Collaboration, Co-creation & New Business Models

Part of the ‘Towards Sustainable Product Design’ series of conferences

18th International Conference
4th-5th November 2013
University for the Creative Arts


At Rio + 20 in June 2012 the global community re-affirmed ‘green economy’ and inclusive ‘green growth’ as a key focus for policy makers. However, Europe continues to stagnate with growing social unrest, whilst economic growth is slowing in Asia and the US has re-elected Obama as president. The one constant is change. Companies are being forced to rethink business models to adapt to the economic imperative, changing weather patterns, natural disasters and resource scarcity. In times of crisis there are often opportunities and there is a growing interest in creating new business models that deliver economic value whilst reducing negative environmental and social impacts. For example, designing ‘cradle to cradle’ manufacturing systems to retain the ownership of materials through service contracts with customers may start to become an increasingly attractive option as raw material prices continue to fluctuate. Companies may be forced to think more strategically about the management of materials rather than the buying of components, parts and raw materials and the procurement of recycling and waste management services. This may mean growing investment in infrastructure and technology to retain the ownership of products and their materials in ‘closed loops’. New information and communication technologies (ICT) are also facilitating change. Both large and small companies are starting to experiment with sourcing new ideas for low carbon and resource efficient products, services and technologies through crowd sourcing campaigns, co-developing and jamming new concepts from multiple locations and sharing unused knowledge and patents. In addition, various crowd funding competitions are being launched for start-ups and existing firms targeted at personal investors who want to support and engage directly with environmentally/socially innovative businesses. Social networking technologies are driving inter-connectedness, communication and information sharing with, for example, Facebook signing up its 1 billionth user in October 2012. Enabled by this, new models of sharing and collaborative consumption are also emerging potentially improving the utilisation of materials and embedded energy. However, the implications for sustainability of this fast paced change are complex and will unravel over the next decade as technology moves forward and ‘Generation Y’ starts to exert more influence.


Sustainable Innovation 13  will provide a platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges related to collaboration, co-creation and new business models related to sustainability, products, services and technologies. Sustainable Innovation 13 will include invited and refereed papers from academics, consultants, entrepreneurs, investors, technology providers, designers, innovation, sustainability managers as well as other business functions. The event will create a unique space for learning, networking and thinking. Delegates will come globally from large companies, SMEs, as well as academia, government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The conference is supported by an international Advisory Board.

Conference Topics

Sustainable Innovation 13  welcomes conceptual and research-based papers focused on sustainable innovation related to collaboration, co-creation and new business models. Papers should cover sustainability, product, service and technology design, development and commercialisation issues related to the following topics:


Sustainable Innovation 13  will provide a range of benefits to speakers and delegates:

Forum for new thinking, ideas and concepts
Presentations from international researchers, practitioners and policy-makers
New research, results and thinking
Opportunities to meet business, government and academia
Over 2000 delegates from over 50 countries have attended previous events

Submission details

Email, fax or post 500 word abstracts describing your proposed paper by 30th April 2013. The paper will then be sent to the Advisory Board for evaluation and authors will be given feedback by the end of June 2013. The highest rated papers will be invited to present at the conference. Please only submit abstracts if you have budgets to attend the conference.

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For more information on Sustainable Innovation 13   please contact:

Professor Martin Charter
The Centre for Sustainable Design ®
University for the Creative Arts
Farnham Campus
Tel: + 44 (0) 1252 892772
Fax: + 44 (0) 1252 892747

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