At a Core Members Group1 meeting in Vienna in January, GOLDEN’s design took another big step forward. The developments respond to comments at the November Boston members meeting about the need to be more strategic and future-oriented.
GOLDEN’s research program design now consists of three inter-dependent parts, represented in Figure 1:
1. Three labs, each going through a learning cycle of (a) assessment; (b) experimentation with an innovation; and (c) assessment of the innovation. The assessment is of 1) ability to sense and understand sustainability pressures and their implications, and (2) ability to change and respond robustly to them. Each lab focuses on a distinct intervention level of analysis:
2. The Global Observatory on the Evolution of Sustainable Enterprise, or the Observatory for short: This is the data-base for the assessments conducted by the labs and the learning from the experiments. It will develop into a global data-base on current practice and strategic options that draws from the experiences and data of all the labs. It provides for development of confidential benchmark reports, reports on particular issues of interest to corporate participants and researchers, and, with permission, case studies of corporations and their innovations.
3. Multi-level simulations: These are computer models that draw from the Observatory data to help understand the systemic impacts of strategic choices and policies. They will provide guidance in setting policies and priorities.
In this configuration, the earlier GOLDEN analysis focusing on the corporation is represented by the enterprise labs and the Observatory as the global data-base. This expanded design provides for much more categorically focusing on new configurations of stakeholders for value creation, through the ecosystem labs (you can read more about them in a Concept Note). It also provides for imaginative integration of the data through the simulations.
These three activities form a virtuous cycle, where each gains from, and feeds into, the other as shown in the Figure above.
1 The CMG consists of representatives of Research Centers that have made a significant commitment of resources to GOLDEN. In Vienna this comprised Maurizio Zollo (Bocconi University-Center for Research on Organization and Management), Tim Smith (University of Minnesota-NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise), Christopher Lettl (Vienna University of Economics and Business – Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation), and Borge Obel (Aarhus University-Interdisciplinary Center for Organizational Architecture).