UN Global Compact and Volans Announce Strategic Partnership on Breakthrough Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: United Nations Global Compact


New York, May 31, 2016 /3BL Media/ – Today, the UN Global Compact and Volans announced a partnership to develop the Breakthrough Innovation Platform to drive radical new business models to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by connecting traditional companies with innovators and entrepreneurs.

The aim of the Breakthrough Innovation Platform is to challenge and stretch prevailing business mindsets into the opportunity spaces offered by the SDGs.

Launching in September this year, the platform will engage companies, exponential thinkers and practitioners to explore new technologies that have the potential to disrupt industries and enable the sustainable business models of the future. These include technologies ranging from big data, artificial intelligence and the internet of things through to driverless vehicles, 3D printing and synthetic biology.

“Change is coming at business at an accelerating rate and ushering in profound disruption,” said Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “The adoption of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement signals a new era of opportunity – where companies must move from talk to action, and deliver innovative business models that will be at the heart of tomorrow’s economy.”

“Whether in Silicon Valley, Berlin, Tokyo or Johannesburg, we are engaging and learning from some of the most innovative people on the planet,” explains John Elkington, co-founder and Chairman of Volans. “Together with leading businesses we will be exploring the upsides—and downsides—of the many novel technologies and business models now demanding attention from investors, the media, activists and regulators”.

The Breakthrough Innovation Platform is a key element of the UN Global Compact’s multi-year strategy to mobilize companies globally to understand and act on the new SDGs. Through Global Compact LEAD, companies are being invited to engage their young professionals in this work through a "Breakthrough Innovation Challenge" designed to apply the emerging findings to company-defined challenges. Additionally, breakthrough innovation findings will be featured through a series of events.

The UN Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to voluntarily align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles. Endorsed by chief executives, the UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation, and disclosure of responsible corporate policies and practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate-sustainability initiative in the world—with more than 12,000 signatories from business and key stakeholder groups in 150 countries, and more than 80 local networks. For more information: https://www.unglobalcompact.org.

Founded in 2008, Volans is a London-based change agency helping leaders to move beyond incremental change to address systemic challenges at scale. We call this ‘Breakthrough’. Volans works with partner organisations to stretch thinking, mindsets and behaviours towards exploration of the opportunity spaces that the Breakthrough Decade offers. Volans is led by John Elkington – thought-leader, business strategist, writer and serial entrepreneur -  who is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of the sustainability movement.  Over 40+ years John has helped influence, inspire and stretch the thinking of business leaders through informed story-telling and delivering ‘constructive discomfort,’ all in service of sustainability’s triple bottom line (a term he coined in 1994) and breakthrough innovation. For more information: www.volans.com.

Sam Lakha, Director, Volans

Ingvild A. Sørensen
Senior Manager, Global Compact LEAD
UN Global Compact

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KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Environment and Climate Change, UN Global Compact, Volans, SDGs, UN Sustainable Development Goals

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