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AUGUST 29, 2011
Graduate School of International Policy & Management
COURSE SYLLABUS – Fall 2011
IPOL8623: Business Models for Sustainable Development
August 29-December 13 Thursday 8:00-9:50 am
Room: Morse A101
Prof Lyuba Zarsky
Wednesday 4-6 pm and by appointment
A wide range of actors--small and medium sized firms, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, international development organizations, multinational corporations--are increasingly looking to market-based approaches to deliver social and environmental benefits.
This seminar explores the emerging use of business models to promote sustainable development, defined as improving the well-being of the poor while promoting eco-system resilience. Dominant development strategies employed by both government and business focused solely on growth tend to exclude the poor and degrade natural resources.
Business models define the way that enterprises create value by generating revenues through sales of products or services. To be financially sustainable, a business model must generate sufficient revenues to cover costs and earn a surplus/profit. Business models for sustainable development engage the poor as consumers, producers, and/or suppliers of environmentally sustainable products and services.
In this seminar, we will first explore the institutional context in which sustainable business models are emerging, including the ‘impact investment’ and ‘social responsibility’ movements; and then consider theoretical and methodological issues, including an analytical framework for ‘sustainable development’, a generic methodology for the design of a business model, and metrics for evaluating financial, social and environmental performance. We will also examine the key role of finance for sustainable business models, including social impact investing and micro-finance; and the role of government policy in helping sustainable business go to scale.
The second part of the seminar examines inclusive business models in four key sectors for sustainable development—energy, agriculture, water, and fisheries—and in the emerging area of climate resilience in coastal cities. For each sector, we will consider the key sustainability and development challenges and explore a range of successful business models. We will conclude by examining the challenge of going to scale, both in terms of business growth and development strategy.
Students will work in teams of four to undertake and orally present an in-depth case study of a successful business model is one of the five sectors. Students will also work in teams of two to design a business model and, in the final part of the seminar, present it to the class as a “pitch” to investors.
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
TEXTBOOKS AND OTHER MATERIALS
Required texts: None
Recommended texts (on reserve in MIIS library):
Boyd, Brewster, Nina Henning, Emily Reyna, Daniel E. Wang, and Matthew D. Welch, Hybrid Organizations, New Business Models for Environmental Leadership, Greenleaf, 2009.
Hamann, Ralph, Stu Woolman and Courtenay Sprague, The Business of Sustainable Development in Africa, Human Rights, Partnerships, Alternative Business Models, Tokyo: UNU Press, 2008.
Hamschmidt, Jost and Michael Pirson (eds.) Case Studies in Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, The Oikos Collection Volume 2, 2011.
Hamschmidt, Jost (ed). Case Studies in Sustainability Management and Strategy, The Oikos Collection,
Hart, Stuart L., Capitalism at the Crossroads: Next Generation Business Strategies for a Post-Crisis World, third edition, Wharton Press, 2010.
Osterwalder, Alexander and Yves Pigneur, Business Model Generation, John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
Prahalad, C.K. The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Eradicating Poverty Through Profits,
Wharton School Publishing, 2005.
Waddock, Sandra and Malcolm McIntosh, SEE Change, Making the Transition to a Sustainable Enterprise Economy, Greenleaf Publishing, 2011.
Websites: You can find examples of or pointers to case studies of sustainable business models in the Boyd et al and Hamschmidt and Pirson books above, in many of the assigned readings and on these websites:
World Resources Institute, Next Billion: Development through enterprise
Global Impact Investing Network
Business fights poverty, case studies
Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
International Institute of Environment and Development, Sustainable Markets
Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy
FAO-PISCES Case studies of small-scale bio-energy initiatives
e+co Energy through Enterprise
Sustainable Food Laboratory
Water for People, Initiatives
Acumen Fund, Water portfolio
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia-Pacific
METHODOLOGY AND POLICIES
The course methodology consists of lectures by instructor, guest speakers, student discussion in large and small groups, in-class and out-of class discussion, student oral presentations, and in-class exercises. Essential parts of the methodology are the two class assignments, viz, a case study of a currently functioning business model that students will undertake in teams of four and which must include both desk review and at least two interviews; and the business model that students will design in teams of two and present as a “pitch” to investors.
Students are expected to do all the readings and attend all class sessions. More than one unexcused absence will result in a grade of “Incomplete”.
Student Honor Code
All members of the Monterey Institute student community shall adhere to and help maintain a
high level of personal and professional behavior that is respectful of the dignity of all persons,
respectful of the rights and property of others, and treats equally the ideas and opinions of all
students who work and study at the Institute. These responsibilities include concern for the
feelings of others and their right to live and study in conditions that support their work and
development. Allegiance to these ideals requires each Institute student to refrain from and
discourage behaviors that threaten the freedom and respect every individual deserves.
The student conduct code promotes a campus environment that supports the overall educational
mission of the Monterey Institute and is intended to help protect the Institute community from
disruption and harm; to encourage appropriate standards of individual and group behavior; and to
foster ethical standards and civic virtues. A due process is also set forth as an integral part of the
code and to be used in those cases when the conduct of a member of the student community has
been brought to the attention of the student conduct administrator.
