Our current resource crunch coupled with ongoing population growth means that life will become increasingly turbulent – “Extreme is the new normal,” as New Scientist has put it. We must do things differently. But government leadership has been conspicuous by its absence, as illustrated by the failure of last year’s Rio+20 summit. Against such a backdrop, business has an increasingly crucial role to play in creating a world fit for the 9 billion people predicted for 2050.

Volans’ latest report entitled Breakthrough: Business Leaders, Market Revolutions outlines the context in which business operates today and suggests three possible scenarios for the future:
– Breakdown – where business misunderstands the complexity of global challenges and resists change;
– Change-As-Usual – where earnest efforts are made, but the overall outcome is little more than a set of patches on the existing, dysfunctional system;
– Breakthrough – where business dares to create ambitious ventures with innovators, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, investors and policy makers, helping drive disruptive change into markets and political systems.

The Volans team interviewed 120 leaders (ranging from the CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies through to innovators determined to disrupt just such companies), representing multiple sectors and geographies. Their focus: the emerging challenges in such areas as energy security, water security, food security and climate security. The Breakthrough report summarizes these findings and spotlights how some business leaders are taking the reins, arguing the business case for “market revolutions” in such heartland areas as accounting, valuation and economics.