Annual EBHS Conference, 39th Annual Economic and Business History Society Conference

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Using history to anticipate future environmental challenges
Jan Kunnas

Last modified: 2014-05-26


An eco-friendly development path can be an important part of nations and firms competitiveness. David Lublin and Daniel Esty argue that the sustainability revolution is an industrial transition sharing many similarities with previous megatrends, especially the quality movement and the rise of IT. Thus, understanding how firms won in prior megatrends can help executives craft the strategies and systems they´ll need to gain advantage in this sustainability revolution. In concordance with previous megatrends, the major benefit of the sustainability revolution will be reaped by countries and companies staying ahead of the curve. In my presentation, I will discuss how historical research could be used to create a forecasting system for future environmental challenges and possibilities making it possible to stay ahead of the curve.Should the system be built top-down, from a single governmental run national system that is scaled down to a company level, or bottom-up from company level scaled up to a nation level. Nevertheless, a nation level forecasting system is needed, so that the government can in best way anticipate future need of companies, most importantly the future need of educated workforce. National systems should again be summed up to an EU-level forecasting system.