PLAGIARISM: The term “plagiarism” means representing another individual’s words, ideas, opinions, formulæ,
programs, or products as one’s own without attributing them to their true sources. Intentional or
unintentional failure to attribute facts that are not common knowledge (whether represented in
textual, graphic, statistical, or visual form) also constitutes plagiarism. All writing submitted for
formal and informal assessment must be the student’s own work.
Whether a student copies verbatim or paraphrases without explicitly acknowledging the source,
the student has committed intellectual property theft. Receiving permission from the original
author to use his or her ideas or words is irrelevant and in no way lessens the seriousness of a
failure to acknowledge and credit sources. Writing a paper by cutting and pasting passages from
other sources is never acceptable, even if those sources appear in the reference list or
bibliography. In drafting and composing all papers and other written work, students must make
every effort to distinguish their own ideas, arguments, and knowledge from information derived
from other sources. These sources include not only published primary and secondary print and
digital texts, but also information, opinions, and arguments gained directly from other persons,
including fellow students.
Individual students are responsible for learning effective methods of acknowledging and citing
sources. They should consult their instructors, the Graduate Writing Center, as well as other
reputable resources that define plagiarism and that provide instruction on avoiding this serious
breach of academic and professional conduct. Further resources available for avoiding plagiarism
and the perception thereof include software programs designed to detect plagiarism.
Policies and Standards Manual, Spring 2011
Any evidence of plagiarism in this course will be considered a violation of the Honor Code and will be investigated and if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken. If you have any questions about whether you are providing adequate acknowledgement of others’ work, please ask the instructor.
REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING
Students are expected to come to class having completed assigned readings and to add value to class discussions. Assessment will be based on:
Working in teams of 4-5, students will describe and evaluate the business model of a functioning “sustainability impact” business that aims to serve the poor in one of five sectors: energy, water, agriculture, marine/coastal resources, and coastal city climate reslience. The case study will utilize The Business Model Canvas as an analytical framework and SWOT to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. The case study should be no more than 3500-4000 words in length. Students will be graded as a team.
Students will make an oral presentation of their case study in class, followed by a question and answer period. The presentations will occur in the class relevant to that sector. Each student will be assessed on their individual presentation but the team will receive one grade based on the average of the individual grades.
Working in groups of two, students will design and orally present a proposed business model in class as a “pitch” to potential investors. The model should specify the need for the business, how it will address the 9 Building Blocks, the method of evaluation of social and environmental impacts, and the need for start-up capital. There will be an award for the model selected by professor and students as the most investment-worthy.
A 90-100% (Excellent)
B 80-89% (Good)
C 70-79% (Satisfactory)
D 60-69% (Poor)
F 0-59% (Fail)
Grades will be awarded with plus and minus designations when the student’s numerical score is in the very top or bottom end of the grade ranges described above. As noted in the PSM, quality points are assigned as follows:
A and A+ 4.00 grade points per credit.
A- (minus) 3.67 C 2.00 D+ 1.33
B+ (plus) 3.33 C+ 2.33 D- 0.67
B 3.00 C- 1.67 F (Fail) 0.00
B- 2.67 D 1.00
P (Pass) Credit for course, no grade points.
NP (No Pass) No grade points or credit.
I (Incomplete) No grade points or credit.
W (Withdrawal with permission) No grade points or credit.
AU (Audit) No grade points or credit.
IP (In Progress) No grade points or credit.
There is no other system of grading or grading category at the Monterey Institute other than
those listed above.
Except for grades of “I’ and “IP,”(see sections 5.3 and 5.4 in Policies and Standards Manual ) all grades are considered final when reported by a faculty member at the end of a semester or marking period. A change of grade may be requested only when a calculation, clerical, administrative, or recording error is discovered in the original
assignment of a course grade or when a decision is made by a faculty member to change the
grade as a result of the disputed academic evaluation procedure (see section 5.2 in Policies and Standard Manual). Grade changes necessitated by acalculation, clerical, administrative, or recording error must be reported within a period of six months from the time the grade is awarded. No grade may be changed as the result of a reevaluationof a student’s work or the submission of supplemental work following the close
of a semester or marking period. The Records Office shall only accept permissible changes of
grade upon written approval of the faculty member’s dean, who shall first verify that the Change
of Grade request satisfies legitimate criticism.
SCHEDULE AND WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS
September 1 Global poverty and sustainability: why business?
September 8 Sustainable development: a framework and a vision
September 15 What is a (sustainable) business model?
September 22 Finance for sustainable business models
September 29 Measuring performance: financial, social, environmental
Guest speaker: Lindsey Yeung, Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs
October 5 Bio-fuels: Market promise and governance challenge
Jacob Deline, Abundant Bio-Fuels
Kevin Fingerman, Round Table on Sustainable Bio-Fuels,
Casa Fuente 434, 6-7:50 pm.
October 6 Policies that support scale-ability of sustainable business models
October 13 Energy
October 20 Water
October 27 No class (instead attend Bio-Fuels panel on October 5)
November 3 Agriculture
November 10 Fisheries
November 17 Coastal city climate resilience
November 24 NO CLASS – Thanksgiving
December 1 Student pitches of proposed business
December 8 Student pitches of proposed business
Course readings and assignments
*Syllabi are subject to change by the instructor with advance notice to students Page
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