Aller à : contenu haut bas recherche
EN     FR
Vous êtes ici:   UNIL > HEC Inst. > HEC App. > SYLLABUS


Ethical Business Modeling and Innovation Design

  • Teacher(s):   H.Avdiji   D.Elikan   P.Wicht  
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 6 credits
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2022-2023, 4.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programme: Master of Science (MSc) in Information Systems
  • Permalink:




Inflation, failures in supply chain, raw materials crisis, decline of democracy, climate crises, geopolitical instability, social inequalities... More than ever is the current mutating order pushing companies to rethink their business models and make use of their creative and adaptation skills. These new circumstances invite us to ask ourselves: What new business models should companies strive for? What is the nature and goal of innovation in this new context? To what ethical principles should we pay attention when answering these questions?

The aim of this class is not to answer these complex questions, rather to have a good command of some techniques that can guide and support our reflection and action. We will get familiar with the main tools, methods and principles in design for several design paradigms: "design for growth", "design for sustainability", "design for justice", etc.

The principles guiding the pedagogy of this class are centered around design thinking, critical thinking, ethical awareness, and practice. The former will be trained through the group project. Your goal will be to design business models that are resilient, inclusive and responsible. The group project will allow you to try out the design techniques that you will be introduced to. The class will also be very interactive in order for you to train your critical thinking and ethical reasoning skills.

The objectives of the class are:

  • Understand the mechanics of business models
  • Identify the different types of innovation
  • Practice and apply design techniques
  • Assess the impact of business models on the environment
  • Practice critical thinking and ethical reasoning
  • Distinguish imagination from creativity in design
  • Learn to work with imaginaries
  • Tackle problems in a creative and imaginatory manner


  • Presentation of the tools for collective design of business models and their implementation
  • Mechanisms and interdependencies between the different dimensions of business models
  • Innovation paradigms: "Design for growth", "Design for sustainability", "Design for justice", etc.
  • Outs and abouts of socially and environmentally sound business models
  • Creative visualization of cinema and animation studios
  • Questioning the role of the innovator in the digital society in the anthropocene era


Bocken, N. M. P., Short, S. W., Rana, P. & Evans S. (2014). “A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes,” Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 42-56.

Grunwald, A. (2018). "Diverging pathways to overcoming the environmental crisis: A critique of eco-modernism from a technology assessment perspective,” Journal of Cleaner Production, 197(2), 1854-1862.

Hara. K. (2007). Designing Design. Zürich: Lars Müller.

Kunkel, S., & Tyfield, D. (2021). "Digitalisation, sustainable industrialisation and digital rebound – Asking the right questions for a strategic research agenda”, Energy Researsh & Social Science, 82(4).

Musso, P., Coiffier, S., & J.-F. Lucas. (2014). Innover avec et par les imaginaires. Lausanne: Institut des humanités digitales, EPFL

Pansera, M., & Fressoli, M. (2021). "Innovation without growth: Frameworks for understanding technological change in a post-growth era,” Organization, 28(3), 380-404.

Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business Model Generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Glaveanu, V. P. (2018). Perspectival Collective Futures: Creativity and Imagination in Society. In: de Saint-Laurent, C., Obradovic, S., Carriere, K. (eds) “Imagining Collective Futures. Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture.” Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.




First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  

The evaluation will be based on three group assignments, for which you will be asked to design business models according to the concepts and tools seen in class. The three assignments will be worth a third each of the final greade. We will assess: your understanding of the main concepts seen in class, how you apply the innovation methods and tools, and the quality of your perspective taking and critical thinking.


Without exam (cf. terms)  

100% retake exam

[» go back]           [» courses list]

Internef - CH-1015 Lausanne - Suisse  -   Tél. +41 21 692 33 00  -   Fax +41 21 692 33 05
Swiss University