How to build for sustainability? Use this new toolkit!


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Principles for Digital Development are nine globally-accepted guidelines that assist companies and organizations on their path of digital transformation. We have already written on our blog about innovative evaluation tools that the Principles team came up with last year, and how they can be applied in real-life processes within an organization. Recently, there has been a new toolkit released to provide even further support in practical use of the Principles. Business Model Sustainability Toolkit aims at the “Build for Sustainability” principle and arms the endorsers with a sustainable business model framework.

In this article we will introduce you to the contents of this new toolkit and discuss the importance of the whole initiative.

Build for Sustainability

More on the “Build for Sustainability” principle: here.

The concept of sustainability is hard to define and that lack of clearness can cause problems in interpreting and applying the “Build for Sustainability” principle. In different organizations sustainability takes on different forms, which makes it even more difficult to word one universal definition of this principle.

Due to that reason Fondation Botnar collaborated with the Digital Principles and funded a new toolkit that supports organizations’ strive for sustainability.

Business Model Sustainability Toolkit

build for sustainability

The Business Model Sustainability (BMS) Toolkit was created with the thought of social enterprises, NGOs, and small businesses. Its main purpose is to help them be successful not temporarily, but in the long-term, by providing them with necessary tools and resources.

The BMS Toolkit consists of two parts: Business Model Sustainability Canvas, which is a template helpful in developing new strategy, and a Business Model Sustainability Guide that steers you through the process of building your sustainability.

The Canvas is built of 11 customizable blocks, where you can take notes on your organization’s: value proposition, customer segments, channels, customer relations, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, partners, cost structure, organizational development, and end game. The best way to fill this template is by using the guide. It explains every step of creating a business model for sustainability.

The guide breaks down each phase of applying the toolkit in your organization. Along with instructions, it provides users with additional resources and points out which ones of the Digital Principles are relevant in which case. The guide is really rich in materials and practical advice.

Here is a quick overview of all of the 11 building blocks that can be found in the BMS Canvas. They are furtherly explained in the BMS Guide:

build for sustainability

Creating sustainable, impactful projects is a big challenge, especially for NGOs and small businesses. Thanks to tools and resources provided by the Digital Principles it is easier to understand your organization’s goals and potential, and shape its path to success. 

Along with this new toolkit we also highly recommend reading about the Digital Principles evaluation tools and their usage. Their overviews can be found in the links down below.

More about the Digital Principles:

Organizational Self-Assessment Survey
Digital Principles Indicator Library
Digital Principles-Focused Evaluation
The Principles For Digital Development: Gold Practices

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