Social Innovation and Sustainable Business Talks podcast series

The project is partly supported by The Mötesplats Social Innovation project funded by Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency, and the Media, Management and Transformation Research Centre (MMTC) at Jönköping International Business School in Sweden.

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In this podcast series, you will hear what practitioners from sustainability-oriented companies and academics from different fields focusing on social innovation and sustainability research think about the major challenges and future opportunities in the transition to the circular economy.

One of the perspectives in the discussions will be social innovations needed in addition to technological innovations to support more sustainable consumer behavior. The aim is to inspire business developers in companies to further develop more sustainable business ideas and promote social innovation.

The podcast closes with practically relevant research questions for researchers that will help us in the academia to focus on the key issues in transitioning to the circular economy.

Podcast #5

The textile industry and social innovation – what can we learn from the Danish markets where smaller companies are developing their collaboration

Listen to the podcast at Spotify, Libsyn, iTunes (search for Vertikala samtal) or below.

Hosted by: Dr. Ulla Saari, Senior researcher at the Media, Management & Transformation Research Centre (MMTC), and Senior Research Fellow at Tampere University, Finland.

Industry n focus of the discussion: Fashion & textile industry

Representative from the textile industry: Marie Busck, Head of CSR & Sustainability at Dansk Fashion & Textile (DM&T)

Guest from Academia: Associate Professor Annabeth Aagaard at Aarhus University, Department of Business Development and Technology, Denmark.

Short bios of discussants

Assoc. Prof. Annabeth Aagaard has a total of 25 years as a manager (LEGO, Telenor & Atea), as a strategic advisor for Top100 Danish companies and as researcher and associate professor with a PhD in Pharmaceutical front-end innovation. She is the founder and director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Digital Business Development, and an Associate Professor at Aarhus University, Department of Business Development and Technology, Denmark. Her research is focused on digital and sustainable business development, ecosystems and innovation management. She has authored and co-authored 15 textbooks and over 250 public and scientific and public papers in journals such as Journal of Product Innovation Management and Journal of Cleaner Production. She is heavily involved in research projects in the areas of sustainable and digital transformation sponsored by H2020 and industrial foundations. Furthermore, she acts as a public speaker and strategic advisor to industry on digital and sustainability topics.

Marie Busck, Head of CSR & Sustainability at Dansk Fashion & Textile (DM&T), has worked with CSR & sustainability for more than 15 years in leading human rights institutions, civil society organisations and international businesses. Her business experience covers LEGO and Flying Tiger Copenhagen where she headed the CSR work for a number of years. She has deep knowledge on international standards on sustainability and responsible business conduct as well as extensive experience from applying in practice across different sectors, including textile and fashion. In her current role she focuses on advising DM&T member companies on a broad range of sustainability issues, such as developing and employing sustainability strategies, responsible supply chain management, ecolabelling and communication

Dr. Ulla Saari holds a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Engineering from the Tampere University of Technology, and a M.A. degree in Languages and Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her current research topics include: sustainability, sustainability-oriented innovation, sustainable production and consumption, and sustainable business models. She also has 20 years’ experience in the high-tech industry in various senior manager level roles in international organizations.

Podcast #4

B Corp and Social Innovation – why CSR alone isn’t enough and why collaboration is key

Listen to the podcast at Spotify, Libsyn, iTunes (search for Vertikala samtal) or below.

Hosted by: Dr. Ulla Saari, Senior researcher at the Media, Management & Transformation Research Centre (MMTC), and Senior Research Fellow at Tampere University, Finland.

Companies in focus of the discussion: B Lab that is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. They also certify companies known as B Corps.

Company representation: Co-Director of Engagement Josephine Herzig from the B Lab Switzerland, the Swiss branch of the global B Lab NPO https://www.blab-switzerland.ch/

Guest from Academia: Dr. Rachel Brooks, Head of Executive Education at the Competence Center for Social Innovation at the University of St.Gallen https://imp.unisg.ch/de/themen/partnerprogramme/competence-center-for-social-innovation-csi-hsg

Short bios of discussants

Dr. Rachel Brooks is the Head of Executive Education at the Competence Center for Social Innovation (CSI) at the University of St.Gallen. Through her work at CSI, Rachel strives to prepare professionals to navigate complex conditions in an uncertain and global environment, enabling them to achieve impact on the SDGs. She aims to help organizations adapt nimbly to changing conditions and innovate new solutions to systemic challenges. Before turning her focus to transformational professional development at the University of St.Gallen, Rachel worked in Latin America at the nexus of business, agricultural producers, government and non-profit organizations in the global food industry.

