Innovations that could shape and transform 2020-2030

Published: 26 Aug 2020
Type: Publication

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has released an issue brief outlining the  business model shifts, emerging technologies and social innovations that could shape the next decade.

This issue brief is part of a series of interim outputs linked to WBCSD’s current refresh of its Vision 2050, a landmark 2010 report that laid out a pathway to a world in which nine billion people are able to live well, within planetary boundaries, by mid-century. WBCSD is working together with 40 of its member companies to update this work and again provide business with a common agenda for action over the decade to come.

This common agenda centers on WBCSD’s vision of a world in which 9+ billion people can live well, within planetary boundaries. Achieving this vision calls for transformation across a wide range of key global systems, driving forward radical shifts in how we power our societies, feed ourselves, build the communities in which we live, move around, and consume goods and services. As significant systems shifts are primarily influenced by prevailing macrotrends and transformative innovations, the Vision 2050 project has sought to understand these areas in greater detail. 

Building on the insights of Zurich-based think tank W.I.R.E., this issue brief outlines 25 innovation areas, grouped into three types of innovations:

  • 5 business model shifts – changes in key aspects of the contemporary approach of business-making (value creation, value delivery or value capturing);
  • 12 emerging technologies – devices or processes originating from research developments or technical knowledge that could make an impact in markets or societies;
  • 8 social innovations – ways of interacting that could alter social systems and overcome one or several challenges faced by society.

View issue brief

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