We are at the beginning of the sustainability era. The biggest challenge of our generation is to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. For this we must be willing to understand and change the root causes that create these challenges in the first place. The system itself needs to change. But how to do that?
This ground-breaking book Changing the Game reveals the missing insights and strategies to actually achieve system change. The authors Lucas Simons and André Nijhof bring decades of real life and academic experience, and state that most of the sustainability challenges are actually caused by the same system failures, every time. Therefore, the way to accelerate and manage system change is also similar every time – if you know where to look and how to act.
The theory of sustainable market transformation and system change is described in a compelling and easy to understand eight-step approach applied to eight different sectors. The authors, together with respected sector experts, describe the drivers, triggers and dominant thinking in each of these sectors as well as the strategies needed to move towards higher levels of sustainability.
This book is highly accessible and engaging, and is perfect for use by professionals, leaders and students for understanding how to move markets to a more sustainable future.
Table of Contents
Part 1: What are the sustainability challenges of our generation?
1. The biggest challenges of our generation
Part 2: What is causing these sustainability problems?
2. The Rules of the Game
Part 3: How do we solve this?
3. How do you change the rules of the game?
Part 4: The models applied - Eight Sectors in Transition
4.1 The textile and garment sector in transition
4.2 The chemical sector in transition: from care to circularity
4.3 The tourism sector in transition
4.4 The gold sector in transition
4.5 The construction sector in transition
4.6 Agriculture in transition
4.7 The energy sector in transition
4.8 The finance sector in transition
Part 5: How can you apply sustainable market transformation theory to your own practice?
5.1 Applying the theory to real life
Lucas Simons is the founder of NewForesight and SCOPEinsight. He is a leading and award-winning business and sustainability advisor, international public speaker, and author of Changing the Food Game (2014) and Changing the Game (2020). Lucas is known for getting results in system change and sustainable market transformation at a global scale.
André Nijhof is a professor in the field of Sustainable Business and Stewardship at Nyenrode Business Universiteit, the Netherlands. He is author of the book Triple P Business Development (with Taco van Someren) and leads executive programs like CSR in Action, Finance in Transition and Frontrunners in Stewardship.
"You cannot be successful in a world that fails. Companies today have the scale, the power and the innovative strength to contribute to a better world. They also have the responsibility to do so. This book shows you how. From understanding why markets become unsustainable, why it is so hard to change it, to what can be done to change the system. This book covers it all and gives the stepwise approach for sustainable market transformation. If you are serious about sustainability, study this work and apply it." - Feike Sijbesma, Former CEO of DSM, designated Global Climate Leader for the World Bank Group, Co-Chair of the High Level Assembly of the group's Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and Co-Chair of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation.
"Becoming a systems thinker is perhaps the most important step any of us can take in fighting climate change, poverty, inequality and other global challenges. This book is an excellent resource for those looking to make the shift. The authors take the reader on a journey from understanding our problems in terms of the systems that created them, through how these systems work to what we can do to change them. They also provide inspiring and practical examples of how systemic change can and is being achieved in many of the key industries that shape our societies. We need more systems thinkers to tackle the problems we are facing, and more books like this to train more systems thinkers." - Luke Disney, CEO Just-BI, former Executive Director of the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, former Executive Director of North Star Alliance
"This is a terrific book that helps us understand what we have to do to respond to the climate crisis. It is a thoughtful analysis of the role that businesses can play if they are serious about becoming sustainable. There is much practical wisdom here."- R. Edward Freeman, University Professor, The Darden School, University of Virginia
"Corporate responsibility should not be just a nice project in the margins, but should be embedded in the corporate DNA. It takes systems thinking to realize fundamental market transformations. This book gives you the tools to analyze, step by step, what needs to be done. The book provides colorful practical examples and helps to answer the essential question: how can you become a sustainability change maker?" - Professor Dr Roel Nieuwenkamp, former Chair OECD Committee on Corporate Responsibility, currently Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands to Argentina
"Proven drivers for fundamental change are charismatic leadership, "pain in the value chain" and disruptive business models. This book proposes that "getting far together" as business, civil society and government, guided by a positive, global, universal agenda (such as the SDGs) is offering an alternative inspiring and equally effective approach. This is particularly so if driven by individual game-changers in all sectors and facilitated by a pro-active government in its roles as law-maker regulator, policymaker and market actor. The book should be a platform for such multi-stakeholder cooperation to take "the collective actions for the world we want"!" - Herman Mulder, Chairman SDG Netherlands, co-founder and Chair of the True Price and Impact Economy Foundations
"The need to change business as usual towards a significantly more environmentally and socially sustainable trajectory is ever more pressing, but how can this challenge be tackled? Changing the Game is an engaging read that starts off with highlighting the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges, followed by the root-causes, and then ends with possible pathways forward. The inclusion of 40 expert contributions from business and academia covering 8 sectors - mining, energy, textiles, chemicals, construction, agriculture, tourism and finance - will be helpful and inspiring for change makers of all walks of life." - Nancy Bocken, Professor in Sustainable Business, Maastricht Sustainability Institute; Fellow Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership; co-founder HOMIE pay-per-use
