Research & Test Labs
An Incubator and Accelerator for Piloting and Cross-Pollinating Transformative Practices and Models
r3.0 fulfills an R&D function for the reporting field as a lever for broader systems change. It catalyzes extensive collaborative research and innovation into the next generation of reporting and transformation. We focus on the triggers transforming economic and business ecosystems as an answer to the need for consolidation, convergence, innovation and acceleration in fragmented markets. Hence, r3.0 serves as a neutral, pre-competitive, and market-making platform that delivers research, recommendations and tools for the global common good. Building on our existing and new Blueprints, Transformation Journey Program (TJP), and Global Thresholds & Allocation Council (GTAC), Test Labs fulfill an incubation and cross-fertilization function. Test Labs will pick up emerging ideas and trends to vet and, if promising, nurture into new transformative practices and models. Outcomes of Test Labs will be integrated into the Transformation Journey Program, Global Thresholds & Allocations Council, and future (and updated older) Blueprints.
Areas for further development
r3.0 has identified a set of areas that warrant attention for development of Blueprint Recommendations to be integrated into the core strategies of its various constituencies:
- Digitization: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, Internet of Things, and Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain / Holochain) all carry significant implications for implementing (or obstructing) r3.0 Blueprint Recommendations.
- Leadership: Shifting the worldviews and mindsets of leaders sits atop Donella Meadows “Leverage Points”. What are the best methodologies for this as it is one of the biggest challenges for scalability and advocation as recommended by r3.0.
- Regeneration: While the regeneration “meme” is gaining traction, it risks the fate of the term “sustainability” in being diluted / co-opted, warranting development of a disciplined definition.
- The Promise of the Commons: The ‘tragedy of the commons’ is a long-known dilemma that economic theory has not solved, reducing current capitalism to a one-dimensional discipline. Further integration of the Commons is necessary in the journey towards Multi-capitalism.
- Risk Management: At the micro and meso scales, the scopes of Enterprise Risk and Portfolio Risk are being expanded to encompass ESG, but gaps remain to encompass Systemic Risk and Existential Risk on the macro scale, and Career Risk on the nano scale.
- Governance: Corporate Governance Codes mostly react to upcoming topics of sustainability. This has lead to an ESG Push, whereas in the view of r3.0 a ‘GSE Pull’ is necessary. This would better explore the full potential of governance.
- Education: In addition to shortcomings in managing economic and ecological systems, r3.0 identifies similar shortcomings in educational systems (dubbed the ‘Triple-E Failure’). Education focused on delivering System Value needs new life breathed into it.
- Fiduciary Duty: Profit maximization, short-termism, and shareholder primacy have hijacked most interpretations of fiduciary duty, requiring a fundamental reorientation of the term toward long-term, sustainable system value creation.
- Communication: r3.0’s theory of change, the language the Blueprints and the narrative for the transformation touches mental stereotypes and mindsets. There is a need to experiment how to best ‘tell the story’.
r3.0 is collaborating with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) on its four-year Sustainable Development Performance Indicators Project (2018-2022). Specifically, r3.0 is conducting research and writing reports proposing a Three Tiered Typology of Sustainable Development Performance Indicators. The UNRISD report builds on the foundation of the r3.0 Data Blueprint, which integrates seminal work by Dana Meadows as well as core concepts from r3.0 Advocation Partner Mark McElroy. One such key concept is the Sustainability Quotient, where Sustainability = Actual Impacts / Normative Impacts (S = A / N).
This formula forms the basis of the Three Tiered Typology:
Tier One: Incrementalist Numeration
Numerator indicators focus on actual impacts, including absolute indicators, as well as relative or intensity indicators that are non-normative, and therefore incrementalist by definition.
Tier Two: Contextualized Denomination
Denominator indicators contextualize actual impacts against normative impacts. Also known as “Context-Based” indicators, denominator indicators take into account sustainability thresholds in ecological, social, and economic systems, as well as allocations of those thresholds to organizations and other entities.
Tier Three: Activating Transformation
Transformative indicators add the element of implementation and policy to normative denominator indicators to instantiate change within complex adaptive systems.
UNRISD Sustainable Development Performance Indicators Project can you find here.
UNRISD convened a Conference in June 2019 in Geneva gathering diverse experts to explore the question encapsulated in the Conference Title: Measuring and Reporting Sustainability Performance: Are Corporations and SSE Organizations Meeting the SDG Challenge? The Program included a keynote by Global Reporting Initiative Co-Founder (and r3.0 Ambassador) Allen White that referenced the concepts covered in the r3.0 report (see the Conference Twitter feed at #Reporting4Sustainability for a detailed narrative of the Conference as it unfolded). r3.0 Senior Director Bill Baue presented on the Three-Tiered Typology — his deck included a long appendix that includes many of the issues covered in the first report, which is due out in Fall 2019. He is now writing a second report proposing specific Tier Two Indicators based on the Tier One Indicators introduced in a recent UNCTAD report.
