I live with my family in the Alpine foothills of Southern Germany where I receive inspiration and great pleasure from the nature surrounding us; and from working in my meadow orchard which also provides us with plenty of organic apple juice every year. In this environment I get the energy to make aspirations happen.
In 2010, I transitioned from business to academia as a full professor of Strategic Management. My academic work began to open my eyes to the grand ecological and social sustainability challenges civilization had increasingly been facing for decades and what this means for companies at this time in the 21st century.
My transition in “world-view” had been more emergent than a dramatic tipping point, but my perspectives regarding intergenerational responsibility had changed significantly. As a result, I have dedicated my work to the integration of corporate and business strategy with sustainability.
SustainUp was founded to accelerate positive business impact during the landmark decades ahead of us. My collaborators and I seek to leverage our leadership, industry and consulting experience and combine it with scientific depth to support current and future business leaders in their transformation efforts toward sustainability.
Together with civil and political actors, thriving economic activity that serves society within a safe operating space of the natural environment is a key driver for sustainable development. This integrating logic seems to be more relevant than ever. It is reflected in the SustainUp logo with its three open and dynamic circles.
The logo relates to the UN’s 17 SDGs and their interconnections, a widely recognized “Balanced Scorecard for Civilization”. The circles are inspired by the three-tiered “wedding-cake” model of the Stockholm Resilience Centre in which the four ecological SDGs on water, soil, climate, and biodiversity are the foundations for social and economic goals to develop.
In the 2000s, I lived the life of a fast-paced strategy consultant and expatriated business leader in both the EU and the USA, where I helped c-suite executives and management leadership teams around the world to improve their top and (single, not triple!) bottom line performance.
During my studies of Mechanical Engineering and Management in the 1990s, I cannot recall any discussion about “Sustainability” other than durability testing of materials. Thermodynamics taught us how to make engines efficient, not to understand the cycles of nature.
As teenagers and young bankers in the 1980s, my friends and I were concerned about the Ozone Layer, Cold War, … and socializing; however, glaciers, ski slopes and sea shores around the World seemed secure, but no longer!