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.

Aligned with the UN Global Compact’s priority of translating the new SDGs into business action, 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 2016, 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, 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 make global goals local business by mobilizing companies around the world to understand and act on the 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.

Learn more about the Breakthrough Innovation Platform