Josephine Herzig is the Co-Director of Engagement at B Lab Switzerland, the Swiss branch of a global NPO which seeks to build a community of people using business as a force for good. She is particularly passionate about leveraging the potential of business to drive the UN Sustainable Development Goals and further "One Planet" thinking, and as such co-leads the Swiss Triple Impact program – a unifying program for moving the Swiss ecosystem towards a sustainable and resilient economy.

Ulla Saari

Dr. Ulla Saari holds a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Engineering from the Tampere University of Technology, and a M.A. degree in Languages and Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her current research topics include: sustainability, sustainability-oriented innovation, sustainable production and consumption, and sustainable business models. She also has 20 years’ experience in the high-tech industry in various senior manager level roles in international organizations.

Podcast #3

Cradle-to-cradle design - How can companies that are implementing cradle-to-cradle design principles help to have a positive impact on society?

Listen to the podcast at Spotify, Libsyn, iTunes (search for Vertikala samtal) or below.

Hosted by: Dr. Ulla Saari, Senior researcher at the Media, Management & Transformation Research Centre (MMTC), and assistant professor of sustainable business at Jönköping International Business School.

Guest from Academia: Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Braungart EPEA – Internationale Umweltforschung Hamburg http://braungart.epea-hamburg.org/en/content/about-michael-braungart

Short bios of discussants

Professor Michael Braungart

Photo by by Anna Bauer

Michael Braungart is professor at the Leuphana University Lüneburg and founder of EPEA, Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency in Hamburg (Germany), ‘The cradle of Cradle to Cradle’. He is also co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) in Charlottesville, Virginia and founder of the Hamburger Environmental Institute (HUI). For decades, Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart has pioneered the Cradle to Cradle design concept. He has worked with a number of organizations and companies across a range of industries, and has developed tools for designing eco-effective products, business systems and intelligent materials pooling. In 2019 Michael Braungart was awarded the Goldene Blume von Rheydt (Golden Flower of Rheydt), the oldest environmental protection award in Germany, for his work.

Ulla Saari

Dr. Ulla Saari holds a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Engineering from the Tampere University of Technology, and a M.A. degree in Languages and Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her current research topics include: sustainability, sustainability-oriented innovation, sustainable production and consumption, and sustainable business models. She also has 20 years’ experience in the high-tech industry in various senior manager level roles in international organizations.

Frugal innovation – How can companies that are implementing frugal innovations help to have a positive impact on society?

Listen to the podcast at Spotify, Libsyn, iTunes (search for Vertikala samtal) or below.

Hosted by: Dr. Ulla Saari, Senior researcher at the Media, Management & Transformation Research Centre (MMTC), and assistant professor of sustainable business at Jönköping International Business School.

Company in focus of the discussion: a supplier of engineering solutions, products and services for automotive industry, process industry and machine building

Company representation: MBA Thomas Beck from PHOENIX CONTACT Electronics GmbH, Germany, https:// www.phoenixcontact.com/

Guest from Academia: Univ. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Cornelius Herstatt, Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (TIM), Hamburg University of Technology Germany, https://cgi.tu-harburg.de/~timab/tim/en/institut

Short bios of discussants

Cornelius Herstatt

Prof. Cornelius Herstatt is a leading German researcher and university professor for innovation management. He holds a chair at the Technical University of Hamburg, is the Managing Director of the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management at the Technical University Hamburg and heads the Center for Frugal Innovation (CFI). After a commercial apprenticeship, he studied business administration and economics at the universities of Cologne, Zurich and Oxford. He received his doctorate from the Institute for Business Research at the University of Zurich and worked for five years as a scientific assistant at the Institute of Business Administration at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. In 1990 he became a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT-Boston). Before being appointed professor in 1998, Prof. Herstatt held various management positions at an international management consultancy and a Swiss industrial group.

