Disruptive Business Models

Monday, October 07, 2013

18:00 - 20:15

Mike Barry called on the business community to pool its thinking on the next generation of disruptive consumer-facing business models.

We built a crowd of the most relevant minds - from innovative companies, sectors that are ripe for disruption, start-ups that have been born of a different mindset and commentators. The aim was to corral the latest thinking from this group into a report, and help to accelerate change in the hardest and most exciting areas of corporate sustainability.

Mike set the framework through his blog - see here - and we explored trends such as;

  •     Radically transparent businesses, e.g. Elvis & Kresse, Interface
  •     Peer to peer / collaborative consumption e.g. Zopa, Streetclub
  •     Models that shape consumer behaviour, e.g. Opower, RecycleBank
  •     Access over ownership e.g. Zipcar, BMW
  •     Closed loop, e.g. Patagonia, M&S's Shwopping
  •     Short supply chains, e.g. community energy, FarmDrop

Should incumbents create new businesses that may compete with their existing business, buy a start-up or, as is starting to happen, lobby against these models? These are difficult questions, and given their sustainability benefits it may not pay to be on the wrong side of history.

The panel on the 7th October illustrated the conversations that are playing out across these sectors. Mike drew on his own experiences of "Shwopping" at M&S, before discussing the threats and opportunities with his incumbents and challengers from the retail and banking sectors.

We crowdsourced through 4 avenues to generate the content for the report, which include;

  •     Blogs
  •     A survey
  •     A great panel - incumbents v's challengers
  •     Roundtables - lots of great topics.

If business is to become a force for good, it will be because it finds business models that delight customers, solve social problems and are much lighter on resources. And by looking into the nooks and crannies of different minds, we may be able to accelerate change.


Giles Andrews Zopa

See bio

Justin DeKoszmovszky PUMA

See bio

Kresse Wesling Elvis & Kresse

See bio

Mike Barry M&S

See bio

Sally Uren Forum for the Future

See bio
Round Tables
Venue Detail

Bank of America Merrill Lynch: King Edward Hall

King Edward Hall | 2 King Edward Street | London | EC1A 1HQ


Bank of America's offices are a very short walk from St Paul's tube station (Central Line). Exit the station at Cheapside/Newgate Street. Go past the BT centre, with it on your right-hand side and take the first available right down Edward Street. Continue down this road for 80m and the entrance to the venue is on your left-hand side.

Do not go to the main reception desk at their offices when you arrive. You are looking for an entrance that leads you directly into the King Edward Hall.