Initiative: Flourishing Enterprise Innovation Toolkit

Initiative website:, YouTube channel, Slideshare and on Twitter @FlourishingBiz

Current components of the Toolkit include:
  • Technical introduction to the underlying research - the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Ontology
    • Upward, A., & Jones, P. H. (2016). An Ontology for Strongly Sustainable Business Models: Defining an Enterprise Framework Compatible with Natural and Social Science. Organization & Environment, 29-Special Issue: Business Models for Sustainability: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Transformation(1), 97–123. & Download manuscript via
  • Flourishing Enterprise Strategy Design Method - please see this book chapter for an introduction
    • Upward, A., & Davies, S. N. (2019). Strategy Design for Flourishing: A Robust Method. In T. Wunder (Ed.), Rethinking Strategic Management: Sustainable Strategizing for Positive Impact (pp. 149–175, Chapter 8). Springer International Publishing. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-06014-5_8 & Download manuscript via
  • Lean for Flourishing Startups Method - we have an article in peer review currently. Manuscript is shared with First Explorers (see below)

To Get Involved

We invite all members to get involved - to help us test and improve the toolkit.  Our invitation to become a Free First Explorer licensee and join the 200+ individuals and organizations (as of Feb 2020) working with the Toolkit is:

Sharing Project Updates with the Group

This project has presented a number of times to the members of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group: March 2018, February 2016, February, March and November 2014, and at the founding meeting of the group January 2012.


In plain English this is what the project is about:

Our one amazing world is full: of people, the stuff we've made and of the things we've done!  Some of all this is good but much of it is bad: for us, our children and other life on the planet.  So now in the well-off places people are not happier than they were 5, 10 or 30 years ago. People may have more money but they are not happier.  

Business is a very big part of creating both the good and the bad.  So what can business change so that they only do good for people, our communities and nations, and all other life while still doing well?  This is the question this project will start to answer.

But most businesses go out of business very quickly!  This is bad for the people in the business and the people with the money which started the business.  So nearly 10 years ago a student and his teacher figured out the 9 big questions that needed to be answered to make it more possible for a business to stay in business and make money. Then 4 years ago they worked with 470 very bright people to make a book that a lot of people liked a lot.

Now we are taking these questions and adding, using what we know from science about people, our world and how it all works, 5 more questions.   If a business figures out good answers all the questions, new and old, it makes it more possible for them to make money, do good for everyone and everything on our world, and to keep doing this for a long time.

We have built and validated an easy to use way for all kinds of people to co-create business models that can do good to do well for a long time.  We call such organizations Flourishing Enterprises: socially beneficial, environmentally regenerative, and financially viable.  Such enterprise excel because humans are flourishing and nature is thrivng.

We now we are building a new Flourishing Enterprise community to make another book so everyone can use these ideas to make more of these businesses so the world can be a better happier place for everyone an all other life.  

Will you join us?  Contact us here.

Project Working Wiki

Below, and in many sub-pages, is the radically transparent documentation of the early days (2013-2015) of the project.  Some of these pages are maintain, but most are not.  We plan to update in due course.  

What Sort of Book?

Book is in quotes because we need to think about
Do we do a combination of free and paid for - i.e. a la Cory Doctorow
-- Free is just core ideas, paid is core + amplifying cases & illustrations + practitioner workbook?

Our current conclusion appears to be a combination

Naming and Names


As a working title “Strongly Sustainable Business Model Innovation” is being suggested, based solely on the working title of the key tool within the first version of the toolkit: the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas and the key process that it can enable: business model innovation towards resilient sustainability as flourishing.  See this page for more background on strong sustainability and flourishing

A vigorous discussion of titles, sub-titles, and names for the toolkit and the tools, methods and design principles within it and the organizations involved in its development, use and promulgation is strongly encouraged with aim of maximizing its impact and the achievement of the mission and vision of the toolkit. 

This discussion, an initial list of naming ideas, and further background on the challenge of having the desired impact, was started in this blog post: "What's in a Name?"

Also we should consider how we might align our name with the final name for the highly related project: current named the Gold-standard Benchmark for Sustainable Business.

Currently strongly sustainable business model is frequently abbreviated to SSBM.

Add your ideas here, debate them in the comments below on this page.

