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No Goals Left Behind: The Global Opportunity Report 2018 launches with a call to action

Cricket chips anyone? Yum! Chirps Chips is making money while meeting a growing protein demand with less impact on the environment. Insect food is one of many innovative products featured in the Global Opportunity Report 2018, unveiled on February 1st at the DNV GL head office in Høvik, Norway. The roll-out program brought together business, labour and UN leaders.

Rose Wang and Laura D'Asaro, co-founders of Chirps Chips

Co-founders Rose Wang and Laura D’Asaro.
Credit: Chirps Chips.

The co-founders of Chirps Chips Rose Wang and Laura D’Asaro hope you will soon discover the joy of insect food, just like the they did, eating insects abroad. Their belief echoes Steve Jobs, who once said people don’t know yet that they need an iPhone, when asked who would ever want to buy his new device. That’s the kind of bold thinking in the Global Opportunity Report by Norway’s DNV GL consulting company, think tank Sustainia and UN Global Compact. The 2018 release and its companion, the Global Opportunity Explorer, are a guide to investments that address social problems and make money. DNV GL CEO Remi Eriksen told the audience addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could unlock a $12 trillion market.

UN Global Compact’s CEO Lise Kingo came to the launch from Davos, where the world’s business and political elite had debated global challenges at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Kingo leads the UN initiative rallying business around its social goals. She saw deep concern at the World Economic Forum focused on “Creating a shared future in a fractured world”, but found solutions in Høvik. Since 2015 Kingo’s UN Global Compact, DNV GL and Sustainia have been scouring the world for entrepreneurs turning risks into opportunities. Their annual reports are based on worldwide research and consultations with leading business leaders and industry experts. Every investment solves one or more of the 17 UN SDGs, from ending poverty to securing clean energy and economic growth by 2030.

Per Espen Stoknes (psychologist and politician), Svein Skovly (Sparebank 1) and Clare Rodgers (IKEA Norway) at the Global Opportunity Report 2018 launch.

Per Espen Stoknes (psychologist and politician),
Svein Skovly (Sparebank 1) and Clare Rodgers
(IKEA Norway).

But the world is almost out of time to meet these urgent goals. With less than 5000 days till 2030, speed is of the essence to avoid climate and environmental catastrophe. But don’t call it catastrophe, urges behavioral scientist Per Aspen Stoknes; rather call it an opportunity. Stoknes tells the audience the Global Opportunity Report has the right mindset, sounding the fire alarm but also offering an extinguisher in the form of a solution. And this positive mindset is catching on, says Kingo, pointing out that 75% of the 13,500 UN allied businesses are making the SDGs part of their business model.

The Global Opportunity Report 2018

This year’s Global Opportunity Report focuses on the four underdog goals, ripe for the picking but least likely to attract investors – Inequality, Consumption and production, Climate and Oceans. Sustainia CEO Rasmus Schjødt Pedersen says the four lagging SDGs present 10 opportunities with 40 tested business solutions. Most of them have multiple social benefits, such as thread which turns plastic trash into fashion, reducing damage to the environment while providing micro free loans to its suppliers.

The 2018 edition also outlines the winning strategies to stay ahead of the pack. Businesses which embrace cutting edge technology are the more likely to succeed, like the entrepreneur using blockchain to secure property rights in Ghana. But industries will also have to seek new partnerships outside their comfort zone to stay competitive. For instance, health companies venturing in the food sector to meet the growing need for antibiotic-free foods.

DNV GL’s Chief Sustainability Officer hopes the Global Opportunity Report helps build momentum so that no goals are left behind. Bjørn Haugland invited business leaders and entrepreneurs to use the Global Opportunity Explorer platform to find new projects and partners that align with their business and social goals. And why not partner with quiz app Kahoot! to make extracting the messages fun? Co-founder Johan Brand led a digital quiz to see how much the audience had taken away.

Kahoot! at Global Opportunity Report 2018 launch

Kahoot! co-founder Johan Brand runs a quiz, while Bjørn Haugland (DNV GL), Erik Rasmussen (Sustainia), Lise Kingo (UN Global Compact) and Remi Eriksen (DNV GL) play along.

My team got most answers right on the Kahoot! quiz, but wasn’t fast enough to win. We need to speed up our game. That’s my takeaway from Høvik, speed is of the essence in the race to a sustainable tomorrow. Seize the opportunity now!

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