Conference Twitter Feed: #Reporting4Sustainability
r3.0 is collaborating with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) on a White Paper on the shift from Monocapitalism to Multicapitalism: the existing economic regime focuses exclusively on financial capital, with emergent trends toward economies that integrate the multiple capitals — natural, social, human, manufactured, intellectual, and financial. Building on this concept of Multicapitalism first proposed by r3.0 Advocation Partner Mark McElroy (and fellow MultiCapital Scorecard author Martin Thomas) in 2014, r3.0 is spearheading the drafting of the White Paper that will integrate and further flesh out approaches for applying the “carrying capacities of the capitals” — or thresholds delineating the ongoing viability of ecological and social systems. The White Paper, which is due out by the end of 2019, will be vetted by project Advisors, including Eva Zabey (WBCSD); Fiona Reynolds (PRI); Veronica Poole (Deloitte); Jeremy Nichols (Social Value International); Mark Gough (Capitals Coalition); Sean Esbjorn-Hargens (MetaIntegral); and John Fullerton (Capital Institute).
The Equity Culture / Civic Fiduciary Test Lab
r3.0 is pleased to support the launch of the Equity Culture / Civic Fiduciary Test Lab as a platform for r3.0 Senior Research Fellow Marcy Murninghan to continue her ongoing action-research in this arena. To energize the formative stage of this project, this Test Lab is producing a feasibility study to secure funding to plant a prototype in Massachusetts and Michigan. With funding support from pioneering corporate governance / shareholder activism theorist and practitioner Robert A.G. Monks, Dr. Murninghan will write a white paper on the Equity Culture / Civic Fiduciary concept and strategic approach while continuing to carry out field building to pave the way for planting the Action Labs.
This balance of action and theory-building will yield not just important supportive alliances to launch the pilot labs and a white paper, but important insights that can be incorporated into r3.0’s Sustainable Finance Blueprint. Indeed, the vision, concept, and strategies embodied in the Equity Culture / Civic Fiduciary Action Lab encompass both theory and practice, and are highly compatible with the aspirations and ongoing work of r3.0.
- The Civic Fiduciary concept extends principles contained in moral and political philosophy, along with still-evolving public fiduciary theory and legal norms, to the real-world investment policies, practices, and impacts of affluent state-chartered nonprofit institutions located in two select U.S. locations: Lansing, Michigan, and Boston, Massachusetts. It challenges directly the narrow view of economic motivation, economics as a discipline, finance, and transnational capitalism that has emerged in the past six decades, compared to more expansive and humane definitions lasting through the millennia (Aristotle; Cicero; Veblen, 1923, 1997; Simon, Powers, and Gunnemann, 1972; Longstreth and Rosenbloom, 1973; Dahl, 1985; Sen, 1987; Vernon and Spar, 1989; Wuthnow, 1996; Sandel, 1998; Nye and Donahue, 2001; Sklair, 2001; Stiglitz, 2002; Skocpol, 2003; Pooley and Solovey, 2010; Shiller, 2012; Kay, 2015; Collier, 2018; and Norman, 2018). This narrow view exists alongside the explosive growth in nonprofit institutional investor assets under management, thus contradicting core values and mission.
- The Equity Culture concept extends principles contained in complex adaptive systems theory of human and ecologic well being (Meadows, 1999 and 2008; Olson, 1971; Ostrom, 1990; Shklar, 1991) that integrates multicapitals, while applying a context-based approach to identify and assess impact. It seeks to cultivate “civic financial literacy” — e.g., mapping, motivating, meaning-making, and monitoring multicapital “return on investment” — through inclusive citizen taxpayer and trustee participation.
The Future Normals Webinar Series
EARTHwise Centre and r3.0 are delighted to present a new webinar series that forms part of the EARTHwise Tipping Point Conversations for a World that Works, called the “The Future Normals Webinar Series”, as a new r3.0 Test Lab. This webinar series results from a unique collaboration between EARTHwise Centre and r3.0 both founding members of the EARTHwise Tipping Point System for transition leadership and civilizational transformation. r3.0 co-facilitates this webinar series based on their Transformation Journey Blueprint and Programs and frames this collaboration as an r3.0 Test Lab. Together, we offer a unique starting point for the Future Normals.
Why is this webinar series important now?
The COVID-19 crisis has revealed even more strongly that dualistically polarized systems are incapable of guiding us through periods of crisis, in fact they are the very reason that we sink so deep into crisis. With dualistically polarized systems we mean the kind of dynamics that create divisions such as “economic gain versus health priorities”, “climate priorities versus business interests”, “state safety versus individual freedom”, and so forth. The “Future Normals” webinars explore the necessary ’transition pathways’, r3.0’s language of multi-level transformation, to get us out of dualistic argumentation and old unsustainable normals, by offering a Third Way approach for moving out of the crisis. The ‘Third Way’ is a unique approach developed by Dr Anneloes Smitsman based on her PhD research at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Who this webinar series is for?
Transition leaders, policy makers, creatives, solutionaries, academics, positive mavericks, visionaries, culture designers, and people who are committed to creating a world that works for all. The COVID-19 crisis has taken the life of hundreds of thousands of people already. It is our moral responsibility to learn from this crisis and all it is revealing to build the foundations for future normals that are healthy, regenerative, and thrivable.
