The European Network for the Advancement of Business and Landscape Education (ENABLE) has created its second MOOC: Business Model Innovation for Sustainable Landscape Restoration. In the MOOC, participants are encouraged to go through the business model innovation process in groups of their choice, based on a common interest. The ENABLE project is a partnership of organisations in the private, public and non-profit sector, and is led by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). Subscribing to this free online course starts on Wednesday 5 December, World Soil Day. The MOOC will launch on 14 February 2019.

Worsening land degradation caused by human activities is undermining the well-being of two-fifths of humanity, driving species extinctions and intensifying climate change (source: IPBES). But there’s a huge potential for restoring landscapes: around two billion hectares of land, about two times the size of China, can be restored. This free online course aims to equip learners from environmental, business or other backgrounds with practical business tools to restore landscapes.

Four returns

Over the past months, researchers, professors, practitioners and project members of ENABLE’s strategic partnership have developed a course on business model innovation for sustainable landscape restoration. The MOOC moves the participants from ideas towards the successful implementation of a new business model for sustainable landscape restoration with four returns: return of natural and social capital, return of inspiration and return of financial capital. Each step of the process is illustrated with three real-life cases of landscape restoration in Spain, Iceland and Portugal.

“We want to educate business and environmental professionals to become aware of the insights that are being developed in other disciplines than their own expertise. Or even better: professionals who are smart enough to ask the other disciplines for help or for contribution. So creating awareness on the added value of collaborating with experts from different disciplines is the key to raise a new generation of professionals equipped with the skills and knowledge required to restore landscapes, thus creating a more resilient ecosystem and a prosperous future for all,” says project leader Eva Rood.

Wicked problem

This new MOOC builds upon ENABLE’s first MOOC, setting focus on the potential for a positive role of business model innovation for landscape restoration, highlighting the following elements: vision formulation, systems analysis, stakeholder analysis, opportunity analysis, business model design, solution validation, assessment and monitoring, and reflection and iteration.

Contributions from RSM faculty members come from Dr Steve Kennedy, Prof Rob van Tulder, Prof Dirk van Dierendonck, and Prof Dirk Schoenmaker. External parties who contributed to the MOOC are WWF’s Landscape Finance Lab, the Natural Capital Coalition (NCC), Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP), and many more.

Project leader Eva Rood says: “What all of the partners of the ENABLE consortium realise is that we need to join forces in order to figure out the approach for this wicked problem of land degradation. It’s a typical problem where ecology and economy need each other and this is where the four returns models comes in. So we are trying to jointly come up with models that deliver the financial, social, natural return and return of inspiration instead of only financial capital or only natural capital.”

Registration for the new online course opens on World Soil Day, on 5 December 2018, allowing learners to sign up and form groups. On 14 February 2019, learners can start working on solutions for landscape degradation – one of the biggest challenges of our time. For more information, see the ENABLE website, and its Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

More information


ENABLE is a strategic partnership, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. Its consortium partners are RSM, The Spanish National Research Council, Commonland, United Nations University Land Restoration Training Programme, and Nova School of Business and Economics.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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