I’ve been bouncing a few ideas around for paper 2 and I’m looking for some insight from anyone kind enough to comment!
TOMS Shoes is a company that often receives much praise. However, I’ve always been troubled with the sustainability of their business model. TOMS shoes seems to have built a model that is dependent on people in need of shoes. Instead of remedying a problem at its root, they’ve created a quick fix with the BOGO model. (BOGO = Buy One Get One aka One for One model.
TOMS is a for profit organization with a subsidiary called Friends of Toms’ which is a non-profit. The organization was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie after he was inspired during a trip to Argentina. Since its inception the shoe model has been expanded to include coffee and eyeware. These new additions are founded on a more sustainable model because they provide real fixes (i.e. clean water for 1 week per bag and donations to restore eyesight per glasses).
The main criticism with TOMS is that providing donated goods undermines the economy of developing nations and hurts local business. It creates a system dependent upon external aid. This organization has the potential to really make a difference if they can figure out how to provide jobs and invest in economic development in the areas they are looking to help. TOMS has pledged to move 1/3 of its manufacturing to regions that receive aid by 2015, but I don’t think this is enough.
The spaces in which we work largely influence our ideas, interactions, and productivity. I’m interested in combining the things I’ve learned in my Sustainable Building Design, Urban Planning, and Markets Innovation and Design classes with the Stakeholder Organization.
It is proven that ideas and innovation flourish in spaces conducive to collaboration. I’d like to study the effect of office spaces (think Google and Facebook) on productivity and innovation. Tech companies have become famous for offering employees perks (like free lunches/dinners) and investing in unique office spaces with the hopes of seeing a return on their investment in the form of ideas. However, some accuse these companies as spending on these things to avoid taxes. Recently the IRS has been discussing taxing free meals and other perks offered by these companies. I think it is an interesting ethical dilemma to delve into more deeply.
I’ve identified books for each topic (Blake Mycoskie: Start Something that Matters and Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From)
Additionally I’ve used Hoovers, Google Scholar, and WorldCat as research resources