Sustainable business modeling: The need for innovative design thinking

Jiantong He, Jaime Ortiz (2021). “Sustainable business modeling: The need for innovative design thinking.” Journal of Cleaner Production 298, 126751. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126751

Abstract: Innovation within the development of sustainable business models has become a hot topic but it is affected by a high failure rate due to a lack of reliable and efficient methods. This paper focuses explicitly on the importance of using bespoke methods in the process of designing sustainable and innovative business models to face an even more uncertain business climate. It revisits the concept of sustainable business models, sustainable business model innovation, and design thinking through a synthesis of the literature. Subsequently, this paper presents a design framework consisting of portrayal, exploration, prototype, and evaluation. Using the Tuotuo Community as a case study, our research results demonstrate the need for the application of design thinking to sustainable business model innovation. However, one single case study is not enough to uncover all the problems related to sustainable business model innovation. Consequently, this paper advises on the specific characteristics of design thinking implementation and presents key practical points for business survival.

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