Branding and Visual Identify Development

Workshop #1 - 2014-04-25

Peter Jones organized this initial exploratory workshop for a sub-set of the core development team, founding members of the SSBMG and others to start to explore the visual identity of the Toolkit / Book and project.
  • Agenda for workshop
  • This presentations reviewed the output of the earlier design charette.  As Peter noted: "branding cannot be disconnected from the artifacts represented by the brand, and the canvas discussion (in this presentation) helps us understand the different values being resolved, realized and contested"
  • Photos of whiteboards which explored and synthesized the results of two questions to be used as input into the subsequent work to design the brand and visual identity (along with other ideas for name on this page)
    1. What is the source of meaning for you for strong sustainability?
    2. How does flourishing show up in business for you
White-board-Explore: What does Strong Sustainability & Flourishing mean to  you
White-board-Synthesis What does Strong Sustainability & Flourishing mean to you

Notes for Naming and Names

Map of Current Identities, Organizations and Internet Presence

The following map was developed to help understand the current situation (as of October 2013) (Click to expand):

Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group: Identities, Organizations and Internet Presence

Recent changes - summarized in this one page document

Domain Names etc.

The following domains / sub-domains are already registered:

    • (points to a customized parked web page)
    • (points to
    • (points to the 3 minute audio/visual overview of the SSBMCanvas prezi)
    • (points to the SSBMG Linkedin Group about page)
    • (points to a Google Doc form)
    • (points to a Google Doc form)
    • (points to the SSBMG DropBox)
    • (points to the Google Group below)
    • Behaves identically to
    • Behaves identically to
    • Behaves identically to
    • Behaves identically to
The following domains are available, but have not yet been registered
  • or .co-op or .coop
  • or .co-op or .coop
  • or .coop

On Facebook


On Twitter:

  • @StronglySustain
  • #SSBMG - "registered" at Twubs

On YouTube


On Google


Product Names (aka Book Title / Sub-Title)

A number of additional products are envisaged. See this pageThe book is the first product. 

  • Strongly Sustainable Business Model Innovation (SSBMI - the current working title)
  • Strongly Sustainable Business Model Generation
  • Strongly Sustainable Business Models - the Next Generation
  • Strongly Sustainable - the Next Generation of Business Models
  • Business is Social - Returning to the Roots of the Purpose of Business
  • Business Models Beyond Profit  (from Alex Osterwalder / Nabil Harfoush - see this now defunct website)
  • Integrated Business Models (cv. Integrated Reporting)
  • Six Capitals Business Models
  • Better Business
  • Better Business Model Canvas (the Better Business Benchmark)
  • Better, Strongly Sustainable, Business Model Canvas
  • Designing Better Businesses (via Alexandre Joyce - the title of his blog)
  • Business Models Fit for the Future / Future Fit Business Models (from discussions with Geoff Kendall)
  • Fitter Business Model Canvas (the Fitter Business Benchmark)
  • Fair Business Models (after John Ralston Saul's "a Fair Country - telling truths about Canada" - from discussions with Wayne Roberts)
  • Strongly Sustainable Business Model Toolkit: A Guidebook (from discussion with Bob Willard)
  • Better Business / Better Outcomes (via Bill Craig and Stephen Davies)
  • Designing Flourishing Business (via Peter Jones)
  • The Flourishing Enterprise (via Peter Jones)
  • The Flourishing Business Model Canvas (the Flourishing Business Benchmark)
  • Businesses with the Future in Mind (via Peter Jones)
  • Business Model Reimagined (via Allyson Hewitt)
  • Business Model v2 (via Allyson Hewitt)
  • Business Model Next Generation
  • The Necessary Business Benchmark and Canvas (from discussions with Gold-standard Benchmark team 2014-02-05)
  • Unto the Tenth Generation (drawing upon the notion of what happens if you strive to be sustainable and resilient and all that jazz - via Bruce Stewart)
  • Business as if Longevity Mattered (via Bruce Stewart)
  • Durable Sustainability (A play on the French word for sustainable - durable) (via Harry Stoddart)
  • Durable Sustainable Business Model Generator
  • Cutting through the Sustainababble to Strongly Sustainable Businesses (or Durable Sustainable Businesses) (via Harry Stoddart)
  • Toolbox for Architects of a Sustainable Future (Sebastian Straube)
  • Architecting Sustainable Futures: A Practitioner's Guide (Bruce Stewart)
  • Designing new business models for a flourishing world (Peter Jones)
  • Designing the flourishing enterprise: Business models for Strong Sustainability (Peter Jones)
  • Business models for future generations (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Designing strongly sustainable business models (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Business model generation for sustainability (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Generating strongly sustainable business models (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Strongly sustainable business model design guide (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Business models for an embedded economy (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Embedding Business models (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Embedding business models in sustainability (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Embedding business models in a new paradigm (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Designing business models for the next paradigm (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Designing sustainable business models for the next paradigm (Alexandre Joyce)
  • Flourishing Enterprise Canvas (via Peter Jones / Chris Laszlo)
  • Flourishing Enterprise Generation (Antony)
  • Flourishing Business Model Innovation (Antony)
  • Flourishing Business  Design for Innovation & Sustainability (Stephen and Antony)
  • Lean for Flourishing (Ondine and Antony)
  • Flourishing Lean Start-up (Ondine and Antony)
A thought on "principles" for the book title (Florian): We should 

