It has become a truism that the movement of data, people, and goods connects us all in unprecedented ways across geographical boundaries. This report is a direct product of this reality, born out of a determined belief that behind every global risk the world faces hides multiple opportunities to innovate and create better, more prosperous, and sustainable societies. Our work is cut out for us, as clearly demonstrated in the Sustainable Development agenda adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 – and perhaps just as much by the global political developments of 2016.
AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT MISSION
Now in its third year, the Global Opportunity Report continues its pursuit to map tomorrow’s sustainable markets. The myriad market opportunities we have identified over the past three years – of which only the very best made it into the reports – are a testament to the vast possibilities for progress and innovation in the face of seemingly stifling uncertainty.
In the ever-more complex environments businesses are forced to operate in, their ability to analyse, confront, and utilise uncertainties is critical for their success. Further, the vast majority of businesses need to look beyond their own immediate financial interests for this success to last. In other words, they are deeply dependent on the well-being of their surrounding community and, by extension, the world at large.
We believe – and our data confirms – businesses are increasingly willing to take on this challenge. As with last year’s top risk, unemployment, businesses this year are particularly concerned about inequality, which 46 percent of respondents identify as most worrying.
Those at the forefront of their industry know they must embrace sustainability as a core part of their business rather than an add-on. What they really need is new inspiration to tackle these problems through innovative partnerships, technologies, and solutions – and that is what the Global Opportunity Report seeks to provide.
HOW TO READ THIS REPORT
As in 2015 and 2016, this report presents five global risks and 15 new sustainable market opportunities that directly address them. Through a consistent innovation process involving digital conversations, opportunity panel, and a global online survey with 5,500 respondents, the Global Opportunity Report has created a new market universe over the past
With risks ranging from extreme weather, water shortage, and unsustainable urbanisation to non-communicable disease, youth unemployment, and the global food crisis, we recommend you consult all three Global Opportunity Reports and seek out the risk areas most relevant for you.
In this year’s report, we take stock in a “Trends” chapter to decipher what defines the 45 new markets we have uncovered during the three years of this project, and how businesses can work with them.
SEIZING THE MOMENT
At the launch of this report, in early 2017, there is no doubt we live in disruptive times. Complex and interconnected crises in the political, environmental, and social spheres are taking hold of our world – and it is time change-makers with a shared vision for a sustainable future seize the moment.
The mindset driving this report does not seek to make things a little better. It is a mindset seeking to turn around our conception of good business towards a more holistic vision of profit and purpose.
We hope you will join us in our pursuit of new market opportunities and help shape tomorrow’s sustainable society.