Their workspace, your innovation

“Social media and sustainability are both about cultural change”, said Justin Yuen, founder of FMYI (For MY Innovation) when asked to explained why his online workspace was being used to leverage sustainable initiatives inside big companies like Sony and Nike.

BusinessWeek published an article about this revolutionary application (they say it beats Basecamp, Facebook and FriendFeed) where your team can store and share information in a secure but transparent and collaborative way.

He came up with the idea while working in CSR for Nike: he noted that while many people had good ideas concerning sustainable development, putting those efforts in conversation was more than just launching a series of corporative workshops.

In FMYI “each person gets their own social networking-style profile page, and each team can have a page too. Then, anyone can create a workspace page to post messages, share files, add links, set tasks, and more”.

The initiative has succeeded in encouraging companies of different sizes and colors to open an account and start harnessing the power behind their own stakeholders. And enterprise 2.0 gets another nudge forward.


Prepare your acceptance speech

In our quest to find everything that helps join the keywords of sustainable development and Web 2.0, we couldn’t help but drawing our heads towards the recently launched “Sustainability 2.0 Award”.

The initiative is a product of Justmeans, a development that lets you promote your company’s good work through an online community of targeted audiences and their one-stop online distribution technology.

The Award reads as follows:

“Is your company using social media to engage with stakeholders on sustainability issues? Are you using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging or other social tools to engage with stakeholders? Tell us your story and your company may be eligible for the Sustainability 2.0 Award, honouring the most innovative use of social media for corporate sustainability stakeholder engagement. The winner will be selected by a prestigious group of social media and sustainability experts participating in our Stakeholder Sustainability Engagement event on September 14-15 in NYC. The award will be presented at the event’s drinks’ reception on September 14 and our three finalists will be invited to present their stories at this exciting event examining best practice in corporate sustainability engagement”.

The initiative is as fresh, yound and unpredictable as it is challenging, just as the concept of sustainability 2.0 itself, but we definitely want to follow its progress.

To learn more, submit your idea or get in touch with people from Justmeans, click here.

How on Earth can we live together?

The planet, the economy, technology & energy, learning & education
and governance & security are the five main focus dimensions that occupy the participants of the Tällberg Forum, which takes place every year since 2005.

This year Ernesto van Peborgh, founder of El Viaje de Odiseo consultancy firm, had the chance to attend the event and participate of the debates.

So what is the forum about anyway?

“The Tällberg Forum is an arena for reflection, conversations and the search for creative solutions, integrating both nature and the arts, where people feel free to step outside of their professional identity, to share doubts and new ideas, and search for ways forward outside of established frameworks. It acts to stimulate the conversation on, and design solutions to the problems of our times in order to foster new thinking and solutions”.

The Forum included a variety of programs and workshops that happened during five days (June 24 – 28) and gave the participants the opportunity to meet colleagues and like-minded people to brainstorm and conversate on ideas, initiatives, actions that can better the world.

We’re very excited to have been part of this year edition, and hopefully we’ll be able to bring new ideas to this table.

To get started, we recommend these videos of some of the most amazing talks:

Gro Harlem Brundtland
Session IV: The task ahead. Keynote address by the former Prime Minister of Norway.

Amory Lovins
Session V: Copenhagen – five months to go.
The Fossil-Fuel End-game

Paul Gilding
Session III – The diverging interests.
Final reflections by the CEO and Founding Partner of Ecos Corporation, Australia.

The photo belongs to the workshop Ernesto participated in. From left to right: Leif Utne (Utne Reader), Antonella Battaglini (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), Felix Finkbeiner (Plant for the Planet), Guido Axmann, Frithjof Finkbeiner, our very own Ernesto van Peborgh (El Viaje de Odiseo), Jose Maria Figueres ( and Aimee Christensen (Christensen Global).

What is a prosumer?

Every day, often more than once we get involved in a certain type of activity that requires our time and money, but no so frequently our thoughts and reflection.

Yes, we’re talking about buying and consumption. How much thinking did you invest the last time you purchased something?

From Sustainability 2.0, the book:

Over the course of the 1990s, in line with the growth of the participative media and the responsible consumer and free trade movements, a new type of customer began to emerge, the most distinctive trait of whom was an awareness of the impact of his/her actions on the environment and society.

A minority within the world population began to gather at the front doors of companies and say, “Enough! Down with pollution, down with destruction, down with slave labor, child exploitation, pauper’s wages, unfair rules and productive models that are non-sustainable in the long term.”

Satellites, camcorders, blogs, Web 2.0 and cell phones all served to facilitate communications among these different groups and to the chagrined surprise of companies, different forms of interaction came into play and consumers grabbed control like never before, organizing themselves into a variety of movements.

This is the new consumer, the prosumer.

To further this topic, we suggest reading this article on consumers choosing to buy green.

Towards a diagnosis of an enterprise 2.0

In our book Sustainability 2.0 we reached a level of consensus on what an enterprise 2.0 should really be like, and we recently introduced the concept here.

In brief, it is suggested that the main objective of a 2.0 business is to generate spaces in which people can realize their personal projects on a collective basis: a distributive network that encourages new relations without being bound by centralized decision-making and in which those on the periphery are just as important as those in the middle.

Some time ago we designed this chart to make a diagnosis for an Argentinian top telecommunications company, in which we aimed to survey 400 top managers about this topic, and we share our conclusions with you.

The axis “Technology” measures the level of adoption of hardware and modernization of the organization.

The axis “Adoption of tools and philosophy of the web 2.0″ intends to evaluate the level of understanding of this new way of thinking, the behavior of the people within the organization and the adoption of social software that fosters collaboration, openness and transparency.

Bottom left are all the traditional enterprises in any part of the world. Vertical hierarchies dominate the process of decision making. There are low levels of modernization and technology adoption.

Top left are all the modern and hype enterprises that invest heavily in technology. Their human resources have the knowledge but fail to understand the philosophy of this new paradigm: networking, collaboration and collective intelligence. These are the kind of companies that ban the use of MSN and other 2.0 tools during workhours.

“Social Enterprise” includes academic institutions and NGOs where the people want to open themselves and share, but they still have not learned to use the tools and face the digital gap.

Top right is what many of us have defined as enterprise 2.0.

Our main hypothesis is that in order to achieve this, first of all we need to change people’s values and every day attitudes. It is not so much how many new media tools they accumulate as how much they change their mindsets.

It is not just a question of joining Facebook or Twitter or persuading the CEO to open a blog. Instead, it means putting into practice what we define as “key attitudes”: collaborate, render control, create and share.

What for?

The company should resemble a pond, where ideas emerge as bubbles from the bottom, go up without obstacles and reach the surface. In this model, ideas are visible and get done, attracting new ideas on their way.

What about your own company? What is your current enterprise 2.0 status?