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ABIS GlobalEventsInnovating for Sustainability: The State of the Art…

Innovating for Sustainability: The State of the Art and Beyond


76th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management  

Anaheim, California, United States August 5 - 9, 2016

Professional Development Workshop  

Schedule and Venue:

 August 5 2016 from   8:00AM to 10:00AM, in room Grand Ballroom

Salon H at the Anaheim Marriott.


The global challenges set by climate change and ecosystems degradation require new forms of framing socio-economic development. The achievement of sustainable development implies new forms of sustainability-driven innovation (SDI) able to deliver new products, organizations and business models[1] with better environmental characteristics. The aim of this PDW is to advance the debate about the future directions and methodological complexity that the study of SDI presents. The starting point for this discussion is the ground-breaking research and training activity conducted by the project ‘Innovation for Sustainability (I4S)’ funded by the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowksa-Curie scheme. For this purpose, in the first section of the workshop the organisers will introduce the audience to the social, technical and economic challenges that the study and deployment of SDIs present. This introduction is presented in the form of ‘Topic Teaser Presentations’ organised in three topic areas: (1) State of the Art and future challenges for SDI, (2) Sustainable Business Models of the future, and (3) normative orientations, leadership, and SDI. In the second part of the PDW, one selected paper for each topic areas is presented and discussed with the participants in three parallel roundtables. Finally, insights from the table discussions will be collected and made available through the ONE division and other channels.

To download the full text of the accepted proposal click here

[1] Roome, N. & Winn, S. (1993), “R&D Management Responses to the Environment: Current Theory and the Implications to Practice and Research”, R&D Management, 23, 2, 147-160; Roome, N. (1994), “Business Strategy, R&D Management and Environmental Imperatives”, R&D Management, 24, 1, 65-82.

To download the pdf version of the programme click here


Introduction  (10 minutes) :

I4S project introduction

Sally Randles

Senior Research Fellow

University of Manchester, UK


Business model innovations for sustainability

Stefan Schaltegger,


Centre for Sustainability Management, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany

State of the Art and future challenges for SDI

Challenges and Facilitators of SDI

(5 minutes)

Steve Kennedy

Assistant Professor

Rotterdam School of Management, Netherlands


Accelerating the theory and practice of SDI

(5 minutes)

Jason Jay

Senior Lecturer

MIT Sloan School of Management, US

Business Models Innovation for a future compatible with Sustainable development

Can business models be compatible with and drive sustainable consumption?

(5 minutes)

Nancy Bocken

Associate Professor

TU Delft, Netherlands


A digital perspective on the challenge of sustainability

(5 Minutes)

Richard Adams

Senior Research Fellow

University of Surrey, UK

Normative orientations and leadership of SDI

Normative orientations ad values-centred leadership of SDI

(5 minutes)

Sally Randles

Senior Research Fellow

University of Manchester, UK

Embedding CRS into Business Models: The Dynamics between devices and De-Facto Business Models

(5 minutes)

Oliver Laasch

Marie Curie Fellow

University of Manchester, UK


Four Roundtable Discussions (30 minutes)

  1. Biomimicry as an approach to SDI

Chair: Steve Kennedy

Activating Paper: Taryn Mead

"Biomimicry as an Approach to Sustainability-Oriented Innovation in Multinational Corporations"

Biomimicry, the practice of learning from nature for design and innovation, has gained significant traction in recent decades and is increasingly popular amongst corporate innovation managers.  This roundtable will discuss factors that contribute to the success of biomimicry as a corporate innovation strategy and case examples of its impacts on the regeneration of socioecological systems.

 2. Business Models Innovation for Sustainable Change

Chair: Sally Randles

Activating Paper: Monique de Ritter

“Business Model Innovation in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems for Sustainable Change”

Entrepreneurs are business model innovators and therefore important actors to generate innovation and change. However, often entrepreneurs lack the resources and knowledge to create fundamental sustainable change on their own. Therefore, it is argued, thinking and working in entrepreneurial ecosystems is of key importance to create larger scale sustainable impact. However, what are the characteristics of such entrepreneurial ecosystems to indeed have this potential?

 3. Inter-organizational dynamics as SDI drivers

Chair: Oliver Laasch

Activating Paper: Amanda Williams

“Inter-organizational dynamics as a driver of sustainability transformations”

Collaboration is essential for driving transformations towards sustainability.  The dynamics of inter-organizational relations are complex and call for scholarly attention.  This roundtable will discuss such issues as, what is the value of networks or innovation platforms for sustainability? What are the drivers of cross-scale change? What are the dynamics of collaboration and competition?

 4. SDI in the Built Environment

Chair: Mario Pansera

Activating Paper: Lara Hale

“Experimental Innovation in the Built Environment”

 As new governance modes interweave the activities of industry and governments, experimentation becomes a significant pathway for the emergence of innovative standards and norms that further sustainability across the built environment. Standards are key tools for influencing practice, and ultimately legislation, in the building industry; and experimentation with these standards in building demonstration projects exposes the dynamics between user values and defaults. This roundtable will discuss some of the challenges of governing through standards, learning experiences and innovation within large-scale experimentation, and the interplay between voluntary rules and consumers."


Plenary discussion of key outcomes (20 mins)

Facilitated by: Stefan Schaltegger / Roundtable Chairs


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