Social Archetypes

These archetypes depend on social innovation to offer sustainable value. Social archetypes aim ultimately to restructure consumption and production patterns, or to involve the needs of stakeholders in design and production.

Deliver functionality rather than ownership

Provide services that satisfy users’ needs without having to own physical products


  • Product includes maintenance and extended warranty
  • Product or service is rented, leased or shared, e.g. leasing programs for children's articles that are quickly outgrown
  • Pay per use of product or service, e.g. car, bike or scooter sharing

Stewardship role

Proactively engaging with all stakeholders to ensure their long-term health and well-being


  • Biodiversity protection
  • Consumer care – promoting consumer health and well-being
  • Ethical trade, e.g Fair Trade
  • Radical transparency about environmental or social impacts, e.g. Certified B Corporations
  • Upstream stewardship, e.g. requiring suppliers to meet certain social standards (HSE, human and labor rights) or environmental standards (certifications, reduced emissions, no harmful chemicals)
  • Downstream stewardship, e.g. producing consumer products that reduce waste like reusable food storage products

Encourage sufficiency

Solutions that actively seek to reduce consumption and production


  • Consumer education
  • Demand management
  • Product durability and longevity, e.g. durable outdoor clothing designed to last
  • Market places for second hand goods, e.g., clothing swaps
  • Premium branding/ limited availability
  • Responsible product distribution/ promotion
*This material is largely adapted from Bocken, et al. (2014) and Ritala, et al. (2018)