Course code INN360

INN360 Sustainable Business Model Innovation

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Elin Kubberød
ECTS credits: 25
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in the spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in the June block.
Course frequency: The course is given once: Spring 2020.
First time: Study year 2019-2020
Last time: 2021V
Course contents:

The course shall provide the students with basic knowledge about the role of innovation for sustainable development. The world is now facing huge social and environmental challenges that need to be solved and it seems obvious that business as usual is not an option for a sustainable future.

Business model innovation is currently being discussed as an approach to address sustainability challenges, such as those formulated by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the course, we will focus on how business model innovation can contribute to new and disruptive solutions that will make a difference. The students will work in teams of two and use design thinking as a mindset and approach to develop new solutions that would change how we think about future business and innovation.

Design thinking is a user centric innovation methodology that contains a tool-box of techniques that encourages the creation of deep insights, problem definition, and opens of for alternative solutions around problem solving. Rather than going for the first idea, design thinking encourages prototyping and iteration for testing and learning.

The achievement of the SDGs depends heavily on efficient application of creative thinking and technologies. For example, what opportunities and challenges lies within digital technologies for the development of sustainable business models. Through the course the students will obtain knowledge and direct hands on experience on how to create sustainable value through new business model designs. The course will depart from a real problem in the real life that matter for ours future and the students will develop a new concept and sustainable business model.

Learning outcome:


  • The students shall acquire knowledge within chosen topics related to sustainability and SDGs.
  • The students should get a comprehensive understanding of the concept of a sustainable business model.
  • The students should get deep knowledge of business model innovation with focus on user centric innovation and Design Thinking.


  • The students shall apply Design Thinking as method to finalize a business concept and sustainable business model.
  • The students shall through collaborative learning and problem solving develop new and creative solutions of value for society and stakeholder, and through this develop themselves as innovative agents.
  • The students will train their ability to review literature, collect data and information, process and analyze complex information and data, and finally structure a comprehensive project and report.
  • Use relevant theories and apply them to comprehend and reflect upon their learning process.


  • The students will develop their digital collaborative competence
  • The students will develop their problem solving and creative skills under extreme environmental uncertainty.
  • The students will develop their own analytical and reflective capacity on working with wicked problems and reflect upon their actions.
  • The students will through team-work develop their social and communication skills
Learning activities:
Individual self-study and supervised group work throughout the semester.
Teaching support:
Canvas and weekly follow up supervision. The students will work out and sign a team contract which regulate the team-work.
Selected books and articles on sustainability, sustainable business models and sustainable business model innovation, and design thinking (see canvas). In addition, the course involves completion of a full online course from the SDG Academy: The SDG courses are particularly suited to be integrated into existing sustainable related university courses.
Completed 1. semester and enrolled at the master program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Recommended prerequisites:
INN210 Innovation.
Mandatory activity:
One approved MOOC course from the SDG academy (obtained certificate of a free of choice course). Weekly group logs of project progress.
An overall evaluation of a semester project (30-40 pages project report) and an individual reflection report (10 pages). No re-sit examinations in this course.
Nominal workload:
750 hours.
Entrance requirements:
For students in the master program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Internal examiner. External examiner controls the quality of the syllabus and the principles for the final assessment.
Examination details: :