There will be examples and case studies of business models of organizations which are following the design method by using the tool and applying the design principles understand their current and backcast to create future business models which will be increasingly strongly sustainable.One reason we wish to collaborate is to dramatically expand the initial first explorers, and to engage this larger group of collaborators (who also financially back us) in using the Toolkit to describe their existing business models using the Canvas, and then use the method to apply the design principles while using the canvas (in various scenarios) to create better business models, describing business fitter for the future. Hopefully this will provide the majority of the case studies for the book (and website)
(Names in brackets are researchers, authors, particularly early / originators of the terms used to describe patterns of business models believed to lead to more sustainable outcomes, or at least less unsustainable ones; note lack of research of proving these assertions!
The original list was developed from the review of the literature undertaken by Antony Upward during his thesis work; the original notes from this review may well be useful, described in his thesis, pp.258-259. The list has been added to subsequently
More recently SSBMG member Nancy Bocken mentioned a number of patterns in this blog post about Sustainable Business Model Archetypes and a forthcoming article in the Journal of Cleaner Production:
Bocken, N.M.P., Short, S.W., Rana, P., Evans, S. A literature and practice review to develop Sustainable Business Model Archetypes. Journal of Cleaner Production (forthcoming)
Nancy Bocken presented to the SSBMG in Dec 2013 and her slides, including the diagram below, are posted here. Subsequently she's written some blog posts here, including this one on a typology for sufficiency based business models
Forum for the Future have some good work in the space of describing and identifying patterns. SustainAbility have also recently (2013) completed some research on 20 patterns for sustainable business model innovation (see this really great 1 page info graphic summary of the report, this slideshare, the longer report and this post in our linkedin group).
In 2016 Forum for the Future released the The Circular Economy Business Model Toolkit: "A toolkit that helps businesses transition from the linear to the circular economy". This included a Infographic and Card Deck of 5 circular and 5 enabling business model patterns with case studies.
Also see Nathan Shedroff's "Design is the Problem" and John Ehrenfeld's "Sustainability by Design" for good information about possible principles behind more sustainable patterns of business model design (mixed in with examples and broader design principles).
For a list of the empirical research connecting business model patterns with business performance see Antony Upward's thesis pp.314-315: for example work by MIT's Malone, Weill et. al that defines patterns based on nature of asset rights sold (creators, distributors, landlords and brokers) and four variations of each based on the type of asset involved (financial, physical, intangible and human).
One critical aspect of sustainability is place / locality. This suggests our case studies should be (hyper) local and some how connected to the book project (i.e. part of the project's business network). But which local? Toronto is home base for many of the team, but not all. Further while it is far from clear whether large multi-natitionals (as currently conceived / regulated) can ever be strongly sustainable, many are making honest efforts in this direction (with perhaps Interface Flor and Patagonia being prime examples).
This suggests that the book should try and feature smaller / medium / local enterprises for most of the case studies, with one or two recognized world-leaders in the larger category.
One idea for the organization of the patterns and case studies is therefore geographical. One intriguing idea is to apply the ecological idea of a biome. In this approach we would expand biome to include not only the ecological elements of place (latitude, longitude, altitude - and hence climactic conditions such as tundra, grassland, mountain, coastal, etc.) but also the social (i.e. geographical) elements of place. These might include: legal, regulatory, social norms, and other aspects of society which enable specific patterns of strongly sustainable business models.
There are a number of sources for case studies / examples of business models for better businesses fitter for the future described using the SSBMCanvas (whether or not they were originally designed using the canvas - most of Alex Osterwalder's examples were not original designed using the profit-first canvas - they are just described in a consistent way using the taxonomy provided by the canvas).
Case studies can be of two types - descriptive - i.e. describing an
existing firms business model (existing or future), or design - i.e. an
example of the methodology for designing a business model (along with
the business model created)
Case studies we could consider
(i.e. via consulting work or by inviting these organizations to
collaborate in the co-creation project) include:
We have a small group keen to learn about, try to use and explore the benefits of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas, in its current form: they are, in practice, the "First Explorers" of the SSBMCanvas (Contact Antony Upward for access to the Google Group in which their work is being discussed).
It is through this group, and the wider group of collaborators who back us during the crowd-funding,that the case studies for the "book" will be created. In the short term we hope that the First Explorers will, through their early experiences, be able to:
Each of these brave volunteers has signed a mutual-NDA-sharing agreement and has received a personalized copy of the latest version of the SSBMCanvas, some help files, and a description of the differences between the profit-first Business Model Canvas and the SSBMCanvas. Some of these volunteers have also asked for a copy of Antony Upward's full thesis.
To support these "First Explorers" an invite only Google group has been created: First-Explorers.SSBMG.com to:
(Of course we could also see this list as part of the group of people we wish to become collaborators by joining the project having funded us!)
Another type of case study that might be helpful is a case study showing how the toolkit is used (not just is most obvious result - a business model).
In addition to single examples of the use of the Toolkit, the encourages (see description of stakeholders in the planning documents) are a likely source of large numbers of such examples, e.g.