Harnessing the Power of Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainability Innovation

Cranfield University came to GlobeScan with a mission – they wanted to understand what needs to be done to unlock opportunities for sustainable entrepreneurship, and they needed a way to crowdsource ideas on the topic from a vast range of stakeholders. Their goal was the final milestone concluding EU-InnovatE, an EU-funded research project investigating the innovative and entrepreneurial roles of individuals and organisations to shape a green economy.
Together we embarked on the Sustainability Innovation Exchange. We coupled GlobeScan’s experience in engaging stakeholders and our Collaboration Forum platform with Cranfield University’s deep subject matter expertise. There was a huge array of ideas and experiences for us to explore amongst nearly 1,700 comments, from 150 engaged participants across 25 countries.
Following up our immediate reflections in last year’s highlights report, our colleagues at Cranfield University have now submitted their paper for inclusion into a high profile research journal. They found five areas which are ripe for more supportive policies to inspire sustainable entrepreneurship:   

  1. Creating skills and awareness: through both informal and formal education
  2. Building networks: provisions of support on the otherwise lonely entrepreneurial journey 
  3. Funding and investing: broadening the characteristics and expectations of potential funders of sustainability entrepreneurs to improve access to funding 
  4. Measuring impact and performance: new ways to measure long term value without adding to the reporting burden on start up companies
  5. Innovating government: ensuring the public policymaking process itself becomes more supportive of sustainable entrepreneurship

The Cranfield team further noted that these policies need to be enacted by a range of stakeholders to be most effective. That is, implementation not only by policymakers, but also by businesses, NGOs and individuals with an interest in promoting sustainable innovation. For the full findings, see the academic report here.
The report is a timely reminder that in the face of headwinds dividing our societies, we can all benefit from collaboration and the sharing of ideas, across organisations and borders. New ways to engage and collaborate are increasingly important as we seek to empower each other to help create an equitable and sustainable future.
Readers of our blog know that we have been talking about why collaboration forums are so compelling for some time now. For more information about GlobeScan’s Collaboration Forum platform, please leave a comment below or contact insight@globescan.com