HOW SUSTAINABLE IS INNOVATION? Problematically, most contemporary patterns of innovation in human social systems and organisations are not sustainable. This prevents people from learning effectively, from recognising and solving their problems, and from operating in sustainable ways. It is arguably why societies, businesses and industries around the world are so unsustainable. Sustainable innovation is a pattern of social learning and problem-solving that is, itself, sustainable. The sustainability of innovation, moreover, is linked to the sustainability of its outcomes, which manifest themselves in what people produce and do in the world. Sustainable innovation, then, is a necessary precondition for sustainability in how societies and organisations function – the ways they organise, the products and services they make, the energy and resources they use, and the wastes they produce. As challenges such as demographic pressures, ethnic tensions, terrorism, global poverty, pandemics and abrupt climate change force their way into mainstream politics and business, so we see growing interest in innovation, entrepreneurial solutions and, critically, issues such as how to ensure successful solutions replicate and scale. Sustainable Innovation aims to illustrate that shift. Instead of simply focusing on environmental and technological matters, it views and evaluates innovation-for-sustainability in terms of the human, social and management challenges and responses. It argues that a just, efficient and sustainable balancing of these elements is best achieved by the development of new knowledge, and by the evolution of better means both of embedding that emerging knowledge in organisations and institutions, and of managing the relevant flows of information, knowledge and wisdom. The book stresses that claims that a particular product, production process or service are sustainable usually assume that an appropriate balance has been achieved between people, planet and profit. However, calculating the sustainability of such things, let alone of complex systems such as enterprises or economies, can be impossible. Instead of "sustainability", the book favours the use of terms such as "making sustainable", emphasising that in dynamic operating environments organisational processes are changing constantly, whether or not they are under effective strategic control by management. Innovation, too, is dynamic by definition. Sustainable Innovation argues that there must be a constant focus on the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental value creation during the innovation process. Sustainable innovation is a new challenge for organisations. It is a process that should permeate the whole organisation, in terms of its members, its tasks, its coordination mechanisms and its procedures. Waste or pollution should not be seen as the reason for further intervention downstream, but as an end-of-the-pipe effect, which could be organisationally cured upstream. Developed from the Dutch research programme "Knowledge Creation for Sustainable Innovation", this book presents empirical research and cases to develop a theory of sustainable innovation that is based on management of knowledge, knowledge and cognition and innovation approaches. Sustainable Innovation suggests that knowledge and innovation will be the key drivers of social and corporate sustainability in the years ahead. It will be essential reading for managers and researchers in areas such as sustainability, innovation, knowledge management and organisational learning.
Table of Contents
ForewordJohn ElkingtonPrefaceRené J. JornaPart A: Sustainable innovation: the organisational, human and knowledge dimension1. Knowledge creation for sustainable innovation: the KCSI programmeRené J. Jorna2. Innovation: many-headed and certainly importantRené J. Jorna and Jan Waalkens3. Sustainability: from environment and technology to people and organisationsRené J. Jorna and Niels R. Faber4. Levels of description, kinds of entities and systemsRené J. Jorna and Henk Hadders5. Organisation: artefact and principleRené J. Jorna and Laura Maruster6. Knowledge as a basis for innovation: management and creationRené J. JornaPart B: Instruments and models7. A method for the identification of stakeholdersJanita F.J. Vos and Marjolein C. Achterkamp8. A cognitive map of sustainability: a method for assessing mental imagesDerk Jan Kiewiet9. Knowledge systems and reasoning with cases (and rules)Henk Hadders and René J. JornaPart C: The organisational (business) projects10. Biosoil: sustainable remediationElse J.M. Boutkan and René J. Jorna11. KunstStoffenHuis and synthetics innovation within the small business sectorCees van Dijk, Koos Zagema and Han van Kasteren12. Know what you're blending! a tool for a sustainable paper industryNiels Faber and Kristian Peters13. Philips and the long road towards social sustainabilityFloortje Smit and Niels R. Faber14. Knowledge systems for sustainable innovation of starch potato production: achieving more with lessNiels R. Faber and Rob van Haren15. Sustainability of knowledge within mental healthcare: knowledge infrastructure, knowledge management and learningHenk Hadders and Derk Jan Kiewiet16. The University Medical Centre Groningen. Sustainable innovation in postgraduate medical education: a knowledge and learning approachMarjolein C. Achterkamp and Jan Pols17. Grontmij: cooperation in the light of sustainabilityJanita F.J. Vos and Nico J. Rommes18. Sociocracy and the sustainability of knowledge: Reekx, ATOL and Endenburg ElektrotechnicsRené J. Jorna and Nico RommesPart D: Theory and practice: results from the organisational projects19. The focus of innovation: what have we established?René J. Jorna20. Business (organisational) practices: recurring themes of sustainabilityRené J. Jorna21. Business practice: recurring themes in and around knowledgeRené J. Jorna and Henk Hadders22. Further steps towards a systematic perspective on sustainabilityNiels R. Faber, René J. Jorna and Jo van Engelen23. Assessing and determining social sustainability: an onset and an attemptNiels R. Faber, Laura Maruster and René J. Jorna