Innovating the Future: Our Top 10 Opportunity Areas for Innovation

Wednesday 16th November 2016

As we have been sharing insights from Future Agenda over the past year, there have been many discussions about the most attractive areas for innovation. Some have focused on technology driven change, others on still unmet social and environmental needs. 

Innovating the Future: Our Top 10 Opportunity Areas for Innovation

This new Slideshare overview highlights those topics that are seen by informed people around the world as some of the most significant innovation opportunities for the next decade. We are sharing this to both help stimulate further debate and also to help focus resources on addressing the associated challenges

In choosing the top 10 opportunity areas from the many that have been raised we selected those that meet three key criteria

1.    They are global / multi regional in scope and hence the impact of solutions will be significant;

2.    Although some moves have already been made, they all require significant further progress to be made; and

3.    Successful innovation in these areas will create clear new social and economic value

All ten are detailed on the Slideshare but, in summary, they are:

  1. Building Data Marketplaces: Creating the protocols that can underpin credible global platform
  2. Delivering Affordable Healthcare: New business models that deliver high quality care at much lower costs 
  3. Education Revolution: Decoupling dependency on fully trained teachers and so enabling higher student ratios
  4. Governance of Machines: Develop ways of dealing with the ethics of robotics via collaboration between engineers, ethicists, lawyers and policymakers
  5. Investing in Nature’s Capital: Funds focused on impact investment in nature and platforms that aid transparency on corporate activities
  6. Minimising Food Waste: Closed loop production and safe food supply / resupply systems and networks
  7. Providing Basic Sanitation: Developing non-sewered sanitation approaches and new delivery models
  8. Reducing Air Pollution: Integration of scrubbing technologies within ventilation systems in buildings / external environments.
  9. Supporting Working Longer: Marketplaces for skilled knowledge workers extend into wider economy
  10. True Value of Clean Water: Taking chemical pollutants out of water and developing low energy desalination technologies

Seven of these align strongly with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and highlight areas that have been recognised as significant for some time but which are also going to be increasingly important to address in the future. Four or more are focused on fast emerging digitally enabled issues. They concern how improved data use and broader connectivity can help to build new platforms that will drive positive change

Having gained these insights from our multiple global discussions, we are now helping to choreograph several partnerships to take a number of areas forward to the next level. To do this we ask for your support. We would value your considered response to the rationale behind our top ten analysis and also any suggestions around how to progress. Moreover, if you would be interested in collaborating to explore one of these further do please let us know.

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