BM.7 Generate technical ideas for the value proposition block



This activity aims to generate ideas to address hotspots or strategic changes in the value proposition block, making use of the 9 Windows on the World template.


Hotspots or strategic changes related to the customer segments block from the activities ST.7 Do a SWOT Analysis, BM.2 Gather additional data on the business model, and BM.3 Gather additional data on operational performance.


Specific ideas for how to change the Customer Segments block to address the hotspots or strategic changes, used in the activities BM.4 Generate business model concepts at the big picture level – if taking a ‘Bottom-up’ approach, BM.15 Evaluate the benefits, and BM.16 Evaluate the costs and BM.17 Evaluate the risks.



Problem analysis


Prior to the workshop you need to prepare a worksheet to capture the responses. A standard A1 size flipchart sheet is best as it provides sufficient space for a small group to work with. The worksheet needs to be split into nine ‘windows’, with titles as shown in the template.


Ask the group to write a statement describing a sustainability hotspot in the centre window i.e. “High energy use in tuna cooking”.


Ask the group to define time and system axes – What is the sub- system and super-system of the system you are considering? What time scales are you considering?


Keeping in mind the definitions of the horizontal and vertical axes, fill-in the eight remaining windows with processes, functions or behaviours that contribute to the central problem – these are known as ‘contributing issues’.

Idea generation


Select two to three contributing issues and write them on a separate sheet.


Brainstorm solution concepts to address the contributing issues you have identified.


Setting a target for the number of ideas generated in a time-limited period can help to expand the range of ideas suggested e.g. “Generate 20 ideas in 20 minutes”.


Ask the group to select their three best ideas to take forward for evaluation

Tips & Tricks


If you organise a workshop, try to ensure that you have a gender balanced group of staff to participate in the session.


The use of the People, Planet, Profit and 9 Windows templates will help to support your initial search for eco-innovative product ideas and value propositions. In future iterations of eco-innovation activity with the company, you should consider the possibility of building capacity within the company in topics such as Life Cycle Thinking and eco-design so that the company can begin to develop their own product ideas. One of the key parts of this type of capacity building activity will be the implementation of a suitable New Product Development process in which sustainability impacts are considered from the very earliest stages.


It is particularly important that these aspects are considered during the early stages of New Product Development, as it is widely claimed that up to 80% of a product’s environmental impacts are determined during these early stages. Further information on Life Cycle Thinking and implementing this type of approach within New Product Development activities is provided in the UN Environment publication ‘Design for Sustainability’ manual and the DTU guide to ‘Environmental improvement through product development’.


See also the Tips & Tricks for the activity ‘Generating ideas for the value proposition block using the People, planet, profit template, which provide some additional points to consider relevant to this activity.

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