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To realise our vision of a world where businesses play a key role in the creation of a just, regenerative, and flourishing society, transformational change needs to happen at the individual, enterprise, and systems level.

Through research collaboratives – or Labs – Leonardo partners with ‘real economy’ actors – leaders within business, civil society, policy development and investors, as well as their global networks – to co-create new knowledge, solutions, and ways of working together for a world in balance.

Experimentation is at the core of our Labs. Thought leaders from academia and business engaging in our Labs are part of real-world research and experimentation journey with Leonardo. Together we design experiments that focus on a specific organisational change challenge from the individual, enterprise, or systemic level. 

We collaborate to develop behavioural baselines from past initiatives; map stakeholder needs and expectations; ideate new interventions and solutions; and pilot them in real-world settings through rigorously designed organisational experiments. Businesses can accelerate their transformational change journey in ways that shareholders and stakeholders are calling for.

Businesses can collaborate, co-create, and experiment with us in our Data Labs, Leadership Labs; Enterprise Labs, and Systemic Labs.

Through our Data Lab, we provide evidence-based insights into the sustainability strategy and Corporate Social Responsibility activities of a company, allowing stakeholders to assess and study sustainability at the corporate level, and ultimately help the corporation to optimise its financial, social, and environmental value creation. The Data Lab follows four steps:

  1. Using our machine learning algorithm, we provide a portfolio analysis of a company’s sustainability initiatives from the last decade.
  2. Using our GOLDEN dataset of sustainability initiatives, we then benchmark the company against its peers in terms of both financial and sustainability performance. This provides insight into how well the company is creating value for all its stakeholders.
  3. We then identify an Optimal Portfolio of sustainability initiatives for the company – this describes the optimal distribution of initiatives to maximise financial and sustainability performance and identifies where the company should be redistributing its efforts.
  4. The findings from the previous steps are integrated with qualitative insights from interviews with representatives from the company to develop a roadmap for strategic interventions which may involve deploying Leadership, Enterprise, or Systemic Labs.

In a world undergoing accelerating and discontinuous change, we need a new and more intuitive and experiential way of leading, learning, and partnering. Business leaders and organisational talent can join an interdisciplinary learning journey together with Leonardo and its experts to develop the personal leadership capabilities and values necessary to lead the company's transition towards a stakeholder logic of business.

We are building sustainable leadership through two mechanisms:

  • In-company design and deployment of sustainability learning programmes for managers and executives. For example, in partnership with a large European electronics manufacturer, we developed management training sessions to increase sustainability awareness among its employees using business-orientated meditative practices.
  • Large scale, online open enrolment programmes for managers and business executives. Designed and delivered by the Leonardo Centre with Imperial College Business School Executive Education, the Sustainability Leadership programme is a thirteen-week online course providing leaders with the methods and mindset to help them create a practical sustainability plan for their business, while nurturing the competencies and mindset required to lead a business in its sustainability journey.

Find out more.

The transition to sustainability will only take root if it becomes deeply integrated across all levels of the enterprise – from purpose, cultural values and leadership style that defines the enterprise, to its governance rules, strategy, innovation, performance metrics, incentives, and control systems. Together with experts and stakeholders, individual businesses can work with Leonardo to design and experiment with transformational roadmaps for their key organisational functions to advance sustainable impact and create stakeholder value.

Our activities focus on five key functional areas:

  • Purpose and Governance: Introducing new, integrative, models of governance, involving representatives of value chain partners, employees, and communities.
  • Leadership and Culture: Identifying and scaling the best leadership models and shared values to drive transformational change towards flourishing socio-economic systems.
  • Business Model Innovation: Designing innovative platforms to generate insights by combining technological solutions and stakeholders’ contributions.
  • Corporate and Functional Strategies: Integrating stakeholders’ capabilities and perspectives to enhance the quality of corporate as well as functional strategies. 
  • Control and Incentive Systems: Redesigning HR processes, incentives, and internal accounting procedures.

Example: we have developed a collaborative platform with business leaders and experts in the IT sector to understand, experiment with, and accelerate the emergence of governance models which better integrate stakeholders in governance structures. The project proposes field experiments to test the effectiveness of models integrating broader stakeholder voices, including employees.

No individual business will be able to drive transformational change on its own. The interconnectedness and interdependencies of systems and actors should be leveraged to enhance the sustainability of the whole system, not just its constituent parts.

Together with academic experts and key systems players, Leonardo works with businesses to design and experiment with transformational systems change. Currently, we focus on energy, health, food, finance and ICT with a special focus on:

  • Environmental regeneration, including climate change risk reduction, net-zero emissions and promoting a circular economy
  • Social regeneration, including the enhancement of physical and psychological well-being, social integration, and fair treatment of consumers, employees, and local citizens.

Example: Through our partnership with businesses in the energy sector, we will create a Systemic Lab which focuses on the transition toward net-zero pollution and social inclusion. The Lab will bring together relevant stakeholders in the ecosystem in which businesses in the energy sector operate: business and academic experts, institutional representatives, and relevant stakeholders. The Lab participants will identify which systemic challenges they want to tackle, and then ideate and test business model innovations in the context of the ecosystem. Challenges will likely relate to the most energy-intensive industries, such as transportation, chemicals, and construction.