Biography: Antony Upward


Antony Upward is a pracademic - a practicing academic. He is Certified Management Consultant with thirty years of professional experience designing business solutions in France, US, Sweden and Canada.  And, he is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculties of Graduate Studies & Design and an Industry Partner of the Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) at OCAD University.  His academic experience includes peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers and 10 years teaching as a part-time faculty member of the Ted Rogers School of Business at Ryerson University in Toronto.

His early career was focused on the process and technology design of management information systems for companies such as Apple, KPMG and Bell Mobility.  He became SSADM certified and gained experience project managing the start-up of KPMG’s US ISO9000 certification business.

More recently, from 1998-2010 he was the Business Architect for the SAP practice of Canada’s largest IT services company, CGI.  In addition to designing this line of business within CGI, his work included business design for clients such as the largest Canadian wireless and wireline telecoms providers, and a range of other companies including AT&T US, Cirque du Soleil and Canadian courier Purolator.  The focus of all this work was designing solutions which integrated business process, technology and people.

By 2005 he came to realize that his solutions and his teaching ignored the ever more pressing environmental and broader social issues.  By 2009 this realization led him to set a goal of becoming a Sustainability Business Architect: someone who creates sustainable solutions for organizations that integrate environmental, social and economic goals.

In 2010. to gain knowledge and to build the service offering for his newly founded company Edward James Consulting Ltd., Antony enrolled in the Masters in Environmental Studies / Graduate Diploma in Business + Environment – a program offered jointly by Faculty of Environmental Studies and Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto.

Antony graduated with a Masters of Environmental Studies in Business Model Design and Sustainability and Graduate Diploma in Business + Environment in fall 2013.  

His graduate research focused on the design and evaluation of an ontology and practitioner canvas for strongly sustainable business models.  His research is now published as four increasingly well cited peer-reviewed articles in respected journals (citations and manuscripts here).  His research significantly extended the earlier profit-focused Business Model Ontology and the popular visual collaborative practitioner design tool the Business Model Canvas.  (For a practitioner introduction to the research see these blog posts). 

He is increasingly invited to speak about his work and its implications for research and practice, for example at the recent 2nd New Business Models Conference in Graz Austria (slides with speakers notes).  He is also an invited member of the Reporting 3.0 New Business Models Blueprint global expert Working Group   

Today, his professional practice and his research is focused on tools to design strongly sustainable business models. This includes the Flourishing Enterprise Innovation Toolkit including the Flourishing Business Canvas. Antony’s objective in creating tools is to help organizations locally, nationally and internationally change to become strongly sustainable, future-fi: to enable the organization and all its stakeholders to flourish – i.e. to change the world for the better.  This goal is aligned with his belief that achieving sustainability is the moral and ethical imperative of our time. 

Antony also bakes bread, portages canoes, dog sledges, doesn't own a car, and wants to sail boats and drive steam engines when he retires!!

Read more in Antony’s Personal Statement and Summary of Current Projects.

Read Antony’s summary resume here and find his contact details here.

Antony can be found on Linkedin at, SlideShare and Twitter @aupward #EJConsult.