Summer Highlights from the NBS Team

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The NBS team shares some favorite content. Explore these insights before the year speeds up again.

Make 2 + 2 = 5: Collaborate for New Solutions (by Gord Lambert & Barbara Gray)

Recommended by Tima Bansal, NBS Executive Director

Tima at a coffeeshop in Portugal

What’s valuable here? Sustainability is about issues that require collaborative solutions. Such collaborations are challenging because they require partners to share things of value, such as time and technology, but there is enormous opportunity to create value for the firm and for society.

Why did you pick this? Gord Lambert and Barbara Gray are two of the most experienced and wisest people I know in the area of collaborations. They have both led efforts in their careers that have shown the amazing possibilities of collaboration.

Listen to the podcast.
Learn more about Tima.

SMEs: The Expertise Challenge 

Recommended by Marie-France Turcotte, REDD Director

For Marie-France, summer still means work

What’s valuable here? SMEs represent more than 90 per cent of business organizations — sustainable development requires their involvement. This report identifies ways for them to build expertise on sustainable actions.

Why did you pick this? This report brings together the insights of 26 participants in a dynamic workshop.

Read the report.
Learn more about Marie-France.

Microsites: Make the Case for Business Sustainability, How to Make Money by Going Green 

Recommended by Maya Fischhoff, Knowledge Manager

Maya visits pigs at the local farm

What’s valuable here? These two resources offer more than 100 research-based tips on business sustainability. One site is for SMEs, one for any company. They give a comprehensive account of why and how to integrate sustainability.

Why did you pick this? I like the quick highlights from a lot of excellent research, on every aspect of the business case.

Visit the “Make the Case for Business Sustainability” site.
Visit the “How to Make Money by Going Green” site (for SMEs).
Learn more about Maya.

Moving Sustainability from Thought to Action (by Sandra Waddock)

Recommended by Chelsea Hicks-Webster, Operations Manager

Chelsea and her 4-year old on a ferris wheel

What’s valuable here? It describes the “story” of modern society: responsibilities are individual, markets solve problems, and growth is necessary. This story drives our actions, and not in a good way. But we can change it, and Waddock describes how.

Why did you pick this? Outside my role at NBS, I’m also a life coach. I see daily, on an individual level, that by exploring your thinking, you can change it and your actions. This give me hope that we can also change our collective story.

Read the article.
Learn more about Chelsea.

How Successful Can Social Enterprise Be? (by Jeremy Hockenstein & Wendy Smith)

Recommended by Garima Sharma, Co-Creation Resources Lead

Garima explores Legoland with her son

What’s valuable here? Managers are often pulled between multiple priorities: for example, financial and social goals and society. But that reality for managers is seldom reflected in theoretical frameworks researchers build. There is value in saying, “Yes, tensions are present in organizational life,” and in offering ways to navigate them.

Why did you pick this? Researcher Wendy Smith and entrepreneur Jeremy Hockenstein have been true knowledge partners, working together to identify lessons from Jeremy’s work at Digital Divide Data. They’re a great model of how researchers and managers can come together to develop rigorous and relevant insights.

Listen to the podcast.
Learn more about Garima.

How to Handle Complexity (by John Sterman & Jason Jay)

Recommended by Sylvia Grewatsch, Research Collaborator

Sylvia relaxes at the Scarborough Bluffs

What’s valuable here? The future is uncertain, but decision-makers still need to act. This piece describes how to understand and act on uncertainty by using systems thinking.

Why did you pick this? For me, systems thinking is the most promising way to understand and tackle grand sustainability challenges. Jason Jay and John Sterman do a great job of explaining the topic.

Listen to the podcast.
Learn more about Sylvia.

Fight Slavery in Your Supply Chain (by Elaine Mitchel-Hill & Andrew Crane)

Recommended by Matthew Lynch, Director of Partnerships

Matthew and his family visit Lake Michigan

What’s valuable here? More and more companies with well-established systems for responsible supply chain management are being called out for production based on slavery and forced labour. Business leaders need understand the complex nature and risks of modern slavery.

Why did you pick this? I found the extent of the problem shocking – 40 million people around the world in forced labour. The one positive is the global movement of advocacy and action to address this insidious challenge. It is an area where business can and must take a lead.

Listen to the podcast.

How to Accelerate the Circular Economy (by Samuli Patala)

Recommended by Julia Bevacqua, NBS Digital Engagement Coordinator

Julia forages for strawberries

What’s valuable here? The circular economy has some serious sustainability potential but it can be tricky to implement. This article will help people think creatively about their organization’s inputs and outputs.

Why did you pick this? There is an art to business – especially sustainable business. It’s important to think outside the box and try new things, even if they sound a little crazy.

Read the article.
Learn more about Julia.

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