Lara Obst, who graduated from the University of Twente (NL) and the Technical University of Berlin (GER), won the fourth edition of the Philippe de Woot Award yesterday, 29 February 2016. She was awarded the prize for her Master thesis on Utilizing the Business Model Canvas to Enable Sustainability Measurement on the Business Model Level. An Indicator Framework Supplementing the Business Model Canvas. According to the jury, she delivered, in comparison to the other 3 finalists, the most relevant and innovative contribution to a better awareness of sustainable business. The winner will receive a 3,000-euro cash prize, 1,500 euros of which should be invested in an ecological or social project of her own choice. Lara will invest this in Ecosia.
Lara Obst, winner of the 2016 Philippe de Woot Award
This year, the awards ceremony was organized by the Antwerp Management School, on behalf of an association of Belgian universities and business schools including the University of Antwerp, Solvay Brussels School, ICHEC Brussels Management School, Université Saint Louis Bruxelles, Université de Namur, HEC-Ulg, Louvain School of Management (UCL) and Vlerick Business School. The organization is also supported by the BASF Deloitte Elia Chair on Sustainability.
The 2 others nominees were Anna Sellen Runefjell with her master's thesis "Eco-Tourists and the Learning-Scape: Consumers’ Learning Experience at an Eco-Lodge in Australia" and Mattias F. Trischler & Cecilia Gregersen and their master thesis "The case of the Kenyan renewable energy sector".
Others nominees from left to right: Anna Sellen Runefjell and the co-working pair Mattias F. Trischler & Cecilia Gregersen
With their biannual inter-university Philippe de Woot Award, Belgium’s major management schools aim to boost corporate awareness of the increasing importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the current social and economic context. The organizers also want their initiative to stimulate young people to start thinking differently about sustainability in business. Indeed, the students of today are the managers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. This edition boasted participation of a record number of theses, which, moreover, had been submitted from all over the world. This increase was possible by the successful cooperation with CEMS (The Global Alliance in Management Education) PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education), CSR Europe, EFMD and Fondation Louvain, all organizations that do special efforts to create greater awareness of the growing importance of CSR in management education.
Summary of the thesis
The thesis investigates how startups, investors and other stakeholders can easily identify, measure and evaluate the sustainability performance of companies on a comprehensive business model level. Theoretical and empiric exploration has led to the discovery of a set of 15 so-called key Sustainability Performance Indicators (SPI). With the help of some 20 sustainability experts these have been mapped into an SPI Framework which supplements Osterwalder’s business model canvas and turns it into a handy management tool for the three mentioned target group users.