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Crowd-sourcing of sustainable business opportunities open now: Submit your ideas!

Digital innovation stream will help map the world’s biggest opportunities out of global risks 

Great ideas come from all walks of life, which is why the Global Opportunity Network is launching a crowd-sourced, digital innovation stream to help turn five global risks into 15 new business opportunities.

Five Oceans uses trash from the ocean to produce eco-Fin - the first sustainable surfboard.

Innovative solution: Five Oceans uses plastic waste from the ocean to produce eco-Fin – the first sustainable surfboard (2016 GOR)

Now in its third year, the Global Opportunity Network collaborates with disruptive thinkers, sustainability experts, innovators, investors and business leaders to unpack the world’s most pressing and systemic challenges and identify the sustainable new market opportunities that they create. This year, the Global Opportunity Network also is asking people all over the world to reflect on the challenges and suggest opportunities, during the month of June.

Bjorn K. Haugland, Chief Sustainability Officer at DNV GL, said: “We know that people closest to the world’s toughest challenges often know the most about what we can do to find the solution. We’re building that approach into our annual mapping methodology, by opening up the innovation process online to help inform the new market opportunities that will truly put us on the path towards a sustainable future.”

This approach will also benefit from the inclusion of members from eight existing Opportunity Panels on five continents, who will join the digital co-creation process and lend their market expertise.

Ostara Ostara helps protect prescious water resources by changing the way cities manage excess nutrients, by recovering polluting nutrients and transforming them into eco-friendly fertilizer (2016 GOR).

Innovative solution: Ostara helps protect prescious water resources by recovering polluting nutrients and transforming them into eco-friendly fertilizer (2016 GOR).

All opportunities and solutions submitted will feed into the 2017  Global Opportunity Report to be launched early next year, revealing a map business opportunities and providing unrivalled insights into new markets for sustainable business action.

“Last year’s findings showed that there is no limit to the opportunities we can create together. We are in an unprecedented time, with a new pace and direction set by the Sustainable Development Goals, so it’s time for businesses to focus on how they can create long-term value if they want to thrive. Our open, global innovation approach will be a core tool in helping them achieve this” says Marianne Haahr, Director, Global Opportunity Network.

Previous market opportunities identified through the Global Opportunity Network range from water-efficient agriculture to new business models for antibiotics.

Submit your ideas and help co-create a sustainable future!

This year, we ask people to offer their ideas on business solutions related to the following five global risks:

  1. Rising inequality – mind the gap
  2. Rising conflict and instability
  3. Soil depletion
  4. Cities in the face of climate disruption
  5. Cyber crime epidemic

Click here to read more about the risks, and to submit your idea for the future.

Once the online process has closed, five submissions will be selected at random to be in with a chance of winning a Little Sun solar lamp, designed by artist Olafur Eliasson.

1 Comments Add your comment
Júlia Ribeiro says:

This is the first time I hear about this program, which is a very efficient way to promote sustainable ideas throughout the world and connected all of the society’s stakeholders.

Also, this reminds me of UNDP’s Innovation Facility, which works in a similar way. Last year, in 2015, UNDP Innovation Facility acted across 45 countries sponsored by the Facility in 2015 with seed-funding and technical assistance, including creating Innovation Labs that serve also as innovation hubs. The main goal of it is to mix innovation and sustainable development, being guided by the Sustainable Development Goals.

I really enjoyed the opportunities Global Opportunity Network promotes, specially through its alternative finance model. I really encourage to take a look in UNDP’s 2015 year in review report, though, because I believe its structure (human-centered design, crowdsourcing for collecting community inputs to spot trends and solve problems, seed-funding and crowdfunding as means of alternative finance, and co-creation of innovation labs with other stakeholders) can contribute to this debate 🙂

Here is the link for the report: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/development-impact/2015-year-in-review.html

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