Challenge prevailing business mindsets to embrace opportunities of the SDGs

Breakthrough Innovation

Change is coming at an accelerating rate and ushering in profound disruption for business. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement signal a new era of opportunity in which companies must move from talk to action – by developing and deploying innovative business models that will be at the heart of tomorrow’s economy.

The new UN Global Compact Breakthrough Innovation Platform, developed in partnership with Volans, aims to drive radical new business models to advance the SDGs by connecting mainstream companies with next generation innovators and entrepreneurs.

By engaging companies, exponential thinkers and practitioners, we will explore and showcase new ideas and emerging practice around:

  1. The Exponential Looking Glass. Whether from Silicon Valley, Berlin, Tokyo or Johannesburg, the Breakthrough Innovation Platform will spotlight some of the most innovative people on the planet and share their thinking around exponential technology, organizations, change – and their take on how to facilitate both radical and sustained innovation.
  2. Disruptive Technologies for Sustainability. The constant buzz around technology innovations can make it challenging to identify the ones truly transforming our world and our businesses. We will identify and analyze the upside and downside of technologies that have the potential to disrupt industries and create opportunities for advancing sustainability. These include technologies ranging from big data, artificial intelligence and the internet of things through to driverless vehicles, 3D printing and synthetic biology.
  3. Tomorrow’s Business Models. Business model innovation is on the Board and C-suite agendas like never before. Bridging between corporate incumbents and the wave of market insurgents, we will explore and outline promising and potentially more sustainable business models made possible by breakthrough innovations. This will include a close look at platform and network models, the shift from products to services and on-demand offerings, and other models emerging from circular, collaboration and sharing economies.

You are invited to join the journey:

  • Emerging findings, analysis and events where you can explore Breakthrough Innovation will be featured on a project microsite. The site will evolve with new videos, opinion pieces and featured cases. We encourage you to visit often.
  • Through Global Compact LEAD, companies have the opportunity to engage their young professionals in this work through the Breakthrough Innovation Challenge, designed to apply the emerging findings to company-defined challenges.


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