Creative Methods for Sustainability Driven Innovation

Student thesis: Master's thesis, 30 credits, Master Programme

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  • Massimo Panarotto
Master of Science (120 credits)
Sustainability is a complex but extremely important issue. To achieve a new industrial revolution
that focuses on sustainability, we need innovation. Just improving our technologies and our habits
will not save our planet from its current gradual degradation.
In recent decades many Eco-tools have been developed; this thesis evaluates the most important
and used today, how they help to consider sustainability in the product development process and
identify important and missing characteristics, arguing that many eco-tools were experienced by the companies as too complex and time-consuming and often not aiding the innovation process.
These characteristics guided the development of a new framework for sustainability innovation
(Sustainability Innovation Workshop- SIW) based on a multidisciplinary workshop approach. It
focuses on analyzing customers from a sustainable viewpoint, understanding their real needs, using
ideation tools to generate ideas in areas not usually considered in current eco-tools, e.g. changing
customer behavior or the business model.
The method was developed, tested and evaluated in an iterative approach over a six-month
period. A final assessment of the method shows that the SIW presents all the characteristics founded
out after the literature study. Although the initial tests presents promising results, further work is
necessary before drawn any general conclusion. Future work will include tests in different kind of organizations
Publication date16 Mar 2011
Publishing institutionDepartment of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics