It’s time for sustainability to get radical


If sustainability now demands radical solutions, we must fully embrace technology and use it to sustain the planet says Jim McClelland (Sustainable futurist, speaker, writer and social-media commentator) in an article. He asked Marga Hoek for her opinion.

New models call for new mindsets, argues international non-executive director and author Marga Hoek. “Traditionally, sustainability professionals are just not very innovative,” she says. “This needs to change, completely. We must embrace technology and use it to sustainability’s advantage.”

In her latest book, The Trillion Dollar Shift, launched at the recent World Economic Forum’s Davos summit, Ms Hoek discusses how business can successfully engage with the UN’s SDGs. In it she analyses prospects for a range of budding game-changers in the tech space, from medicine delivery by drone in Africa, to 3D-printed food and a robotic pig that tackles sewer sludge.

For Ms Hoek, embracing the dynamic and disruptive business opportunities heralded by the dawning of the fourth industrial revolution is not just desirable, but essential. Industry 4.0 is effectively a sustainable business imperative. She concludes: “We can only reach the SDGs if we are willing and able to make good use of radical innovation, and the accelerating power of ICT and technology. It makes the global goals more achievable.”

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