Sauder students in the course Design Strategies for Business Innovation are partnering with Vancouver businesses to help them reduce their carbon footprints.
In proposing new ways for the companies to expand their greening potential, students use strategic design tools and methods, such as “assumption dumption” and “story share.”
“The students get to directly experience how businesses ‘tick’, how CEOs think through their ideas from vision to implementation, and how complex it is to integrate green initiatives into a successful business,” says Professor Moura Quayle.
Professor Quayle is the founder of the course, which introduces undergraduate students to developing business strategies for a post-carbon economy, where the world would no longer depend on fossil fuels for survival.
“The business leaders take away different views of their business model and their processes,” says Professor Quayle. “They also learn some of the strategic design techniques that the students are practicing.”
“This process opened up our eyes to our customers and how we can succeed in differentiating ourselves,” says Scott Gray, VP Branding of Metropolitan Fine Printers, one of the participating businesses.
Gray says that working with Sauder students has helped the company realize that sustainability is a “product”, rather than a “process”, and this makes the key difference when attracting new customers.