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Business Model Innovation

Discover innovative approaches and new business models to help your business thrive. Learn how your business can use innovation to become more resilient, contribute to social development and unlock competitive advantage.


This short course was delivered 17–18 October 2017.
Dates for the 2018 course are to be confirmed. 

Duration, format and location

Two-day professional development residential seminar; Cambridge, UK


The course fee is £700 to £2,250, including accommodation and meals (see fees table). Lower fees are available for multiple delegates or Labs, not-for-profits, developing countries, and self-funded individuals.

How to apply

Submit your application or find out more about the selection criteria.


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

Companies that want to remain competitive and operate sustainably in an increasingly interconnected world need to be able to predict how their actions will affect the value they create. But in order to do this they need to be able to manage information from the complex network they operate in and do so through the lifecycle of their products. Identifying all the value flows within a network can reveal opportunities for innovation and improvement. The challenge is how to envisage and design the right future business model.


Business model innovation

Within the theme of sustainable innovation, use cutting-edge business model tools designed by the University of Cambridge to discover how to transform your business to deliver uncaptured and sustainable value.

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?

Answers to these questions will be explored at our forthcoming Lab on the theme of innovation, using three powerful innovation tools designed by the University of Cambridge. These tools are designed to help you gain new perspectives on forms of value, provide a structured approach to maximise value among stakeholders and equip you with an organised method for implementing sustainable change in a business.

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


Learn from industry experts and thought leaders

The workshop will be led by Commercial Director, Ian Bamford and Senior Research Associate, Dr Doroteya Vladimirova from the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) at the University of Cambridge, who will provide you with a deep dive into the application of these tools.

Keynote speaker

Our keynote speaker is Ryan Gellert, General Manager – EMEA, Patagonia. This lecture, on Tuesday 17 October, is open to CISL Network members. Please see our events page for more information and to register for a place.

Other speakers  

  • Mark Adams, Managing Director, Vitsoe
  • Ian Bamford, Commercial Director of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Steve Evans, Director of Research, Institute for Manufacturing; Director of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability, University of Cambridge
  • Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business, Marks and Spencer
  • Dr Doroteya Vladimirova, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge


Innovation lab logs


Who should attend?

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

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:

  • gain new perspectives on value creation and capture
  • analyse and deliver sustainable value across a product lifecycle
  • identify opportunities for implementing circular economy solutions
  • experience a structured approach to discovering failed value exchanges among stakeholders
  • develop a new lens for business model innovation
  • use an organised method for implementing sustainability innovation
  • develop your ability to design your sustainability strategy and develop a comprehensive action plan to implement change in your business
  • gain access to the CISL international network of sustainability leaders
  • share and learn from others about being a change agent.

"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."

Simon Davis, Agriculture and Sustainability Development Manager, NSF International


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.


Interested in this sustainability short course?

Apply for the Lab or to find out more.

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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