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Business Model Innovation for the Circular Economy

Use cutting-edge business model innovation tools designed by the University of Cambridge to discover how to transform your business to deliver uncaptured and sustainable value throughout the lifecycle

Date and location

25-26 February 2019

Duration, format and location

Two-day professional development residential seminar; Madingley Hall, Cambridge, UK


The course fee includes accommodation and meals. Discounts may be available for multiple delegates from the same organisation or participants from not-for-profits, developing countries, and self-funded individuals.

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Sustainability Leadership Labs

University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) Labs bring together professionals to test and challenge cutting-edge responses to global problems. Open to all our alumni and senior industry practitioners, these two-day sustainability workshops held four times per year in Cambridge, are an opportunity for professional development, co-creation and networking – all with real application to your company or organisational situation.

Read more about the Sustainability Leadership Labs, and details about fees and applications.


The challenge/opportunity

The challenge facing organisations is how to envisage and design the right future business model that helps to make the transition to circularity. This will support companies to remain competitive and operate sustainably in an increasingly interconnected world.


Business model innovation for the circular economy

Use cutting-edge business model innovation tools designed by the University of Cambridge to discover how to transform your business to deliver uncaptured and sustainable value throughout the lifecycle, and design value propositions for the stakeholders in your business networks.

Is your business getting the full benefit of the value you are creating for customers and other stakeholders?

Could your current business model be actively destroying value and ultimately affecting the organisation's ability to capture value in the long run?

How do you identify resource synergies that will enable circular business models?

Answers to these questions will be explored during the two-day short course, through the business model innovation tools, industry case studies and insights from leading research on the circular economy.

Read a blog about the Lab from Simon Davis, Agriculture and Sustainability Development Manager, NSF International.


Learn from industry experts and thought leaders

The deep dive into the business model innovation tools will be led by Dr Doroteya Vladimirova from the Scaler Project and the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) at the University of Cambridge.

scaler project imf


Confirmed speakers for this Lab include:

  • Ian Bamford, Commercial Director, Centre for Industrial Sustainability, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Mélanie Despeisse, Assistant Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Professor Steve Evans, Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability, Institute for Manufacturing and Director of the Centre for Industrial Sustainability at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge
  • Jon Khoo, Innovation Partner, Interface
  • Kresse Wesling, MBE, Co-founder, Director of Elvis & Kresse
  • Dr Dai Morgan, Deputy Course Director, MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
  • Gary Punter, Head of Technology, AB Sugar
  • Dr Chander Velu, University Senior Lecturer in Economics of Industrial Systems, Institute for Manufacturing
  • Dr Doroteya Vladimirova, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge  
  • Dr Miying Yang, Lecturer in Engineering Management, University of Exeter 

if you are unable to attend the full Lab you may wish to attend the free keynote lecture. Register here.


Who should attend?

Those working in strategy, sustainability, innovation, R&D, sustainable design, new product development, business development, service innovation, start-up entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, change managers and stakeholder engagement would benefit from attending the Lab.


"The leadership Lab is the place to meet like-minded people, to discuss the changes that are so needed. It is a safe environment to share and learn about business success and failure, which is very valuable"

Galina Parmenter, Project Manager - Global Sustainability, C&A


Benefits of attending

This workshop will stretch your thinking through discussion with leading academics and practitioners, as well as active participation with case studies. Through participation, you will:

  • develop a new lens for business model innovation
  • analyse and deliver sustainable value across a product lifecycle
  • gain new perspectives on value creation and capture
  • identify opportunities for implementing circular economy solutions
  • gain access to the CISL international network of sustainability leaders
  • share and learn from others about being a change agent.


Participant-led case studies

Prior to the Lab you will be invited to submit a short case study based on your own organisation to be the focus of one of exercises undertaken during the Lab. A small number of these cases will be chosen, based on their learning value to the wider group.

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Louise de Muscote

Louise de Muscote


Sustainable Innovation Lab

"This Lab built well on the previous Lab that I completed, and has really given me much food for thought and ideas for action."

Head of Sustainability, Pret A Manger

Business Model Innovation Lab

"A great two-day course that surpassed my expectations, using practical tools to challenge the way we think about our own business and challenge how bold we are being in our approach and role in tackling the sustainability issues in our own supply chains."

Agriculture and Sustainability Development Manager, NSF International

Embedding Natural Capital Lab

"Very informative, stimulating and an excellent networking opportunity."

Principal Geoscientist & Operations Geologist, Energy Geoscience

Embedding Natural Capital Lab & Sustainable Innovation Lab

“The Sustainability Leadership Labs enabled me to gain a global perspective on material issues that are impacting businesses today. I left the Labs with practical tools and knowledge that could be used immediately when I returned to the office… Every lab is unique but also consistent in providing a learning experience with other practitioners that prepares you for the volatile and uncertain environment we all operate in.”

Manager, Responsible Business, Old Mutual Emerging Markets 

Sustainability Leadership, Sustainable Innovation, & Business Model Innovation Labs

"The Leadership Labs at Cambridge have been a key way for me to gain direct insights from a broad range of academic and business thought leaders, on how organisations need to adapt in order to respond to the challenges and opportunities that sustainability poses. They also provided a forum to gain wide input from a range of other organisations how my company could respond to the opportunities and challenges. These insights have been crucial to allow me to more confidently influence internally, build business case and drive meaningful  change… and these Labs have offered an effective and flexible way to build and maintain my knowledge."

Fabrics Sustainability, W.L.Gore & Associates