New Business Models and Energetics: Towards an energy approach of value creation

Niels Faber*, Martijn Veening, Henk Hadders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


This paper contributes to the search for this sweet spot in the safe and just operating space for society, exploring the area new and sustainable business models (SBM) may occupy within. In this contribution we explore this space inspired by insights from the field of thermo-dynamics, while building on system capital theory. System theory and thermo-dynamics inform us that for a business model to be sustainable, it needs to strike a balance within and with its host systems. This observation provides us with an empirical lens on sustainable business models. Thermo-dynamics and capital theory enable us to conceptualize value from an energy perspective, defining it as ‘work for change’ in relation to capitals, leading to a normative lens on sustainable business models. Lastly, an informational lens informs us about the openness with which adaptation and learning are conceptualized in sustainable business models. The three lenses form a rudimentary 3-dimensional space in which business models for a safe and just operating space for humanity may take shape.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 22-Apr-2021
EventNew Business Models Halmstad 2021: New Business Models in a Decade of Action: Sustainable, Evidence-based, Impactful - Halmstad, Sweden / online, Halmstad, Sweden
Duration: 9-Jun-202111-Jun-2021


ConferenceNew Business Models Halmstad 2021
Abbreviated titleNBM@Halmstad 2021
Internet address


  • Sustainable Business Model
  • safe and just space for humanity
  • thermo-dynamics
  • system theory
  • capital theory


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