How to use the assessment

Ultimate Purpose: Delivery on Human Needs

The purpose of a company is ultimately its contribution to human needs. Today many companies are far removed from the end-user and do not know what human needs they deliver on. This first mapping tool provides companies with an opportunity to map their current and future potential delivery on human needs. Initially many companies tend to be overconfident when it comes to delivery on human needs. A provider of plant-based protein such as beans, might see this as a direct contribution to nutrition. This is however not how this mapping should be done as this is a “renewable resource”, instead it needs to collaborate with product  solutions to ensure that people get access to the protein (and it is not wasted or burnt), that the people getting access are not getting it in a low nutrition form as fast food and served in a way that both results in unhealthy overeating and waste.

The mapping tends to help stakeholders to identify existing and potential clusters needed to deliver on human needs, as well as how data might be gathered to assess the impact.

Three categories delivering on Human Needs and Extended Needs

There are different solutions to human needs and different ways to contribute to them.

Category 1: Solutions delivering directly on Human Needs

In the first category three groups of human needs are presented. Nutrition/health, Spaces/shelter [please change in the illustration from “living” to “shelter”] and Social Development/Personal growth. Each of the three groups also have subcategories. Instead of only the human needs that are necessary to physically survive that most sustainability initiatives focus on it also includes social development/personal growth to capture contributions that are needed for a flourishing life.

Category 2: Enabling solutions potentially delivering on Human Needs

The second category include many of the most important contributions when system changes are needed, but also a category where many stakeholders help accelerate unsustainable trends.  

Category 3: Resource solutions potentially delivering on Human Needs

The third category is where many companies are today. Here solutions with renewable or nonrenewable resources are provided.

Category 4: Extended Needs

Under extended needs we find two kinds of solutions. First, solutions that deliver on biodiversity in a way where nature and other species have intrinsic value. Second, solutions that reduce or eliminate existential risks to human civilization.