INN360 Sustainable Business Model Innovation

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Matthew Patrick James Lynch

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:Maximum number of students are 30.

Course frequency:Yearly

Nominal workload:250 hours.

Teaching and exam period:The course starts and ends in the autumn parelell.

About this course

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 and use systems thinking as a mindset and approach to develop new solutions that would change how we think about future business and innovation.

Systems thinking is a perspective that aims to see the bigger picture, while also paying attention to the details. It recognises that the conenctions and relationships are equally import as the individual parts of the system. The course is based on using a practical approach to influencing systms, therefore the course has a heavy focus on applying theory to a challenge selected by the students early in the semster.

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 our future and the students will develop a new concept with a sustainable business model or redesign an existing business model.

Learning outcome


  • The students shall acquire knowledge within chosen topics related to sustainability.
  • 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 Systems 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 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
  • Students should be mentally prepared to work actively through the course, as the course does not follow a passive approach of students listening to lectures. Instead they are expected to be actively engaged in learning both in the class and outside of the classroom through group work.

    Individual self-study and supervised group work throughout the semester. 7-10 seminars. Weekly documentation and logging of project work progress.

    Campus teaching without streaming

  • Canvas and weekly follow up supervision. The students will work out and sign a team contract which regulate the team-work. The teams are self selected and select their own problem statement.
  • Oral exam based on a final written report. The written report must be delivered in order to take the verbal exam.

    Oral exam Grading: Letter grades
  • An external examiner will participate at the final oral examination.
    • Weekly group logs of project progress,
    • Run a workshop (as a group),
    • Present an assigned article in class.
    • Final written report
  • The course will be mentoring based, meaning students will mainly be responsible for their own project planning and progression. There will be some seminars and follow up.
  • Master students in Entrepreneurship and innovation, and Bioeconomy.
  • 10 stp. overlap between INN360 with version code V20
  • Students in the master programs in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and in Bioeconomy have first priority.

    Students from other programs at NMBU can contact to be put on a waiting list.