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Module 10: Innovation and Sustainability

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Innovation and Sustainability

Lesson Summary

Overview of Innovation

Innovation in business involves a change in a product offering, service, business model, or operations that meaningfully improves the experience of a large number of stakeholders.

The question of whether something is an innovation depends on how significantly it improves what is targeted to be improved.

The beneficiaries or stakeholders of an innovation can include consumers, shareholders and employees.

Commercialization involves introducing a new product or service into the general market.

Technological Innovation and Sustainable Business

Clean energy technologies generate energy from renewable source, store energy, conserve energy, monitor and regulate energy usage and the pollution it generates, and efficiently manage water and other natural resources.

Public policy can play a role in encouraging the development and adoption of new technology, which serves to jump-start market development and demand and reduce start-up risks for sustainability entrepreneurs.

Research and development tax credits can reduce costs for entrepreneurs. Any company that designs, develops, or improves products, processes, techniques, formulas, inventions, or software may be eligible.

Technological Innovation and Sustainable Business

Innovation can lower the barriers and costs of public policy standards on emissions and efficiency.

End users of clean energy technology include private households, businesses, public agencies, and utilities.

The choices end users make influence decisions by sustainability entrepreneurs regarding new products and services.

New associations, networks, and partners are an important area of innovation that can provide new resources and information to foster new ways of doing things.

Technological Innovation and Sustainable Business

Facebook is a social network that has been innovative in creating new connections and relationships on a global scale that otherwise would not have existed.

Entrepreneurs must search outside their traditional network of relationships when they want to take action in an arena outside the familiar terrain.

New relationships can be formed with a range of individuals and organizations such as academics, consultants, nonprofit research, institutes, government research organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Structural holes are individuals not connecting with resources that would be very helpful to them.

Technological Innovation and Sustainable Business

Structural holes often occur when you are aspiring to start a business but are not connected to well-qualified marketing professionals and management professionals.

The Green Launching Pad works with aspiring entrepreneurs and connects them with marketing and management professionals and potential funders.

















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