BA 850
Sustainability Driven Innovation

Lesson 2 Overview


Lesson 2 Overview


In this Lesson, our goal is to move from what may be more straightforward -- or at least semi-generally understood -- aspects of Planet from Lesson 1, and into the more esoteric.  My intent in this Lesson, after showing the tremendous latitude organizations charitably extend themselves in Lesson 1, is to show you the even more amorphous People facet of sustainability.  Where Planet aspects may have at least some anchor in the physical or empirical, People aspects rely on the definition and measurement of topics like worker engagement and happiness.

As we will cover in more depth in the second half of this course, it is essential in any measurement dealing with perception or emotion to pay special attention to research design and how questions are asked, as People-related aspects will deal with behaviors, perceptions, and survey results.  If you have even a passing interest in the science of political polling, for example, you will very quickly see how selection bias, question design, and other factors can drastically influence outcomes.  We will see how some organizations use this skew to their benefit.

In moving through this Lesson, my intent is to show you the second pillar of sustainability and all of the modern manifestations of it, but also to expose you to even more ill-defined aspects of Sustainability -- those which are made that much more malleable by the motivations of organizations.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • discern People-centric metrics and initiatives within a Corporate Sustainability Report;
  • evaluate an organization's approach to People issues through the lens of their stated Vision, Mission, and Values;
  • discern strategies and tactics used in organizations with proactive approaches to People aspects;
  • express how organizations engaging their workforces and communities benefit in tangible ways;
  • articulate the value of the stakeholder engagement process.

Lesson Roadmap

To Read Chapters 3 and 4 (Keeley, et al.)

Documents and assets as noted/linked in the Lesson (optional)
To Do Case Assignment: Nike and Apple
  • Case Post
  • Case Response
  • Peer Voting


If you have any questions, please send them to my Faculty email. I will check daily to respond. If your question is one that is relevant to the entire class, I may respond to the entire class rather than individually.