Monthly Meetings‎ > ‎

2018-05-08 - #071

Business Model Innovation for Sustainability – Examples from Canadian Manufacturing SMEs

This month our speaker is our member Katie Elder, a recent graduate of the University of Cambridge's Masters in Sustainability Leadership program, where she studied with our long time member Dr. Nancy Bocken.

The impact of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is substantial as they are the dominant form of business in Canada and yet are underestimated in both the impact on the economy and the environment. Further SMEs have inherent possibilities for change that are often more difficult in larger organizations.  For these reasons SMEs have always been a key focus for this group's interests

So we are delighted that this month Katie Elder will present her research from her Masters where she explores examples of eight business model innovation for sustainability (economic, social and environmental) in manufacturing SMEs in Canada, including Sawmill Sid Inc and Calstone Inc. This research builds on the business model archetypes work of Prof. Bocken - presented to this group in December 2013 (wiki post here and Linkedin Post here).

As usual, we are meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Date: Tues May 8
  • Time: 90 minutes starting  13h30 PST / 16h30 EST / 21h30 GMT / 22h30 CET / 06h30 JST (+1 day)

To join the meeting please see the F2F co-ordinates or virtual logistics posted to our LinkedIn Group in this post.

Anyone who joins the LinkedIn forum is considered a member of this group and is welcome to join at the meeting


To introduce her talk Katie wrote:

The goal of my research was to go beyond identifying barriers to innovation for sustainability and identify firms who were already living business model innovation for sustainability every day. The research builds on the existing literature on SME innovation for sustainability by providing real-world case examples of Canadian SMEs.

These firms can serve as practical inspiration for the motivations and types of business model innovation using the sustainable business model archetypes developed by Dr. N.M.P. Bocken et al 2014. The archetypes are used with a new framework created to showcase the type of strategic behaviour for sustainability and as a practical tool to highlight tangible examples of business model innovation at work. Examples will be shared from a sample of the eight Ontario and Quebec, Canada firms from the research including Sawmill Sid Inc and Calstone Inc.

About Katie Elder

Katie is interested in how all business functions and leaders can embed sustainability in their business practices, operations and long-term business strategy creating a positive impact and improving business results. She has over a decade of experience in marketing and management in Canada and globally including with Procter & Gamble leading brands such as Olay, Old Spice, Gillette, Febreze and Ambi Pur as well as at Amego Electric Vehicles.

She was the co-leader of the P&G Sustainability network, awarded for Excellence in Employee Engagement from WWF Canada in 2017.  She was also recognized as ‘Top 30 under 30’ by Marketing Magazine Canada. She served on the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of the Otter Co-op in Langley, B.C. and Meal Exchange, a Toronto based food security charity. Katie is currently Director of Marketing at Andrew Peller Limited, a Canadian wine company. 

Katie has a MSt in Sustainability Leadership from Robinson College, University of Cambridge where her research focused on Business Model Innovation for Sustainability under the supervision of Dr. Dr. Nancy Bocken. The Masters in Sustainability Leadership is as an interdisciplinary programme by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), in association with the Departments of Architecture,  EngineeringGeographyLand Economy and the Cambridge Judge Business School. She also has a BComm (Honours) from Queen’s University at Kingston where she was a Co-Founder and President of Queen’s Students for Corporate Social Responsibility.

The slides presented plus a link to the unedited recording of this meeting is available via our GoogleDrive in the folder for this months meeting. 

The link to the recording is now posted as a comment to this Linkedin Post about this meeting, along with on-going discussion about the meeting by our members.  A copy of the recording is stored in the GoogleDrive folder for this months meeting.

Attendance list is updated at the event to record attendance (if a location is not provided participant was F2F in Toronto)
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