Business & Enterprise Design

 Business & Enterprise Design, Sustainability & Economic Policy

 

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Ryan Church, Ksenia Benifand and Nihal Ahmed. Reimagining the Future: The Biomimetic Economy

 

Abstract

Growing global population and a rising middle-class (three billion globally by 2030 – Ellen MacArthur Foundation)are putting a strain on the environment and depleting the world’s stock of biophysical resources. The dominant economic system behaves as a linear system and based on the rapid use, disposal, and replacement of goods (Benyus, 1997). The global capitalist economic system has poorly prepared to deal with unexpected events such as climate change and its impacts. To deal with global impending and complex issues, we propose a renewed model of an economic system that closely integrates Biomimicry principles.
Biomimicry is the study of how nature’s systems and processes function to solve the problems of survival. Nature’s dynamics are then applied human innovation (Benyus, 1997). The environmental technologies and societal innovations we need are often already present the core of nature’s design since nature has, through evolution, already found the most energy-efficient solution for many problems. Biomimicry therefore promises to be a cogent design tool for the near future (Passino, 2004).
Our GIGAmap, Reimagining the Future: The Biomimetic Economy, isan exploration of the nature of economic systems in relation to ecological systems – resilience, optimization, adaptability, systems based, value based and life supporting – through the design principals of biomimicry. Through our research, we created a learning tool that allows users interested in developing healthy economies and sustainable business practices to follow and learn from the principles of diversification; import shifting, succession; the three-horizon framework, biodiversity; multiple feedback loops and symbiosis; the sharing economy. In addition, we describe the creation of a new framework, titled the shared futures infinity loop (SFI Loop), which posits to replace the panarchy (Holling, 2001) as the model for sustainable economic progression to create a more sustainable world.

 

Reimagining the Future (PDF)

 

Presentation

 


 

Peter Jones & Antony Upward. Caring for the Future: The Systemic Design of Flourishing Enterprises

 

Abstract

Human commerce utilizes the most significant share of natural resources and produces the largest aggregate impact on the earth’s environment. As a consequence of modern employment and work cultures, commerce also defines and directs much of the social contract and social organizational forms in developed societies. Sustainable development movements to conserve resources and to democratize or enhance organizational practices have called for culture change or transformation. However, these approaches have not yielded results that will significantly enhance human flourishing in the face of globalized commerce. We further assert that alignment toward sustainable development or so-called corporate sustainability are misguided and systemically depreciative, as they purport to sustain activities that foreseeably accelerate ecological degradation. We propose a modeling system for co-creating strongly sustainable enterprises that will foster whole system flourishing across living ecosystems and vibrant social systems. This systemic design approach to business transformation functions at the level of the business model. We claim that business model design affords the highest leverage across all modes of organizing for collective cultural adoption ecosystemic practices.

Systemic Design of Flourishing Enterprises

 

Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Carolin Kowollik and Wolfgang Jonas. Clashing cultures – a systemic examination of onboard and destination cultures in cruise tourism

 

Abstract

Designers influence the culture of communities and whole societies through the development of products, services, processes and systems. This is particularly evident on cruise ships: The designed ship, exterior and interior, as well as the programs on board create an artificial environment that aims at evoking paradisiacal holiday feelings. The conception of the journey aims at a unique experience for customers. The totality of these arrangements may be called an onboard culture. So far, it is little considered how the mass arrival of cruise tourists affects the inhabitants of a target port. If a ship is in port, two cultures meet that do not only come from different nations, but at the same time have completely different values, beliefs, expectations and attitudes. The passengers are in a vacation mode, which is characterized by luxury, adventure, carelessness and relaxation, while the residents are in their everyday mode, which is characterized by work, family, friends, politics, responsibilities and problems. A clash of cultures seems inevitable.
The goal of this design inquiry is to take the clash of cultures into consideration through a systemic examination. We assume that the design of the ship and the socio-culture on board, represented by the passengers, sends strong messages to the people of the target culture. Those messages are expressions of the ethical values and behaviour patterns of the onboard culture. Design-driven changes of the onboard culture could therefore assign a different meaning to the ship and change the encounter of cultures for the better. A special focus will therefore be placed on the examination of the construction and establishment of meanings and the social interactions in the “system onboard culture”.

