Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Introducing the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas

Last night I made the first public presentation of the results of my 3 year research project on Strongly Sustainable Business Models. Here's a ~3 minute audio-visual overview of the research project, the canvas and the next steps.

The presentation was made to the Canadian Association of Certified Management Consultant's Energy and Climate Change Special Interest Group in Toronto (Advertising for the talk is here) .

Antony Upward Presenting
(Photo by Larry Barnard)
I had a supportive and constructively critical crowd of 12 business architects, sustainability consultants, plus representation from Federal Government NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), and members of the International Institute of Sustainability Project Management (IISPM) (who blogged about the event here.)

 This is the presentation I made (unedited audio of the presentation and Q&A is available upon request).

The presentation is available for download on SlideshareI highly recommend you download it, view it in slideshow mode with the speakers notes; SlideShare appears to mess up some slides, and the speakers notes and animations (which aid comprehension) are not visible. 

The presentation was very much an experiment for me: how I told the story of my work, how I had constructed my slides, how I engaged with the audience (we had a number of exercises for the audience to try).   All in all it went off pretty well, although a combination of great questions and slightly too much material got us a little off track on timing.  Got some good ideas on things I don't need to talk about at such an introductory presentation: some topics can wait for a deeper dive.  

 Highlights of Survey Results
I also took the opportunity to conduct a small and highly unscientific survey the audience on the factors which they consider important to participating and funding a crowd-funded collaboration project - such as the one which the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group is planning  to undertake to bring the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas to the world (described towards the end of the presentation - slides 40-45).
  • People would be willing to pay ~$50 for a "real" book ($15 for an ebook)
  • Key topics include: description of the visual design tool, how to measure a sustainable business, a method for designing and implementing strongly sustainable business models, a self-assessment tool, examples / case studies
  • People like the idea of focusing on small and medium enterprises, as they may be able make changes to their business models faster, but didn't want us to forget about NGOs (and large business)
  • People like the idea of making the book applicable to people and organizations at all stages of  their sustainability journey - from just starting out to higher levels of maturity in achieving sustainable results.
  • The majority of the possible funder / collaborator value propositions (slide 45) were considered to be required or important by this audience.
  • People thought a contribution of around $200 would  be a reasonable ask for the crowd-funding
  • People thought organizations should be willing to pay around $4000 to join the project, with a "donation of services in-kind" and a "reduction for NGOs" being possible
  • 80% of the respondents would fund the project and one was interested in joining the core writing team.
Wow... looks, at least in this community,  like people are interested in our plans and willing to vote with their commitment and money!

(Hoping for a few more people to send me their survey;  Also we'll be improving the survey and releasing it on line soon... stay tuned)

All in all an empowering evening...  looking forward to figuring out how to boil this down to 15-20 minutes for a highly informed sustainability audience at the Open Space portion of The Natural Step Canada Accelerate conference in Guelph, Ontario, Canada June 10-11!   Looking forward to seeing everyone there!


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