Plenary Lectures

Description

Grazing-lands have the largest footprint on the world’s land surface area but this is not reflected in the amount of business conducted on them. The most common land use systems are very land intensive, i.e., they use a lot of land to produce not very much and few jobs. The health of the planet depends on having healthy grazing-lands but there is a perfect storm brewing in which the demand from expanding pastoral communities for more food and jobs cannot be met just by applying good grazing-land management practices. Compatible businesses must be found that can create jobs without increasing the pressure on the environment. Fortunately there are many resources found in grazing-lands that could be exploited to create scalable employment-creating industries. However, taking up such opportunities requires big investments. However investments in grazing-land areas have to contend with a lot of uncertainty that is compounded by the need to satisfy three very diverse interested parties: i. Investors in the businesses, ii. Customers for the products of the businesses, and iii. Local communities. Traditional business planning techniques are not suited to coping with so much uncertainty and the consequent need for continuous experimentation in search of elusive pathways to business success. They are also not well suited to facilitating co-creation of businesses by very diverse potential business partners. To address these problems this paper proposes the innovative Lean LaunchPad approach, which was introduced by Steve Blank in 2011 at Stanford University and UC Berkeley to teach founders how to reduce their failure rates through the combination of business model design, customer development and agile development. The key message of this paper is that the divide between large-scale investors and the local grassland communities is an unnecessary and unfortunate barrier to rational and equitable large-scale mutually beneficial, profitable and sustainable investments in grazing-land areas.

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Three Is Company: Fixing the Grazing-Land Business Conundrum

Grazing-lands have the largest footprint on the world’s land surface area but this is not reflected in the amount of business conducted on them. The most common land use systems are very land intensive, i.e., they use a lot of land to produce not very much and few jobs. The health of the planet depends on having healthy grazing-lands but there is a perfect storm brewing in which the demand from expanding pastoral communities for more food and jobs cannot be met just by applying good grazing-land management practices. Compatible businesses must be found that can create jobs without increasing the pressure on the environment. Fortunately there are many resources found in grazing-lands that could be exploited to create scalable employment-creating industries. However, taking up such opportunities requires big investments. However investments in grazing-land areas have to contend with a lot of uncertainty that is compounded by the need to satisfy three very diverse interested parties: i. Investors in the businesses, ii. Customers for the products of the businesses, and iii. Local communities. Traditional business planning techniques are not suited to coping with so much uncertainty and the consequent need for continuous experimentation in search of elusive pathways to business success. They are also not well suited to facilitating co-creation of businesses by very diverse potential business partners. To address these problems this paper proposes the innovative Lean LaunchPad approach, which was introduced by Steve Blank in 2011 at Stanford University and UC Berkeley to teach founders how to reduce their failure rates through the combination of business model design, customer development and agile development. The key message of this paper is that the divide between large-scale investors and the local grassland communities is an unnecessary and unfortunate barrier to rational and equitable large-scale mutually beneficial, profitable and sustainable investments in grazing-land areas.