An Interactive Platform for Sustainable Supply Chains

An Interactive Platform for Sustainable Supply Chains

Ye-Sho Chen (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICST.2018070104

Abstract

In 2015, the United Nations set up 17 sustainable development goals to transform the world. Sustainable supply chains play a key role in achieving these goals. In this article, the authors propose an interactive platform with communication systems and technologies to empower sustainable development participants actively engaging in managing sustainable supply chains and international soft landings. Specifically, this article illustrates how to develop an interactive “Flying High, Landing Soft” platform of wetland entrepreneurship to address the growing global problem of wetland losses. The interactive platform, grounded in the theory of digital nervous systems and equipped with social interaction technologies, and allows student entrepreneurs to participate in exploring and developing business solutions to maintain a healthy wetland and have positive impact on global sustainability development.
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Introduction

In the era of global hypercompetition, dealing with the “hidden dynamics” of diplomacy, espionage, and geopolitics has been a major challenge in international business. The rise of climate change and global terrorism, however, has brought nations together to seek for collaborative solutions. For example, in the November 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, more than 150 Head of State and Government had the political will to come to a new, legal framework of climate change agreement (UNFCCC, 2015). Another recent example is the unanimous call by the 15-member body of United Nations Security Council for eradicating ISIL safe havens in Syria and Iraq (UNSC, 2015). Furthermore, on September 25th, 2015, United Nations adopted a set of seventeen global sustainability goals to transform our world (UNSDG, 2015). Sustainable supply chains play a key role in achieving the goals (Busse, Schleper, Niu, & Wagner, 2016). For example, consider Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Making cities resilient is a campaign for Goal 9, started in 2010 by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR, 2018), encouraging cities to exchange their experiences with each other to help enhance their resiliency.

One example is the New Orleans / Gothenburg Exchange in 2015 (NOGE, 2015) during the ten-year anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and five years after the disastrous oil spill in 2010. According to Louisiana Economic Development (LED, 2018), Louisiana has attracted, since 2008, more than $60 billion in Foreign Direct Investment that enables the state to be number one in the U.S. for per capita FDI attraction. The recent New York Times three-part special report, entitled “The Drowning Coast,” indicates a long way to go to make Louisiana coastal cities resilient. The question for multinationals then is: As a part of corporate social responsibility, how can companies participate in making cities resilient while investing in Louisiana? The Louisiana experience indicates that it takes three waves for multinationals to actively engage in making cities resilient. First, individual entrepreneurs with proven business solutions shall be encouraged with their stories well told to inspire students to develop innovative business solutions. Second, resources in the startup ecosystem for making coastal cities resilient shall be effectively connected to cultivate new generations of student entrepreneurs developing business solutions grounded in sound science and engineering foundations. Third, multinationals play a key role in scaling up the startups nationally and globally if the solutions developed by the student entrepreneurs have significant value propositions in advancing global sustainable developments of multinationals.

Coopetition (Dagnino and Padula, 2009), combining competition and cooperation, is thus a strategy needed for business executives and managers engaging in strategic planning and operations of their international businesses in the 21st century (Castaldo and Dagnino, 2010). In this paper, we propose a two-stage process of coopetition. The first stage is to develop a strategy of cooperation in sustainable supply chains, which delivers value by using ethical, economic, social, and environmental levers throughout the supply chains (PwC, 2014). The second stage is to expand the strategy globally through an interactive platform of international soft landings (Chen, et al., 2013; Chen, et al., 2016) to mitigate the risks associated with the “hidden dynamics” of global hypercompetition and the extreme politically uncertain environment (Akash, 2015). We illustrate how the two-stage process is used to develop an interactive platform with communication systems and technologies to empower sustainability development participants actively engaging in managing sustainable supply chains and international soft landings. Specifically, we illustrate how to develop an interactive “Flying High, Landing Soft” platform of wetland entrepreneurship to address the growing global problem of wetland losses. The interactive platform, grounded in the theory of digital nervous systems and equipped with social interaction technologies, allows student entrepreneurs to participate in exploring and developing business solutions to maintain a healthy wetland and have positive impact on global sustainability development.

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