Larson Allows Instructors to Create and Customize Textbooks

Professor Andrea Larson, from the Darden School of Business has found a more efficient and greener way to bring inexpensive, high-quality scholarly materials on sustainability to instructors and students.

Her new textbook, Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is now available online at Flat World Knowledge, where instructors can create and customize textbooks in a wide array of topics. Larson, who is an expert in the field of sustainability, developed the collection to teach other instructors how to teach students about product and service design solutions designed within innovation entrepreneurial ventures in both start-up and large businesses. Larson provides the framework and tools needed to enable to redesign a business according to sustainability principles.

“A new generation of profitable businesses is actively engaged in cleantech, renewable energy and financially successful product system design and supply chain strategies that meet our economic development aspirations while addressing our social and ecological challenges,” states Larson in her book’s introduction.

Larson was funded by the Batten Institute as a part of an aspiration to create a digital collection of cases and educational materials which would highlight cleantech, energy and sustainability innovations.

“Through in-depth examination of such sustainability pioneers as Method, Project Frog, Calera, NatureWorks (Cargill) and Frito-Lay, Larson’s book fills a critical gap in the business educator’s tool kit, offering a compelling argument that sustainability must not be presented to future business leaders as a set of expensive obstacles but as an opportunity for innovation and value creation,” according to the textbook’s publisher.

Through Larson’s version, the textbooks are open to be rearranged at any instructor’s discretion through a drag and drop method. Professors can even earn money for textbook customizations that become popular.

“This is one of the few sets of integrated teaching material exploring activity at the intersection of entrepreneurial innovation and sustainability concerns,” Larson adds.

Flat World Knowledge textbooks are available for anyone to read. Printed books are available for a small free. Books are available for download as well in e-book, audiobook or PDF format. The website currently has 1,600 faculty users at over 1,200 institutions.

The web-hosted versions of Flat World Knowledge textbooks are always available for anyone to read. Black and white or color printed books are available for a fee. Books also can be downloaded as print-it-yourself PDFs, e-books or audiobooks for mp3 players. Their prices range from $24.95 to $39.95. Individual chapters can be printed for $2.49. The site boasts more than 1,600 faculty users at 1,200 institutions.

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