EGADE Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey

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Sustainable Wealth Creation Through Innovation and Technology (SWIT)

Through a circular economy and systems-thinking approach, the Sustainable Wealth Creation Through Innovation and Technology (SWIT) model provides an innovative framework for driving economic growth, regenerating natural resources, and reducing the social gap across communities in developing countries.

Call to Action

The economies of industrialized countries have grown enormously, many of them at the cost of the disproportionate extraction of natural resources, creating large amounts of waste that remain in and pollute these regions. In general, what is sustainable is considered economically unviable. It is therefore crucial to find mechanisms to maintain accelerated economic growth in developing countries while also improving the population’s quality of life and recovering the planet’s natural resources.

The SWIT model uses a wealth creation framework based on disruptive innovation and enabling technologies, and is designed to bring a holistic approach to sustainable wealth creation in developing regions. SWIT focuses on creating optimal conditions, managing the allocation of appropriate resources, and articulating intelligent and inclusive synergies among stakeholders and institutions. The model considers an integral system for management and effective governance with a far-reaching objective: holistic and sustainable regional growth. 

The principal driver for the SWIT implementation is providing whole regions and industries in developing countries with a proven systemic approach. The SWIT model is capable of delivering systemic benefits: generation of new sustainable businesses, employment creation, vibrant circular economies, and a robust culture of problem-solving entrepreneurship focused on self-sustaining wealth generation.

The SWIT was designed for impact given the conditions, capacities, and restrictions that prevail in developing countries, and is designed to be enabled by local resources and viable technologies.  

Description

The SWIT is an innovative initiative supported by five fundamental pillars: sustainable disruptive innovation inspired by nature, a systems view of growth, circular economy extended systems, a clustering of industrial ecology systems, and a problem-solving entrepreneurship approach.

The SWIT model produces four fundamental outputs: it decouples economic growth from environmental damage and social inequality (a key issue in the sustainable growth of cities of developing countries); it creates circular extended-value ecosystem structures (not just circular isolated initiatives); it generates a dynamic ecosystem based on sustainable increasing returns (not just economic increasing returns), and also generates nontypical startups and social and environmental sustainable initiatives (businesses, NGOs, sustainable organizations, and institutions).

SWIT is a disruptive innovation framework designed to create sustainable wealth on the three subsystems of the biosphere. It focuses on recovering damaged environments, reducing socioeconomic gaps, and lessening social exclusion, driven by an overarching competitive economic growth approach.

The SWIT has been applied in multiple industries and cities. In Latin America, examples include a circular coffee and palm oil production in Colombia; a sustainable model for single-use plastics in Mexico and Ecuador; multiple new sustainable ventures in Bartica, British Guyana, and a circular economy community in Higueras, Mexico.

Impact

The SWIT provides a new approach to sustainable problem-solving entrepreneurship that focuses on generating sustainable startups and circular value systems for solving social and environmental problems in developing communities.

The following are some relevant data and results of the initiative:

  • Twenty-three national and international projects have been carried out.
  • SWIT practices have been implemented in cities and communities across four countries: Mexico, Colombia, British Guyana & Ecuador.
  • Fifteen scientific articles have been published in journals ranked by SCOPUS.
  • Nine short courses have been delivered on the practices and cases of the SWIT.
  • Seven books and eight book chapters have been published.
  • A SWIT dissemination website has be created: egade.csf.itesm.mx/ci/swit/
  • Twenty-seven graduate students have worked on the SWIT initiative.
  • Four doctoral student researchers are active in the project.
  • Two members of SWIT Research Group are competing for the WEGE Prize 2021, an annual competition that ignites game-changing solutions for the future by inspiring university students to collaborate globally to redesign the way economies work.
  • The project has connected with several global universities and research centers.
  • Fourteen theses (11 masters and three doctoral) have been developed on topics relating to the SWIT model.
  • In 2020, the EGADE SWIT framework was recognized within the 300 World Best Practices on Sustainability and Innovation at the 5th edition of the Global Entreps Awards and 5Gcitizens International Congress, in partnership with the United Nations. The initiative targets each of the 17 UN SDGs and the impact of key technologies such as AI or 5G for Sustainability, Responsible Business Undertaking and Good Governance, in 126 countries.
  • In 2019, the SWIT framework was recognized by Tecnológico de Monterrey among five projects with most potential to transform Mexico.
  • Additionally, for enhanced implementation of the SWIT model, the Disruptive, Systemic, and Circular Innovation platform ((DiSC) was designed to articulate the synergies between all the constituents of the three subsystems, to achieve shared prosperity for all.
     

Over the last couple of years, the SWIT group has delivered several lectures, seminars, and conferences in the United States, Mexico, and other Latin American countries.

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