The Blueprint for Change Programme – A Showcase on RRI
Posted by Experimentarium and Athena Institute on 20 Jul 2016
To help bring RRI to life, the RRI Tools project has identified eight showcases, which are good examples of RRI in practice. We will introduce you to each of these, explaining what it is and why they are good representatives of RRI. At the end of the article, find a testimonial on how you could use the showcase training resource to have a better understanding of RRI, get trained and train others.
The Blueprint for Change Programme is a series of business cases that aim to identify the drivers of shared value creation, measure realised benefits for both society and the organisation, and share this information with stakeholders. One of the cases that was conducted is a case on how Novo Nordisk is working on changing diabetes in Indonesia. This showcase is based on the information and the activities that were developed and conducted in Indonesia.
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. Novo Nordisk drives change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 41,000 people in 75 countries and markets its products in more than 180 countries.
The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is a key element of the company’s values-based management system formalised in the Novo Nordisk Way. It is based on the belief that a healthy economy, environment, and society are fundamental to long-term business success, which is why social, financial and environmental considerations must be taken into account when decisions are made and the solutions that are reached must generate shared value.
In order to address the social challenges of our time, cross-disciplinary and intersectoral collaboration in research and innovation is required. Although many would support this claim, it remains to be seen who would put this into practice and what type of results such collaboration could yield. The Blueprint for Change Programme describes key points of collaboration between industry, research, local and national partners in Indonesia, with the aim to provide insight on how to put RRI into practice.
The programme aims to enhance the understanding of how Novo Nordisk creates value through its Triple Bottom Line business principle that take social, financial and environmental considerations into account when making decisions.
The learning outcomes and key challenges that are discussed within this showcase are:
- A broader discussion of the ‘value’ definition
- How addressing societal issues can lead to measurable and sustainable value creation for the society and all partners involved
- How to create and sustain long term cross sector partnerships
- How private sector can be a valuable partner in solving societal issues by taking decision in a financially, socially and environmentally responsible way.
Today, many stakeholders in society have heightened expectations of business when it comes to demonstrating genuine initiative, innovation and leadership on some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges such as climate change, poverty, health and nutrition. A growing number of business leaders now recognise the importance of embedding sustainability in their operations if they are to thrive, attract the best employees, build a strong customer base and enhance their licence to operate.
Creating shared value is an idea that many companies have embraced as a strategy for successful expansion. As the philosophy goes, societal needs define markets and companies that do business in a way that benefits society can create a profitable cycle for both. Many of the process requirements that are defined in the RRI Tools project are quite evident in the working processes within Novo Nordisk and within the Blueprint for Change Programme and examples of these are presented in the showcase.
How to use the Blueprint for Change Programme showcase in training?
This is an inspirational case in a variety of respects and can be of value to different types of stakeholders. For instance, what it shows is that
- There is a powerful narrative in the showcases, sometimes even more powerful than experiencing the toolkit. The toolkit is great for people who are already “converted” to RRI but for newcomers to a workshop this showcases are very useful.
- It shows the possibility to work on an existing practice and reframing it in RRI terms.
- NovoNordisk is a key industrial player in Europe and this showcase shows it can be seen as a knowledge broker. It is therefore very useful that they include RRI as a basic pillar of their strategy.
- It’s a showcase not only useful for the industrial sector but for almost any participant attending a workshop: it gives a view on how other stakeholders can work with a company.
- It is possible and possibly recommendable to make the showcase “lighter” and to remove some of the NovoNordisk “marketing language”, to focus more on the learning outcomes (in terms of RRI process dimensions) and skip some of the parts presenting the company.
- It’s important to note that (wanted) learning outcomes should be discussed, either at the beginning of the workshop or even before the session with participants.
- RRI can be presented as an added value in term of marketing—with all its potential benefits and risks.
- This particular showcase is very useful to openly talk about a not-so-frequently used approach to RRI, which boils down to “we want to make profit, and thís is how to do it.”
Pim Klaassen works at the Athena Institute in Amsterdam, the RRI Tools Hub coordinator for the Netherlands