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Sustainopreneurship is a concept that has emerged from earlier conceptual development social entrepreneurship and ecopreneurship, via sustainability entrepreneurship. The concept means to use creative business organizing to solve problems related to the sustainability agenda to create social and environmental sustainability as a strategic objective and purpose, at the same time respecting the boundaries set in order to maintain the life support systems in the process. In other words, it is a “business with a cause” - where the world problems are turned into business opportunities by deployment of sustainability innovations. In short entrepreneurship and innovation for sustainability. Definition The definition was first introduced in a peer-reviewed conference article.
1. Deployment of sustainability. sustainability innovations: Entrepreneurship and innovation for
2. Short for sustainability intra-/entrepreneurship. 3. To focus on one or more (world/social/sustainability-related) problem(s), find/identify and/or invent a solution to the problem(s) and bring the innovation to the market by creating an efficient organization. With the (new alt. deep transformation of an old) mission/cause-oriented sustainability business adding ecological/ economical/social values and gains, with a bias towards the intangible - through dematerialization/ resocialization. The value added at the same time preserving, restoring and/or ultimately enhancing the underlying utilized capital stock, in order to maintain the capacity to fulfill the needs of present and coming generations of stakeholders.
The business world has been nominated as a premier force for creating a sustainable world, especially when acting as a source of innovation and creativity - e. g. as Robinson puts it: “In addition to integrating across fields, sustainability must also be integrated across sectors or interests. It is clear that governments alone have neither the will nor the capability to accomplish sustainability on their own. The private sector, as the chief engine of economic activity on the planet, and a major source for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, must be involved in trying to achieve sustainability.” Sustainopreneurship is a candidate to be the accentuating factor to give even more leverage to forces emerging from world of business activities to contribute to sustainability. The concept of sustainopreneurship was first introduced as a term in 2000 where it was predominantly related to the proactive change management approaches associated with process adjustment with increased respect to the environment. The phenomenon developed with publications in 2003, and further evolved and was tentatively defined in 2006 by Anders Abrahamsson. This tentative definition was empirically tested in his Master thesis, where the enactive research process confirmed that the definition stood the test contrasting it towards the auto-ethnographical empirical material. A paper to identify future research challenges was made beyond this in 2007, and developed further with a book chapter published in September 2008. In general, the entrepreneurial discourse has opened up to move beyond a strictly economic phenomenon, rather than being perceived primarily as a social process at large. Preceding the conceptual formation were two traces of social entrepreneurship and eco-preneurship, dealing primarily with the social and ecological dimensions of sustainability. Primary associations with
See Principles of ecopreneurship. The first is oriented towards "why" . Both these traces of conceptual development are taken beyond. which guide us to what is meant practically and operationally by sustainability in action. derived and synthesized from these sources. purpose and driving-force of the business activities. The outcome of diverse sources are summarized in this list of “sustainability-related problems”. This is the main key to distinguish this category of entrepreneurial activity and behaviour labelled sustainopreneurship from generic entrepreneurial activity: the causeoriented intention that places the core motive. both agreed at the Millennium Summit in New York 2000.its purpose and motive. whereas ecopreneurship has been primarily focused on solving environmental problems[. Sustainopreneurship consciously sets out to find and/or create innovations to solve sustainability-related problems The conscious mission that guides the action. This list. goals to reach and values to create: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Poverty Water and Sanitation Health Education/illiteracy Sustainable production and consumption patterns Climate change and energy systems Chemicals Urbanization Ecosystems. merge and integrate into the suggested conceptual construct at hand. Sustainopreneurial venturing is done in a holistic manner that meets both ecological and social challenges simultaneously with regard to both purpose and process. 1. but not with profit as its main driving force. democracy and good governance Peace and Security . where distinctions are made from both of these concepts – sustainopreneurial processes taking place institutionally through for-profit organizing. is to deliberately find practical and innovative solutions to problems related to the sustainability agenda.social entrepreneurship have also been establishing not-for-profit venturing and charities to innovatively address and solve social problems. central sources in the global sustainable development discourse are identified. Three Main Dimensions The definition of sustainopreneurship needs to be highlighted by three distinguishing dimensions with all three being simultaneously present in the applied (inter)action it reflects.its process. biological diversity and land use Utilization of sea resources Food and agriculture Trade Justice Social stability. determined by the political action plan documented in Agenda 21 the Millennium Declaration defining the Millennium Development Goals. The second and third are reflecting two "how"related dimensions . lines up areas with associated problems to solve. especially in the nascent ‘-preneurial’ stage before venturing forms and formalizes into an institutionalized business entity. To identify and further grasp what is meant by sustainability problems. and the WSSD Plan of Implementation decided upon at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002.
