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We opened up the International Conference on New Business Models with an introductory note (here the video) and a dive-in to a key topic of present-day’s innovation and entrepreneurship discourse: How can we develop viable businesses based on what we really care about?   We respond to this hot issue by presenting the values-based approach to innovation management. Understood as notions of the desirable, values provide a powerful lever for the companies that aspire to do well while doing good. Values can spur innovation in numerous ways, in order to set ambitious visions or to establish a common ground for partnerships, or to understand customer concerns in ways that are more fundamental.   Moreover, as we are moving from a single bottom line to a triple bottom line (of planet, people and profit) to measure business performance, and on to 17 Sustainable Development Goals to strive for, we need to recur to our values in order to interpret and to prioritize these global goals into unique business goals.   In a fishbowl discussion, two industry leaders will share their experiences with, challenges from, and measures to address values in innovation management and sustainable innovation:

  • Roman Meier-Andrae, Divisional Head of Corporate IT & Digitalisation, Member of the Executive Board at TÜV Nord Mobility, an organisation dedicated to making the world safer.
  • Philipp Baumann, Head of Product at Ecosia, the search engine that plants trees, and which is managed based on six core values.
  Following their input, participants from the audience will also join the discussion on „how to drive sustainability-oriented innovation based on shared values”.

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For one of the major German providers of technical services and testing, we review the customer journey of its most important business customers. A combination of journey mapping, ethnographic field research in car dealerships and workshops, and co-creation will provide the insights and a baseline to create the future state journey. Together we are also setting new priorities for upcoming digitization projects, marketing efforts and strategy.

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At the ESCP in Berlin, Henning faciliated a mini-project in the master program "Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Innovation". The purpose of the course is to provide a first-hand experience in modelling new business catering to values of sustainability. Students obtain an overview of sustainability-oriented and values-based business modelling tools, and create their own business models for their Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Projects (SEIPs). They learn about different revenue models and sustainable business model patterns, and elaborate upon the dynamics between different business model design elements, such as values, value propositions and stakeholder segments. At the end, they critically reflect upon the impact of the tools they used for designing new business.

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In a medium-sized company, based on the values of the employees, we have elaborated upon the core values of the company, its overarching purpose, an ambitious mission and a vision for the future. Using various collaboration methods we have addressed the crucial questions: • Values: What is most important to us? What do we stand for? • Purpose: What do we want to achieve? • Mission: Where do we want to be in five to ten years? • and Vision: How can we vividly depict the world we are striving for?   By combining and iteratively revising answers to these questions with selected employees, the vision can be formulated as a desired image of the future with a "vivid description" (Collins & Porras 1996).

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"Developing Sustainable Business Models: Values-Based Business Model Innovation" is the title of the compact training course that we are offering again this year at the Center for Sustainable Business Development (CSM). Participants will learn to apply the guiding principle of sustainable development and values-based innovation to the review and development of new business models.

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In cooperation with colleagues from QM-Beratung Berlin we have conducted a workshop with the leaders of the RPG group to clarify its values and strategy. "Surprising, which values we already share" and "the day helped us to strengthen our cooperation" were two of the consistently positive comments from our customers. In a next step, a reformulation of mission and vision and the modeling of the individual business units are planned.

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