031 28 © Antony Upward / Edward James Consulting Ltd., 2013 Some rights reserved. Permissions available at
    29. 29. Where does the Quest go Next? Can I Use it Now? How Can I Help? 29
    30. 30. Help bring Sustainable Innovation to the World! Become a “First Explorer” – Enables commercial use of the new Canvas now 12 organizations around the globe have joined so far  Join the quest – Crowd-funded collaborative book project Working Title: Strongly Sustainable Business Model Innovation – 12 International co-authors identified – Crowd-funding starting soon Individuals and Organizations Backers also get immediate commercial rights to use new Canvas Everyone else will have to wait for the book – Self Publish 2014 Canvas released under a Creative Commons License free for commercial use  Connect to like-minded colleagues 30
    31. 31. Join a Key Related Project Learn more: 31
    32. 32. TO BE CONTINUED… 32
    33. 33. Questions / Discussion 33
    34. 34. Questions / Discussion Be Informed: Share your ideas for the book: Learn More – ~3 minute Audio/Visual Overview • Learning Map – • Blogs – – 34 StronglySustainableBusinessModels Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group @aupward #SSBMG
    35. 35. Possible Table of Contents 35
    36. 36. Copyright • All images used under applicable creative commons licences – see notes on each page © Antony Upward / Edward James Consulting Ltd., 2013. Some rights reserved. – Permissions available at /Permissions – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. 36
    37. 37. 37