Our Focus Areas:
Is your company sufficiently prepared for the risks and opportunities presented by sustainability?
How will trending social, economic, technological and environmental pressures affect your business five years from now? We are organized to help you understand and prepare for this. The outcome for you is a business that is more agile and resilient against uncertainty and prepared to capitalize on emerging opportunities. What will the future bring for you? We are here to help you understand and prepare for what's next.
The Sustainable Development Association (SDA) is a non-profit organization that encourages the sustainable transformation of business and industrial practices. To this end, the SDA undertakes strategic research, analysis and training programs, and provides strategic and advisory services.
Design Foresight & Innovation
Our Design Foresight process is simple yet effective; Foresight to Insight to Action. We use workshops to engage our clients in a collaborative exploration of mid-to-long term driving forces. By providing a creative environment wherein participants can comfortably explore future potential, we provoke collective reflection from which we synthesize actionable insight. This process is especially useful in situations where thinking may be constrained by established organizational practices or legacy offerings.
The purpose of foresight is not to predict the future but to make more robust decisions in the present. Design Foresight is a structured and informed brainstorming activity which inspires concrete action leading to future opportunities.
Outcomes from conducting regular Design Foresight Workshops typically include;
- A more confident literacy among participants on mid-to-long term business drivers & risks (i.e. a 'foresight culture' from which confident business decisions regularly emerge)
- Improved organizational agility (anticipation & responsiveness to change)
- Earlier opportunity recognition and improved competitive advantage (i.e. requirements are defined more appropriately to the context of future customer needs)
- A counter-balance to the day-to-day urgencies which drive agendas to be short-term even in functions mandated to look and plan for the long-term (i.e. balances management focus between near-term deliverables and long term value creation)
The SDA offers you tailored training to increase your design and management teams' capacity to make decisions within the sustainability context. Sustainability issues are evolving faster than traditional business practices. Companies can easily find themselves in trouble when this external context evolves faster than their established knowledge. The goal of the SDA's sustainability training is to ensure that your staff are making the right decisions to assure the long-term security of your business with the least dependency on external expertise.
As a non-profit organization, the SDA is positioned to present independently objective and balanced perspectives that reflect the latest research and sustainability thinking. Our extensive network of practitioners, experimenters and reflective thinkers, and our commitment to leverage our collective capabilities, ensure that you will receive the best training possible. Our focus on design, innovation and foresight ensures that our training materials are pragmatic, relevant, and opportunity-oriented.
Guidance for Sustainable Products and Services
If your company is serious about contributing to sustainability, then you need to ensure that everyone involved in developing business offerings understands how your products or services are used and the social, environmental and economic implications of their use. A commitment to sustainability is fundamentally a commitment to explore these themes and their implications to your business model.
The SDA is uniquely positioned to offer the development of tailored frameworks that enable the design of progressively sustainable products or services by your organization. We have experience in developing sustainable product indices that overcome the complexities of sustainability and provide clear and tangible guidance to product and service development staff. A Sustainable Product Index (SPI) covers environmental, social and economic design considerations. In many cases, designers need guidance in order to define what constitutes a sustainable product. The SPI provides a low-risk, low cost, high-value framework to guide, commit, and track concepts that build toward your organization's sustainability goals.
We work with you to develop a Sustainable Product Index that exactly suits your business context and future goals. By necessity, this Index will include elements that are not defined by your established design processes. The benefits of the SPI are that it helps you to;
- 'Future-proof' the design of product and service offerings,
- Ensure early business commitment to key aspirational targets for creating future value,
- Confidently differentiate your offerings from your competition, and;
- Define, secure, and sustain unique sustainability market positioning.
Obstacles & Opportunities Coaching
Bringing new sustainable solutions into the marketplace can be a daunting challenge. Our network of Sustainability Navigators will bring their lifetimes of experience to your situation and help you overcome obstacles. Whether these obstacles consist of the regulatory landscape, pinpointing the best strategic Collaborators, generating media attention or simply overcoming established market forces, we can help. Our extensive experience also enables us to assess technical and commercial viability and identify supporting institutions and researchers. Let us help you by fine-tuning your critical path and navigating the many hurdles involved in the launch and market entry of new technologies and services.