not society primarily. a very important distinction with the concept formed is claimed . keeping the holistic world-view and making it guide everyday (inter)action. Sustainopreneurship in process adds sustainability value with respect for life support systems The awareness that the (economic) market is an embedded sub-system in the “sociosphere” that is in turn a part of the ‘bio-sphere’ is made explicit. vs. Future development Given its recent date. The strategic intent and the business idea in itself are not related to sustainability per se. the use of entrepreneurial activity in a determined action orientation towards solving a sustainability-related problem with (creative) business organizing as a means to solve the problem(s) – 'business with a cause': to turn business activity from a part of the problem to a part of the solution. with respect to the needs of present and future stakeholders. This means that all three dimensions are simultaneously present: to take a sustainability innovation to the market through creative organizing with respect for life-supporting systems in the process. Main findings here are that conceptually. In short – living the generic definition of sustainable development as defined by WCED.2. primarily by cataloging and categorizing case stories. where a strong need to distinguish clearly between sustainable. the destination. It is also needed to make a more detailed description to relate sustainopreneurship to other concepts in the wider. the core of sustainopreneurship. and does not address where to and why. in contrast. With joy and pride the epitome of the generic definition of “sustainable development” lives in business venturing. In this dimension there is nothing that really differs from the generic entrepreneurial description I subscribe to. and resistance as a resource. 3. it is equally important to take it to the market in a creative and innovative way. If the solution is generated by creativity. The second and third dimensions are represented. It is of core importance to take the agenda as entrepreneurial challenges – to view problems as possibilities. as mentioned above. ‘entrepreneurship as creative organizing’. Sustainable vs. But. . This awareness naturally and self-evidently makes the sustainopreneurial team maximize harmony with life support systems in the process. obstacles as opportunities. but not the first. but this comes natural since sustainopreneurship is a conceptual extension and development from the social phenomenon named entrepreneurship.sustainability entrepreneurship as in the concept sustainopreneurship. Bringing something to the market at the same time brings it to society and our shared physical environment. From this point of view. whatever the nature of the resistance. takes as its root of existence and strategic aim to solve a sustainability-related problem. Sustainability entrepreneurship. sustainability just being an “attachment” to the entrepreneurial process. and thus inherits one of its perceived key dimensions. the purpose or the aim of the venture. a fundamental attitude to acquire and maintain when this list of sustainability-related problems is compiled and then considered is to avoid falling into disempowerment and despair. there is a need for future research. Sustainopreneurship means to get solutions to the market through creative organizing The line-up above could make one easily depressed. sustainability entrepreneurship is identified. Sustainable entrepreneurship is just a generic entrepreneurial process that takes into consideration the boundaries set by sustainability. since it implies business establishment – a sustainability business that still knows its place and role in the holarchy mentioned earlier. a deeper analysis is needed to be conducted with a nuanced and detailed taxonomy and framework created of sustainability innovations. Sustainability Entrepreneurship With these dimensions clarified and distinctions made a common conceptual vagueness or lack of clarity needs to be addressed. The market is used as well.
An association with this purpose is in its interim stages. to identify obstacles and institutional barriers. For progress. enablers and approaches. in the contemporary plethora of “buzz-words”. though.general idea-sphere of the “business case of sustainability”. where it is of striking importance with an intention to attract authentic forces potentially hearing this call of exploring the phenomenon further. beyond these “how”-related pointers. the key is to single out “the big questions”. and how to overcome them. Issues and topics have been formulated and outlined. since they add instant value among stakeholders. reflective practice and applied interaction to generate collective and collaborative wisdom for a deeper understanding of the concept. getting answers through collaborative. It has been recommended. and in themselves naturally builds arenas where sustainopreneurship evolves and proliferates. researching prospective tools. collective dialogue and conversation. Research methods recommended are Enactive Research and Open Space Technology.in idea. e. facilitating factors for sustainopreneurship. approaches. with the purpose to collapse the degrees of separation in between the stakeholders of the sustainopreneurial concept . methods and acronyms that already exists – and in this context also to motivate why this concept adds value. i. Appropriate areas and domains for sustainopreneurship applied are recommended to be digested. . with an explicit interaction and results orientation. to keep the research applied.