What you can expect from this webinar series
In a series of 1.5 hours webinars on zoom, Ralph Thurm, Managing Director of r3.0, and Dr. Anneloes Smitsman, CEO of EARTHwise Centre, will facilitate these Tipping Point Conversations. The webinars are planned to take place every two weeks on Wednesdays, 12pm PDT (8pm CEST), starting May 20th. In subsequent webinars there will also be guest experts to share their contribution to the webinar topic.
The “Future Normals” are based on a unique formula which is applied to various transition trajectories. Each webinar will explore possible “Future Normals”, using system maps and tools that have been developed by r3.0 and EARTHwise Centre for systemic transformational change and transition leadership:
The Third Way Formula for new Future Normals:
- A key topic will be introduced that reveals a dualistic provocation that is in the news and where opinions are often stuck in an either/or argumentation.
- A perspective from r3.0, based on backcasting from an ideal situation, using r3.0 knowledge and tooling, presents a generic “maturation pathway”.
- A “Third Way” system tool from EARTHwise Centre is shared for: 1) identifying the systemic boundaries that are ignored or harmed; 2) revealing the systemic thrivability barriers that give rise to this dualistic polarization, and; 3) identifying possible transformation strategies for third way solutions.
- Breakout conversation in smaller groups for exploring “third way” future normals trajectories.
- Completion in large group for sketching “third way” future normals trajectories based on the synergies of the group intelligence and collective wisdom.
- Reflection opportunity by the participants, especially around how they sketch a first step for them, and the value the session created for them.
Which 7 topics will be covered in the first series:
- Saving the Economy versus Saving Lives >>> A Different Economy
- Green & Clean energy solutions versus Nuclear/Fossil >>> New Energy Solutions & Bioregional Approach.
- Short term crisis mode versus long term sustainability >>> Regeneration & Thriving
- Wealth aggregation versus Social Security of the Welfare State >>> Universal Basic Income & Planetary Health.
- Growth versus Degrowth >>> A living systems-based growth model
- Technology Monopolization versus Collective Commons >>> A Planetary Ethics for Societal Development
- Old Certainties versus New Uncertainties >>> Transformational Competencies & Systemic Resiliencies
How can you participate?
- The first live online webinar is held on Wednesday, May 20th at 12pm PDT (8 pm CEST), and focuses on the current discussion about “Commensurability – Saving The Economy or Saving Lives”.
- Registration is required via the enrolment options below.
Price Options & Registration
We are asking for a contribution of 20 USD to cover the cost for organizing and continuing this series over the next weeks, and possibly future series, if there is sufficient interest. You can also pay 120 USD for the full series of seven webcasts (buy 7, get one free). You can register here and choose for one of the two payment option (single webinar of full series of webcasts).
Regenerative Communities Network
r3.0 is collaborating with our Advocation Partner, the Capital Institute, on its Regenerative Communities Network (RCN) at the meso (bioregional) and macro (global) levels. On the bioregional level, r3.0 and its Senior Director Bill Baue are serving as the Systems Convener of the newly-launched Connecticut River Valley Bioregional Collaborative in the New England area of the United States, in conjunction with River Strong and the Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community as the joint Systems Convener. The Collaborative seeks to address the degenerative / collapsing social and ecological status quo in this bioregion by collaborating with diverse groups and individuals throughout the area to spur the emergence of a regenerative and thriving economy, culture, and society.
The Collaborative joins 13 other bioregional and national-level Collaboratives globally, in areas as close as the Hudson River Valley and Buffalo in New York State, and as far flung as the Sacred Valley in Peru and the Himalayan Plateau in Nepal. The goal is to apply the Capital Institute’s 8 Principles of Regenerative Economics at the bioregional level through Collaboratives of motivated organizations in those areas, which serve as nodes woven together in a global network of coherence.
For example, to implement the Seeks Balance Principle, r3.0 will apply tools and concepts from its Global Thresholds & Allocations Council work to measure how the bioregion uses its vital capital resources within the carrying capacity thresholds of the region. This application methodology would then be replicable by all other bioregions in the Regenerative Communities Network. To address any overshoot of ecological thresholds or shortfall on social foundations, the bioregions can apply concepts and approaches from the r3.0 Value Cycles Blueprint that align with the Robust Circulation Principle.
The Collaborative and r3.0 will also apply other activities depicted in this graphic.
For example, r3.0 is working with the Regenerative Communities Network at the inter-regional and global levels by mutually sharing learnings between RCN’s Regenerative Finance Lab and r3.0’s Sustainable Finance Blueprint. As well, the r3.0 Transformation Journey Program provides a means for implementing Transformational Leadership Support. The r3.0 / RCN collaboration will also draw on other elements of the r3.0 Knowledge Ecosystem, such as the Data Blueprint as well as r3.0’s work on the UNRISD Three-Tiered Typology for Sustainable Development Performance Indicators.
Lead: Bill Baue
+1 413 387 58 24
OnCommons / r3.0
+31 64 600 14 52