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NBS's Thought Leader Forum features world experts on sustainability issues, offering guidance on sustainable business models for the 21st century. Here are 2012’s most popular Thought Leader posts:

1. Buying Furniture on iTunes: Creative Destruction in a World of “Locavore” Production

New production technologies and radical declines in their cost mean that in years to come we will have local, on-demand production of goods ranging from prosthetic limbs to auto parts to phones, writes Jerry Davis (University of Michigan). He explains how businesses must adapt.

2. Are Academic Scholars “Lost to the Academy”? A Call for More Public Intellectuals in the Climate Change Debate

The relative absence of academic scholarship in the public discourse creates a vacuum into which uninformed, wrong and downright destructive viewpoints get voiced and take hold, writes Andrew Hoffman (University of Michigan). He describes how academics can play a greater role in public debates, especially on the issue of environmental sustainability.

3. Make It Personal: How to Get People to Care About Sustainability

Standard polls don’t measure people’s true beliefs, writes Timothy Devinney (University of Technology, Sydney). His more accurate polling approach finds that people care most about issues close to their daily lives. Sustainability advocates must thus make environmental issues as relevant and personal as possible.

4. Why Companies — Not Governments — Will Solve the World’s Biggest Problems

National governments are self-interested by design, primarily concerned with the security and well-being of their citizens, writes Stuart Hart (Cornell University). Because of their increasingly global reach, corporations may be better positioned to address trans-boundary challenges like climate change. Companies’ insights into customers also help them identify effective solutions.

5. Transforming Towards the Firm of the Future

Firms are experiencing a decade of creative destruction and reconstruction, writes consultant Giles Hutchins. He identifies the characteristics of firms that successfully recreate themselves, or “redesign for resilience.”