In his research, Herstatt has been researching the phenomenon of “user innovation” since the early 1980s. With the advent of the Internet, his research increasingly focused on “open source innovation” in (Internet-) communities. In recent times, he has been particularly interested in so-called “frugal innovations”, which often emerge in the context of developing countries and are often a driving force inclusive innovation. Another focus is his research on social innovations in developing countries, supporting social cohesion among others.

Prof. Herstatt’s research is internationally oriented and focuses on Asia and Europe. He researches and publishes together with international colleagues and institutions. Herstatt is author and editor of 25 books on innovation research and several hundred publications in German, English and Japanese. Herstatt has held visiting professorships at Australian, Japanese and American universities and is an alumnus of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the German Institute for Japanese Studies, the East-West Center (Hawaii) and Templeton College (Oxford). He is an advisor to small and large companies, policymakers and NGOs around the world.

Thomas Beck

MBA Thomas Beck is a Senior Project Manager at Phoenix Contact Electronics GmbH, Germany, in the area of Portfolio Management. He has 10 years’ working experience at Phoenix Contact, and 25 years’ experience in the area of electric automation.

He has an MBA degree in Business Administration. His expertise lies in business development, with a focus on product management and strategic marketing projects.

He has worked in the past years on a frugal development project in corporation with the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management at Hamburg University of Technology and Prof. Cornelius Herstatt.

Ulla Saari

Dr. Ulla Saari holds a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Engineering from the Tampere University of Technology, and a M.A. degree in Languages and Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her current research topics include: sustainability, sustainability-oriented innovation, sustainable production and consumption, and sustainable business models. She also has 20 years’ experience in the high-tech industry in various senior manager level roles in international organizations.

Listen to the podcast at Spotify, Libsyn, iTunes (search for Vertikala samtal) or below.

Hosting the podcast #1: Dr. Ulla Saari, Senior researcherat the Media, Management & Transformation Research Centre (MMTC), and assistant professor of sustainable business at Jönköping International Business School.

Industrial sector in focus of the discussion: automotive sector

Company representation: DI Johann Bachler from AVL List GmbH, Austria, https://www.avl.com/

Guest from Academia: Prof. Rupert Baumgartner from University of Graz, Austria

Short bios of discussants

Rupert Baumgartner

Rupert J. Baumgartner is professor of sustainability management at the Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Austria. Since 2011 he is director of this Institute and he acted from 2012 to 2019 as Vice-Dean for research of the Faculty for Regional-, Environmental- and Educational Sciences/University of Graz. He is board member of the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS).

Before joining the University of Graz, he was senior researcher in the field of strategic management and industrial ecology at the Åbo Akademi University in Finland and at the University of Leoben, Austria. He published more than 50 journal papers in leading academic journals, 3 books and more than 20 book sections. His main research interests are corporate sustainability management, sustainability assessment, LCA, industrial ecology/circular economy, and sustainability-oriented innovation.

He was named as DuPont Young Professor 2016 and he was awarded with the Seraphine-Puchleitner-Price 2017 by the University of Graz as the best PhD-supervisor. Since November 2018 he is the director of the Christian-Doppler-Research Laboratory for Sustainable Product Management enabling a Circular Economy.

Johan Bachler

DI Johann Bachler studied Mechanical Engineering/Economics at Technical University Graz, Austria, graduation 1995. During this time staff member at the Institute for Two-wheelers and Small Capacity Engines, and private employee of Prof. Dr. R. Pischinger. 1995 – 2000 IAV GmbH in Berlin, Germany – project manager and team lead Serial Production Calibration Diesel Engines. Since 2000 AVL List GmbH in Graz, Austria. 2000 – 2010 – Head Serial Production Calibration Diesel Engines. 2010 – 2014 Task Force Leader Knowledge Management and Internal Efficiency.

Since 2014 Co-ordinator global R&D in the business unit ‚Powertrain Engineering‘. Since 2017 build up of topic ‚Sustainability in Powertrain Engineering’ with the target of de-carbonization over entire life-cycle and circular economy solutions for the transport sector.

Ulla Saari

Dr. Ulla Saari holds a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Engineering from the Tampere University of Technology, and a M.A. degree in Languages and Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her current research topics include: sustainability, sustainability-oriented innovation, sustainable production and consumption, and sustainable business models. She also has 20 years’ experience in the high-tech industry in various senior manager level roles in international organizations.

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