Can Business Save the Earth? Innovating Our Way to Sustainability.

Author:Silverstein, Barry
Position:Book review

Michael Lenox and Aaron Chatterji; CAN BUSINESS SAVE THE EARTH?; Stanford Business Books (Nonfiction: Business & Economics) 29.95 ISBN: 9780804790994

Byline: Barry Silverstein

There is bad news and good news about the state of the earth, and business school professors Michael Lenox and Aaron Chatterji address both with eye-opening accuracy in this compelling, provocative treatise.

The bad news, of course, is "the existential threat posed by a changing climate and environmental 'unsustainability,'" write the authors. The good news, however, is that they believe businesses -- working in concert with the government, educational institutions, and nongovernmental organizations -- can come to the rescue.

In a lucid, well-constructed argument, Lenox and Chatterji lay out "a model of innovation" that elegantly brings together many individuals and institutions, participating collaboratively to move products and services "from research to development to commercialization to scaling and diffusion." After a description of the system, the book ponders how each of four different kinds of individuals -- innovator, manager, investor, and customer -- will contribute to this system.

Organizing the book in this...

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