For every threat to the planet, there’s an opportunity for a company to step in with solutions. For every risk to humanity, there’s a potential business model and boost to the bottom line.
In the spirit of this risk-to-opportunity ethos, a new website called the Global Opportunity Explorer contains business solutions for coping with global challenges, from water scarcity to hunger to urban transportation. The hope is that companies will use the site and see dollar signs where once they might just have seen intractable problems.
“With this platform we’re hoping to connect bigger companies with entrepreneurs who oftentimes have an invention that can be interesting for them,” says Laura Hammershoy, director of strategic innovation at Sustainia, a Copenhagen-based think tank and consultancy, one of three groups behind the initiative. “For companies, it’s not about greening the business anymore or reporting or risk management. It’s should be about innovating and capturing the opportunities that are out there.”
The risk-to-opportunity platform is organized according to the United Nations’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Click on SDG 2, which calls for an end to hunger, and you get solutions like bio-fertilizers that improve soils and raise agricultural yields. Click on SDG 6, covering clean water and sanitation, and you get ideas like a shower that recycles and cleans water after use. The idea is that if you’re a business looking to make your practices more sustainable, there are ideas–and potential partners here–in whatever area you operate in.