Seyed Mousavi

Seyed-MousaviSeyed Mousavi: ‘Sustainable innovation works if organizations see it as an opportunity’

July 2015 – It all started with a mission. Become an expert. But he didn’t rule out promoting sustainability as an environmental activist, either. Seyed Mousavi – originally from Iran – had set his sights on a PhD post, on researching sustainable innovation to be precise. He searched the Internet for professors who specialized in both innovation and sustainability and this ultimately led him to Bart Bossink, a professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Seyed’s resolute spirit brought him a position in the Science, Business & Innovation research group, where he is now investigating how knowledge management can stimulate sustainable innovation. After spending over two years on his doctoral research project, Seyed has also got used to Dutch directness. “I’ve had to unlearn being polite. Bart Bossink once told me: try to stop saying thank you all the time.”

Seyed: "Knowledge is the motor of innovation. In order to innovate in a sustainable way organizations need specific knowledge capabilities, have to embed knowledge and translate this into new habits. It’s striking that the literature on sustainability often claims that sustainable innovation leads to cost savings. Actually this is often not the case: sustainable innovation requires a lot of time, research and investment, and it’s oriented more to the long term. It’s also important for organizations to collaborate intensively with suppliers in order to realize sustainable innovation."