The Road to New Market Opportunities

What is the best way to discover the undiscovered? Thinking alone or reading existing literature will never find unchartered lands, but local knowledge can guide the traveller to the best-kept secrets. For five years now Sustainia has been keeping its ear to the ground, listening to local innovators around the world and keeping our fingers on the pulse of emerging markets. The Global Opportunity Explorer, a collaboration between Sustainia, DNV GL, and UN Global Compact, is a chest full of sustainable cities, solutions, and markets, but we need your help to discover new localised solutions that are addressing the global goals with the greatest untapped potential.

Armed with the newest and most innovative solutions addressing the four most underdeveloped SDGs, we will unveil the newly mapped markets. Big business will then be able to join the early disruptors, in the same way that the earliest maps allowed settlers to follow the pioneers.

Last month the SDGs celebrated a two year anniversary, so it is timely to take a look at their progress. A report released at the UN Global Compact’s Global Leader Summit last month takes a closer look at each goal, with insights from the DNV GL report “The Future of Spaceship Earth” and a survey of businesses from around the world. The report concludes that although all SDGs hold business potential, and a holistic approach is vital, it is clear that some are progressing faster than others.

Using a scenario-based forecasting approach, DNV GL identified which of the SDGs are most likely to miss their targets, unless extraordinary efforts are put in place. These four SDGs are:

Several other sources point to these SDGs as well. The GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey report from 2017 also points out SDG 10, 12, and 14 as some of the SDGs that are lacking progress, and at the same time acknowledges that SDG 13 is one of the most important goals to be achieved.

How can we change our course, in order to meet all of the SDGs by 2030?

Over the next four months we will concentrate on exploring these SDGs by presenting market opportunities for business and showing the pioneering work through concrete solutions. In the coming weeks we present four blogs that will dive deeper into each of the targeted SDGs, presenting the key indicators, current trends, and areas of business potential to accelerate achieving each goal.

We hope that you are willing to help us with the four SDGs presented here. We need your help to identify solutions that are readily available, financially viable, scaleable, have the capacity to improve quality of life, and have a positive environmental impact. Solutions can be either new business models, partnerships or technologies that have a sustainable impact. Look here for inspiration. This is a call for action, and by crowdsourcing your local knowledge, we can map out unchartered markets and accelerate the progress on delivering the global goals.

Look out for the upcoming blogs, or take action today by submitting solutions you believe will make an impact on one of these four SDGs! We aim to showcase the best submitted solutions online and feature them in an upcoming report to show business around the world that there are commercial opportunities in all SDGs – also in the ones currently lagging behind.

Author: Anders Jensen & Jack Robinson