 

Clashing cultures (PDF)

 

Jonas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alex Ryan and Michael Dila. Disruptive Innovation Reframed: Insurgent Design for Systemic Transformation

 

Abstract

Organizations, industrial sectors, and societies actively resist change. If they did not, they would not last long in a turbulent world. The defenses institutions build to buffer structures and practices they value from external perturbation also inhibit innovation and adaptation by reducing variation, filtering weak signals, and enforcing conformity. An institution that creates value at one time and in one context can develop pathologies when the context shifts. In the extreme case, an institution may become driven by a “killer business model”. The tobacco industry is the ultimate example of a killer business model, where growth becomes coupled with harming customers. This surprisingly pervasive phenomenon manifests in institutions at all scales, from marriages to civilizations. With it, both the opportunity and the need for disruption arise. In this article, we turn to the theory of insurgency to provide insights on how to disrupt and transform systems that have calcified around killer business models. We argue that tactically and strategically, disruptive innovation is a form of design that resembles the behaviors of political and military insurgency. This perspective provides fresh insights into how to transform large systems organized around entrenched interests. Systemic designers must engage with the language and methods of power to innovate not just in words and images, but also in deeds. Only then can we succeed in systemic transformations of our organizations and societies.

 

Disruptive Innovation Reframed (PDF)

 

Ryan-Dila

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merlina Missimer, Karl-Henrik Robèrt and Göran Broman. Lessons from the field: A first evaluation of working with the elaborated social dimension of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development

 

Abstract

Arguably, sustainability is the most complex challenge humanity has faced to date. Not only are the impacts of our behavior resulting in more and more sever repercussions, but we are also realizing that the causes of unsustainability are deeply embedded in the design of many of the systems we rely on. This means, of course, also, that solutions to the problem cannot be one-off ideas, but that strategic and systematic transformation of many of our systems is needed. Because of the necessity of the re-design of our economic and other man-made systems, it has been suggested that sustainability science should be considered a “science of design” (Miller 2011). Perhaps it can be considered one of the most “wicked” cases of design, as it needs to aim both for significant impact and a participatory approach to solve the challenge.
One framework that approaches the sustainability challenge from a design angle is the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD). Specifically, it is based on the idea of strategically and step-wise designing sustainability out of the systems we currently rely on. The FSSD is a trans-disciplinary framework built on insights from systems thinking and has been continuously developed for the last two decades. Its core is built on backcasting from principles of re-design for sustainability, which allows for wide-spread agreement on what sustainability means and allows for creativity within these constraints, so that each group or organization can create their own path towards sustainability within these constraints. The FSSD has been used in organizations all over the world to create real transformation towards sustainability.

 

Social Dimension of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (PDF)

 

Presentation

 


 

Ian Percy and Brita Nielsen. Sustainable integration in Norway: A social systems design approach

 

Abstract

Norway’s integration model is based on the premise that counties (kommuner) are the best judges of their ability to settle and integrate refugees. While in principle this free choice makes sense, the practice is unsustainable. I 2013 11,570 people sought asylum in Norway, and of those 5330 received asylum, thus becoming refugees. In 2013 the Integration and Diversity Department (IMDi) was able to settle 6551 refugees, however at the beginning of 2014, 5700 refugees were still waiting in asylum centers (mottak) in order to be settled in a county. How to settle and integrate these people has gained an increasing political focus both in Oslo and in counties throughout the country. Several questions have been raised, such as whether the asylum seekers should decide where to move to, and how many people from a very different cultural background and educational level an area can “sustain.”
Based on experience as a refugee consultant in Austrheim kommune, together with open interviews with stakeholders in the kommune, the corresponding author has observed and had first-hand experience with systemic challenges worth investigating. Experiences suggest that the top down approach implemented by the central decision makers (IMDI) affects the relationship between the decision makers and implementers within the county receiving refugees. This again affects the chances of “integrating” refugees in the local community, and the willingness to choose to receive refugees in the future. Key factors that the leadership of a county see as relevant when deciding to settle refuges are that the reception of refugees also fits within the political objectives of the county, fills gaps in the local employment market, and increases the population and therefore sustainability of small counties. In their haste to get as many people out of the reception centers as possible, IMDi emphasizes the benefits and downplays the challenges all county, but especially small county face. Further, the word “integration” is not a defined concept and refugee consultants in the counties are not comfortable with the term. The term is however used by national and local media, which have rated the counties ability to “integrate” their newcomers in addition to highlighting many cases of “failed” “integration”. While the general public and the media focus on integration, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV) and implementers in the county are focused on finding settled refugees employment. This creates a disconnect, which is not addressed in either public or governmental discourses. IMDi’s current role as “refugee salesmen” will have to be explained into a more holistic coaching role. There is a precedent for this, before the creation of IMDi, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) had a more involved role in the counties that settled refugees.

 

Sustainable integration in Norway (PDF)

 

Presentation

 


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