- refer directly to business models (this will be the book's focus) 
- break away from the 1987 sustainable development vocabulary 
- avoid the impression that our project is just one of the many "sustainable somethings" out there 
- find a common denominator for the project's components (e.g. the tool, the Gold Standard) which could be "sustainability-as-flourishing" 
- think about how we can also express the important idea of embeddedness 

I am not sure, if "flourishing" or "strong sustainability" imply embeddedness. If not, how could we get it into the title?

Project Name

Currently working title of the book is also the name for the crowd-funded collaborative co-creation project that will create the book. 

Toolkit Name

The book contents, together, represents version 1 of the toolkit, that will subsequently be enhanced and continuously improved by a new legal entity

  • The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Toolkit
  • The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Innovation Toolkit (SSBMInnovation Toolkit - the current working title)
  • The Business Sustainability Toolkit
  • The Long-Life Business Design Toolkit (via Bruce Stewart)

Visual Design Tool Name

As described in conceptual chapter 2 of the book.

  • The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Canvas (SSBMC - the current working title)
  • Better, Strongly Sustainable, Business Model Canvas
  • The Business Model Canvas for Shared Value
  • The Business Model Canvas for Socially Desired Value
  • Toolkit for the Flourishing Enterprise (via Peter Jones / Chris Laszlo)
The technical artifact which conceptually "powers" the SSBMC is the SSBMOntology.

Design Principles

As described in conceptual chapter 3 of the book.

  • Business Design Principles for Strongly Sustainable Business (the current working title)

Method Name

As described in conceptual chapter 4 of the book.
  • A Method for the Design of Strongly Sustainable Business Models (the current working title)

Legal Entity

  • Strongly Sustainable Business Model Innovation Co-operative (the current working title)


  • The Better Business Community
  • The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Generation
  • The Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group (current working title)
This community includes not only this this project but all the other activities of the OCAD sLab Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group, which is a knowledge mobilization action research collaborative of the OCAD sLab.

Community Members

  • Strongly Sustainable Business Model Gardeners / Cultivators / Pollinators / etc. ("I help strongly sustainable business models grow", etc.) (compare to the profit first "alchemists")
  • Flourishers (via Bruce Stewart)

Within the community we're going to have various occasions where we need to group people based on some attribute important to the project and business. 

There has been a suggestion that when we need a sense of more/less in these categories of people we should attempt to name the levels after types of species which tend to appear at different stages on the way to an eco-system reaching climax!

Level of Funding

For individual supporters:

  • Friends
  • Advocate
  • Champion
  • Collaborators

For organizational sponsors:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

Membership Type

If the legal entity for the on-going business ends up being a worker co-operative likely we will need more than one type of membership, to recognize the difference between the contributions (and hence) rewards of core development team members, vs. other co-creators vs. other people who become co-op members once the book is published.

  • Core
  • Engaged

Community Workplace

  • Strongly Sustainable Business Model Greenhouse (as in "let's work in/at the greenhouse"; this could be the name of the internet based co-creation / collaboration platform) (the current working title, compare to the profit first "foundry")
    • Currently this is also the name of this wiki, used by all the initiatives of the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group

Community Meeting Place

  • Strongly Sustainable Business Model Gardens (as in "let's meet each other in the garden") (the current working title, compare to the profit first "Business Model Hub")

Service Names

A number of services are envisaged related to ensuring the Toolkit has the desired impact.  See this page.
  • Lean Green Start-up Weekend

Admin Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group,
May 2, 2014, 3:58 PM
Admin Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group,
Feb 27, 2014, 4:07 PM