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Corporate Disruptors:How business is turning the worlds greatest challenges into opportunities
This report is in collaboration with the World Economic Forums Young Global Leaders Community and an output of the YGL Sustainable Development Goals initiative.
The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique, diverse, global community of the worlds most outstanding, next-generation leaders nominated under the age of 40, who commit a portion of their time to jointly shape a better future and thereby improve the state of the world. To achieve its mission, of shaping a positive future, the Forum of YGL acts as a platform for young leaders to be both a voice for the future in global thought processes and a catalyst for joint action when appropriate. Together, its community members form a powerful international force for the global common good.
Enormous value creation potential by providing Quality healthcare at Aordable price in an easily Accessible manner.
Access to primary healthcare and changing demographics are driving the global health and well-being development agenda
What does this mean for the business?
Projected global telemedicine market by the end of 2020
Low income Health Care Opportunity
Potential access to skilled professionals across 107 countries
Businesses need to invest in state of the art infrastructure, identify the right partners and develop innovative operating models to realize this value.
Read our full report to find out how
Unilevers Lifebuoy soap has an ambition to improve hand washing habit of 1 billion people, thereby reducing incidence of child death up to 44%.
43 deaths per 100,000 births(Against SDG target of 25)
210 deaths per 100,000 births(Against SDG target of 70)
89%of 1.8 billion youth aged 10-24 live in developing economies today
Over 80%of the world's aging population (over 60) will live in developing countries by 2050
A new world for business 5
The worlds greatest goals What does this have to do with business? 8
Deep Dive: From the MDGs to SDGs 10
Key enablers 14
From responsibility to opportunity 16
Infographics: 18Visual summary for the 17 sustainable development goals
Demand for goods is outstripping the supply of finite virgin resources, resulting in commodity price volatility and escalation, as well as severe negative environmental impacts.
Do these sound familiar? They should, because that is the world in which global businesses operate today.
As these five trends have converged to create a world characterized by volatility, uncertainty and complexity, companies understandably find themselves in a quandary: They are unsure of what it all means for their businessboth now and in the long term. But perhaps even more important, there are no clear clues for how they should respond.
Enter the global development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As companies grapple with how they need to change their organizations to thrive and grow in todays evolving, often chaotic, world, the SDGs can serve as a guiding light. They are a framework that can help companies capitalize on the possibilities inherent in these macro trends by entering new markets, developing new solutions and services, and creating entirely new businesses.
A number of leading companiescorporate disruptors have found a way to grow and increase competitiveness despite, and sometimes because of, the global challenges they face. They are already using the SDGs to help them replace the notion of Corporate Social Responsibility with something much more powerful: Corporate Social Opportunity. In the process, they are creating new value in new wayswhether it is by growing revenues, reducing costs, mitigating risks, improving brand value, or some combination of the four.
In the following report, we describe how companies can move beyond a focus on overcoming the volatility, uncertainty and complexity of todays marketplace. Instead, we look at how companies can use the SDGs to find opportunities to grow and future-proof their businessall while generating the significant societal and environmental benefits that their customers, as well as the global community, increasingly value.
Shifting patterns of global growth, especially in emerging economies, are making customers a moving target. Demographic changes are roiling both the consumer and labor markets, posing significant challenges for customer and talent acquisition and retention. Digitally empowered consumers have higher expectations than ever, and are taking companies to task that do not meet them. Enormous business potential exists in the data companies collect, but pressure is increasing to be much more vigilant in how that data is secured and used.
Urban Population in 2050 (mn)
United States of America (USA)
China India USA Nigeria Brazil
Pakistan Indonesia Mexico Philippines Russia
73% 54% 90% 75% 94%
59% 66% 88% 69% 83%
Percentage (%) reflects the urban population as a fraction of the total population
Shifts in global demandFor the past two decades, the global balance of power has been slowly shifting from highly developed to emerging economies. Developing countries already hold around two-thirds of the worlds total foreign exchange reserves. And by 2020, the combined output of the three leading emerging economiesChina, India, and Brazilwill surpass the aggregate production of the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada.1
Accompanying the rise of emerging markets is an unprecedented wave of urbanization. In 1950, rural areas were home to a majority of the global population. Today, over half of the worlds population live in urban areas.2 And the trend shows no sign of stopping: Over two-thirds of the global population will likely be urban dwellers by 2050, driven predominantly by todays emerging economies.
Perhaps these figures should not be surprising, given emerging economies are projected to represent a major share of global population overall, with India, China and Nigeria alone accounting for approximately 3.5billion people (out of the projected global population of around 9.7 billion) by 2050.3
Along with urbanization comes increasing affluence. According to estimates by Reuters, the global middle class is expected to more than double by 2030, reaching 4.9 billion.5
These population growth patterns will shift consumer growth and purchasing power from rural to urban areas and from developed to emerging economies. Businesses will need to realign their growth strategies and their suite of products and services to tap into these new markets and consumer pools.
A new world for businessThe world is changing rapidlythe evidence is all around us. The next few decades will see significant shifts in consumer demand, buying power and expectations, driven by massive population migrations and widespread information availability. At the same time, an increasingly resource-constrained world will be forced to deal with decades of unfettered growth and unsustainable consumption of natural resources. The implications for businesses are significant: With these changes fundamentally redefining the rules of the game, companies increasingly recognize they must take a deeper look at what this new day dawning means for them and how they should respond. Five major trends, in particular, are forcing companies to find new and innovative ways to deliver value for their stakeholders.
Figure 1: Top ten countries with highest forecasted urban populations (2050)4
Percentage (%) reflects the countrys population in the respective timeframe as a fraction of the global population
1950 (Estimates)Total Population = 2.52 billion
United States of America
United States of America
United States of America
Democratic Republic of the Congo
2020 (Projections) 2050 (Projections)Total Population = 7.76 billion Total Population = 9.73 billion
Figure 2: Changing world order: Most populous countries from 1950 to 205018
The dual demographic bulge The world isnt just growing. Its growing at opposite ends of the hourglass. At one end is the elder population. Today, the global population aged 60 or above is about 901 million, around 12 percent of the overall global population.6 By 2050, this is expected to jump to more than 2 billion, constituting almost 20 percent of the overall population.7 Developed economies are expected to contribute most significantly to this aging trend.8 In Europe, for examp