About: Thomas van der Molen

by Thomas van der Molen

Hey everyone, my name is Thomas and I am the founder of the Sustainable Business Model Academy and creator of the SBM Canvas Methodology

I’m from Amsterdam. I am married and I recently became the proud father of a daughter.

Over the past 15-20 years I’ve done a lot of different things.

I started off studying International Business at the Rotterdam University. I got disappointed and quit, went backpacking through South-America and came back to finish my bachelor in International Business and Management here in Amsterdam, more determined than ever to learn how to use business as a force of good. I didn’t, and still don’t believe in an economic system that prioritizes shareholder value and externalizes the associated social and environmental impacts. But I like business, or busy-ness, and I believe that when done right, we can create business models that successfully create a win-win-win-win.

  • A win for your customer.
  • A win for society as a whole.
  • A win for the environment. And of course,
  • A big win for you as a business.

But in order to do so, some things have got to change in the way that we do business.

Since then, 

  • I worked with a Dutch governmental agency supporting SME exporters in the Agricultural & Natural Ingredients sector in Latin-America to integrate sustainability thinking and leverage the value they’re offering on EU markets, 
  • I was a manager and led the implementation and change process of a sustainability certification for Amsterdam’s largest nature-based hospitality company, and 
  • In the summer of 2015 I moved to Sweden to study the Master in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, where, towards the end, my thesis research into comparing the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development with the Lean Startup and the Business Model Canvas, laid out the basis for the Sustainable Start Canvas Methodology.
  • I then moved to Rio de Janeiro, where I worked with Humana, a consultancy network offering sustainability and social impact related facilitation, training and education projects.
  • Since my return in 2018 I’ve become a member of “Sustainable Growth Associates”, which is the German representative of the global Natural Step Foundation, who have been applying the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development since its inception in the 90’s.

Over the past 3 to 4 years, I have been sharing and testing the Sustainable Start Canvas Methodology through lectures and workshops to learn from the feedback of a large variety of people, from startup founders to corporate executives, and from CSR managers to Digital Innovators.

Because the Sustainable Start Canvas Methodology principally offers Perspectives and Questions, there is something here for everyone looking to integrate sustainability thinking in their business models

I am honored to guide you through this course and would be grateful if it somehow helps you be more successful ánd more sustainable, because in the end, that’s one and the same thing.

Peace. Thomas

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