Part IV. The Cases

This part is a rich set of case stories, illustrating and enriching the meaning of the concept.

This is one of the most significant addings beyond the master thesis, and beyond defining, testing and claiming the concept. It is one of the most important parts of future research; to do a systematic inquiry on cases and examples, illustrating the concept of sustainopreneurship. Along the years, I have stumbled upon alot of ventures that could be described as sustainopreneurial to some or full extent, with a sustainability innovation in the core of the venture and organizing. The purpose of this part of the book is to review some strong case stories, not just in a static sense, but also in a dynamic by approaching key persons from the venturing team to have their story told on how the venture came about. Thus, to illustrate the creation, and their experiences through the process - and also their own view of the concept of sustainopreneurship. It's not possible to do this for all of the cases, rather to pick out a selected few.

It's a part of the research in itself to structure the way cases are presented, so this outline of chapters is more tentative and suggestive than the earlier chapters, and may evolve over time. It will be the most dense part of the book all in all, and a treasure to pour contemplations, lessons, conversation and intermediate conclusions from and serves as a backbone of the further discussions in the rest of the book as key references.

I imagine a loosely defined outline of this part at this stage, boiling down to eight chapters (the part with the most chapters);

Chapter 12 - Introduction to the case presentations

In this chapter an introduction to this part is being made, and explaining on how the choices of cases was done. Also how it has been structured and presented. Five main structuring criterias have been in play so far into the game of structuring this part - timeline/chronology, business area/innovation focus, geographical/socio-economical context, size of business/maturity and character of offering, all to be explained in the chapter.

Chapter 13 - The Pioneers and Early Adopters

Here some early passionate entrepreneurs for sustainability, as dressed up in this vocabulary in retrospect, will be presented. They have served as inspirational sources and role models for me through the years, so it will be equally a tribute as well as a historical outlook. Early clues in the quest of using business activities to make a better world held and put into action by Muhammad Yunus of Grameen microcredit, Anita Roddick of Body Shop cosmetics with a conscience, Ben Cohen/Jerry Greenfield of Ben&Jerry, John Mackey/Rene Lawson Hardy of Whole Foods Market and Frans van der Hoff/Nico Roozen of Fair Trade labelling pioneering initiative Max Havelaar. All these, and other, initiatives are covered with a chosen time period from early/mid seventies in the nascent entrepreneurial stage to late eighties, mentioned as the pioneers.

Some of the ventures inspired by the first waves of sustainability-related businesses are presented as early adopters, some of them emerging from the same roots, such as Cafe Direct founded in the early nineties with preceding activities through the Alternative Trade movement.


Chapter 14 - The Corporate Transformers

The main focus of the case stories are small startups beyond these early initiatives and ventures as one of the few getting big. Still, some other established big corporates has gotten inspired by the sustainability agenda, and a few have undergone a deep sustainability transformation. These examples are few, but some of the corporates coming the furthest are presented, and what made their story successfull. Interface Inc. and Ray Anderson will be one of the case stories here.

Chapter 15 - Strengthening Health Through Business Activities

Some case stories in the wider area of strengthening health and its root causes are presented, where food and water security, disease prevention and the western "LOHAS" markets ("Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability") are covered with the reverse problem picture than the developing countries - suffering from "abundance-related" and lifestyle patterns.


Chapter 16 - Educating and Learning through New Modes and Means

Covered here are e. g. the case stories showing how education can be transformed with ICT initiatives such as the OLPC - one laptop per child - initiative. Education is a key area, not to say the least to equip the future potential sustainopreneurs with positive world-changing knowledge. A key question is how sustainable development as a paradigm can be implemented into the learning systems all levels, with the strong demands for sustainability increasing over time, and complexities followed by the holistic views needed.

Chapter 17 - Entrepreneurship to Eradicate Poverty and Provide Opportunity

Later movement of supporting small business creation in the maturing industry of micro credit are presented, and supportive measures other than financial resources to leverage the strength for the poor and marginalized people wherever they are - formerly stuck in absolute poverty in the developing economies, or getting out from traps of marginalization and relative poverty in the depleted suburbian communities in the developed regions of the world.

Chapter 18 - Digital Unification to Bridge and Connect the World

This chapter focuses initiatives to connect the world, where ICT and mobile technologies is just one part of a whole picture pointing rather at a cultural transformation and bridging, where communication in between peoples and settings truly will transform us into a "global village" getting to know our neighbour better. Internet access for all peoples is a carrying vision, and this chapter shows some key initiatives and ventures on how to do it.


Chapter 19 - Sustainable Distributed Energy and Mobility and the Climate Challenge

In the quest to transform our energy and transport systems, of necessary reasons triggered on both ends of the fossil and outdated view of energy generation - Peak Oil from the supply side (ending production of the non-renewable sources) and Global Warming as effects from the demand side (climate change effect from greenhouse gases).


Beyond the "googling" and systematic collection of the case stories already stumbled upon, primary sourcing will also be made with interviews and surveys to collect the perception of the concept, and process stories from sustainopreneurial ventures all over the world - innovation and creativity for sustainability, optionally changing your view of the world?

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