"This book draws on comprehensive academic research and the wisdom of 40 practitioners to offer a coherent picture of sustainability challenges and strategies for overcoming them. It digs into the causes of these problems to develop a model that facilitates practical solutions applicable to a variety of markets. Thoughtful and engaging, the book is a must-read for practitioners who want to learn how their organizations can do well by doing good for society and the planet." - Joanne B. Ciulla, Professor, Department of Management and Global Business, Director, Institute for Ethical Leadership, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick
"'We need less talkers, we need more do-ers,’ say the authors of Changing the Game. I could not agree more! Happily, this book gives plenty of practical actions to help build a more sustainable world." - Professor David Grayson CBE, Emeritus Professor of Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management and Chair of the Institute of Business Ethics
"Many Governments, Companies and Organizations have made admirable commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals. However, commitments alone are not enough. It is time to put them into action. This book will give you the insights and the strategies you need to move the needle. This book raises the bar on sustainability strategies. It's simple, engaging and it works". - H.R.H. Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, UNHCR, Senior Advisor Private Sector Partnership, former Dutch ambassador to the Holy See (the Vatican)
"This book reflects on, and analyzes in depth, the dramatic changes regarding sustainability, that threaten our planet’s future in so many respects. Building on a huge experience, and extensive research in eight different sectors, the authors offer challenging and actionable insights and instruments to create the urgently needed conditions for paths to a real human future. The book is an absolute must for business life and education, as a basis for joint reflection and collaborative action." - Olaf Fisscher, Professor Organisation Studies and Business Ethics, University of Twente, the Netherlands.
"Sustainability has to become hardcore business. And that will only be possible if our economies transform towards a more inclusive form of capitalism. This book aims to do exactly this. It challenges the reader to zoom out, look at the bigger picture and understand the systems at play. Once you have those insights, systems can be changed one step at a time." - Jan Peter Balkenende, Professor of Governance, Institutions and Internationalizaton at Erasmus University, Chairman of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition and Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
Changing the Game is both topical and timely. The authors approach the topic of sustainable market transformation with both academic rigor and a passion for storytelling. I especially liked the approach of explaining our current situation by four cause and effect chains called system loops. This makes the book an ideal reading in classes on strategy, environmental management and sustainability. As these issues will be weaved into existing core courses more and more, we need books and approaches like "Changing the game" to help students approach the topic of climate change in a systematic and engaging way. The book provides rich descriptions of situations in eight different sectors that when discussed in class and reflected upon helps the participants to learn and develop. Even more so the writing style of the book is inviting to apply these learnings within their own sector and engage in a dialogue how to improve the current strategies for implementing the sustainable development goals." - Martin Kupp, Associate Professor for Entrepreneurship and Strategy, ESCP Business School and member of the Jean-Baptiste Say Institute
"In Changing the Game, Lucas Simons and Andre Nijhof have done this and future generations a great favour. The debate and dialogue regarding sustainability is not new, but it has often still been at a conceptual level without delving into defining the critical interdependencies, structural responses, and the fierce resolve to take appropriate action. By adopting a systems approach to defining the dynamics of this grave challenge to humanity and our environment, and then honing in on specific sectors of the economy and markets, Lucas and Andre take that next crucial step of moving from the conceptual to the strategic and, most importantly, pragmatic resolve. It should be essential reading for leaders in organisations in the private, government, NGO and NPO sectors and academia who are serious about changing their ways of playing perhaps the most important game of our and future generations." - Christo Nel, The Village Leadership Consulting, Visiting Lecturer at Stellenbosch University School of Business and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
"The analysis of Lucas Simons & Andre Nijhof, Changing the Game, poses central dilemmas of radical global transformations, from the global to the micro/personal. Each of them affects the life of the planet and humanity. What we know is that, without changes in these processes, the results will be increased warfare, increased conflicts and a greater and more constant loss of life and biodiversity. There is still time for Changing the Game? Time defines what is possible. Studies provide models of what is possible. Complex problems do not have one-dimensional solutions. This book points out that there are recurring patterns. It is a didactic book that tackles complex problems with erudition. It offers a holistic look at the models that demand changes in patterns and recurrences to avoid a global catastrophe." - Dr. Francisco Rojas Aravena, Rector, University for Peace, Costa Rica
"In Changing the Game, the authors present how to change the rules of an existing game. This is powerful and much needed. The question is how this relates to exploring how we at the same time create a radically different multi-dimensional value creation game. Both are important to move deeper into the Anthropocene." - John Elkington, Founder & Chief Pollinator at Volans, pioneer of the global sustainability movement
"Please give yourself permission: You truly can be a changemaker who frees society from any of its many stuck, unsafe systems by birthing its socially and environmentally healthful replacement. Changing the Game, written by top social entrepreneurs, Lucas Simons and Andre Nijhof, spell out in simple, practical terms the steps required." - Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO, Ashoka: Everyone a Changemaker