First explorers

Sustainability – what it means and how business should engage with the concept – has been a recurring theme over the past few years for my MSc research students at the University of Warwick. Recently I attended a workshop entitled Flourishing is the Outcome at Plymouth University’s Futures Entrepreneurship Centre. It was run by Antony Upward of Edward James Consulting Ltd. An updated set of the slides Antony used are here. He explained that his work was an extension of the business model ontology developed by Alex Osterwalder. Then he showed how the resulting Flourishing Business Canvas and its associated toolkit enable us to describe strongly sustainable business models, i.e. businesses which are sufficiently profitable while simultaneously creating social and environmental benefits. I was impressed: the approach ties together the various strands in a beautifully elegant way.

Two of my students this year are doing an MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Their projects require each to develop a business model and the Flourishing Business Canvas might be an excellent tool for that purpose. So I have approached Antony to explore the possibility of us joining his group of First Explorers who, in return for giving feedback on their experience using the tool (so that it can be improved) get a free license to use the Flourishing Business Innovation Toolkit including the Canvas. Background information about all this is in the links below.

Three minute video to introduce the ideas
A 300 word explanation in plain English
One page overview of the research project
A deeper dive into the ideas
Details of the evaluation process

Antony presented a colloquium covering the research behind the Flourishing Business Canvas on 5 December at the University of Hamburg.  The Prezi presentation he made is here and the video of the presentation is available here.