Centre for Economic Transformation| CET


The Collaborative Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professorship is guided by five principles that are rooted in our beliefs, values, and expertise. Research projects and educational programmes that we develop and execute with our stakeholders and partners reflect these principles.

Bring climate justice and social justice to the heart of business

We believe that production and consumption systems need to exist in harmony with people and planet. Products and services need to be designed, produced, consumed, and discarded with nature in mind, preserving biodiversity and animal ecosystems. Businesses need to shift to circular and regenerative business strategies and models where there is minimal waste and sustainable extraction of virgin materials. Harnessing local and indigenous knowledge and fair-trade practices in production and consumption systems can accelerate this shift, help to restore balance, and distribute wealth more equally between the Global North and Global South.

Build knowledge about collaborating more effectively with diverse stakeholders

We believe that collaborative organizational forms that are inclusive and open to multiple stakeholders are essential to establishing business practices that provide social and climate justice. Businesses need to embrace shared ownership and responsibility for the products and services they deliver. This requires much more collaboration and interdependency with diverse and multiple stakeholders outside of their organizational, sectoral, and geographic boundaries and throughout the entire global value chain. Collaborative organizing that is democratic with voice and representation of underrepresented communities creates a more socially just economic system.

Focus on contexts close to nature

Industrialized products rely on commodities and raw materials that come from our natural environment. Our focus is on industries that use commodities such as tea, coffee, cocoa, cotton, and timber for products. We also focus on service industries such as tourism where the dynamic and intensive movement of people can have unintended and dire consequences on natural and urban environments and how sustainable and conservation tourism can mitigate the negative impacts of tourism.

Participate in the field using methods of engaged scholarship

Our work makes greater impact when we engage and work with professionals and students in the field. Engaged scholarship allows us to gain fresh and multiple perspectives about collaborative organizing for economic transformation. Through our research, we witness and experience first-hand the complexities that businesses and industries face as they transition to more socially and ecologically just practices and models. Through active participation with our partners, including practitioners, academics, and students, we co-create knowledge that is more relevant and impactful for professionals, academics, students, and policymakers.

Empower a new generation of ‘economic rebels’

The new generation of business leaders engages in economic and public debate and makes bold decisions that drive transformational change. This new generation of business leaders needs to develop a voice that encourages collaboration and inclusion of multiple stakeholders. We recognize and are fully committed to our role in providing education and experiential learning that teaches current and future business leaders skills to orchestrate multiple stakeholders, challenge existing structures and norms and find new and innovative ways to do business that take heed of ecological and social sustainability and thrive from positive impact.