Sourcemap (open supply chains)

Short description

Leo Bonanni's is the CEO and Cofounder of "Sourcemap", a crowdsourced directory of product supply chains and carbon footprints. This initiative is a great example of how transformative transparency can be created by using available tools. Instead of products without a history it helps to illustrate different consequences throughout the value chain. The kind of data and visualization that Sourcemap is creating could be used by many mobile applications.

Sourcemap is is built around the idea that everyone in the future can access the information needed to make sustainable choices and share them with the world. The initiative is free, open-source project and volunteer-driven.

Link for more information:

Videos about Sourcemap can be found on Leo's YouTube channel.

The best with the app/supporting initiative

+ It creates increased transparency along the supply chains.
+ Rather than a single product issue it is possible to follow different products.
+ It is built around collaboration.
+ Helps people to see the global connectivity linked to everyday products.

The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative

- Unclear sources for the data (and only one number for each products even though products can be very different).
- Only focus on the negative impact of products (so far).
UPDATE: Leo helped to correct the above mistake and highlighted that: "Companies are using the site to do a number of positive things such as calculate the carbon footprint they avoid by teleconferencing, see this link, or highlighting the story of a source through videos and other rich media embeds, see this link. This obviously makes a really great initiative even better.
- Only a few examples in the database so far [let's help and build this database]

What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?

> Getting a critical mass of cases in order to have a comprehensive database that can be used in most cases (collaboration with students and business schools might be an option).
> Focus on services needed so that users can think about different ways to provide the services that current products are doing. Now the focus is


How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Inspirational
  • Long shot


Even if the tool can be used by anyone it is probably among policy makers and within companies where the impact can be the most transformative. We need to understand the full impact of our choices and this is one of the best initiates about helping us to do that. Still the delivery is indirect as it provides information and no guidance for direct action. This might be the best way for this initiative, but it could also be possible to include guidance for how smarter solutions can e developed and a report-back system to measure the impact from use of the data.

Transformative approach

How transformative is it
  • A new world
  • A major shift
  • A bit of a shake-up
  • A gentle rocking


To open up the world in the way this initiative is doing is fantastic. Providing data and an easy to understand graphic interface can help people change the way they think about consumption as well as product development.

How much does it encourage collaborations

How much are new networks supported
  • Strong support for global networks?
  • Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
  • Provides interesting opportunities in the future
  • Restricted to a small (expert) group


As the initiative is volunteer-driven it is a call for collaboration in itself. Different experts can contribute different parts and discuss contributions. The language barrier, and lack of active encouraging contributions from those without connection, are the only two things holding the initiative back from the top rating regarding collaboration.

What synergies can be delivered

How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
  • It solves everything
  • Several important challenges
  • Some important challenges
  • Only one challenge


This kind of collaborative approach that deliver transformative transparency can be used for almost any issue and area.

Nine billion contribution

How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
  • Instant global equality
  • Almost global
  • Getting (incrementally) global
  • Not applicable


It can be an important contribution, but today this filter is not used. If the supply-chain help people out of poverty or if the level of natural resource use for a product is possible in a world where 9 billion people live on a similar consumption level could be added, but is not part of the initiative today.

Building on current trends

How well does it use current trends
  • The app is setting new trends by itself
  • Building on multiple trends
  • Effectively building on one trend
  • Not really building on any major trend


Transparency, visualization and crowd sourcing are all generating a new way of approaching the challenges of today and turning problems into opportunities.


How fast can it deliver
  • It's already happening
  • In the coming weeks
  • In a year or so
  • In a distant future (hopefully)


This is one of the initiatives that can deliver a lot very fast depending on how much it is used and if it seen as a credible source.


Does it support transformative transparency
  • Brave new transparency
  • Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
  • Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
  • No increase in transparency


This initiative can almost be used as a definition of transformative transparency. Probably not a coincident that Leo's (old?) blog has the subtitle: radically transparent.

Comments are closed.