With the success of the millennium development goals, and the advent of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the year 2015 has been coined as “the year of sustainable development” and has been deemed to be defined by global action. The recent OECD Ministerial Council Meeting called for more investment in innovation and technology, certainly those that focus on resources (such as water, food, and energy) and sustainability. OECD Ministerial Council Meeting’s chair Mark Rutten says “It’s my ambition to invest in the future. Together, we can unlock investment for sustainable growth and jobs”. This view was also reflected by the recent G7 summit which was summarized as ““Think Ahead, Act Together” and G7 leaders agreed to focus on decarbonising the global economy in the course of this century. We can say that this is a year of transformation, excitement, and determination. And for this, innovators and entrepreneurs are vital enablers.
Apart from being the lifeblood of economic growth and central to job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship have the opportunity to solve grand challenges and revolutionize major industries. When global challenges are tackled, this will bring about a boost in global welfare and sustainability, whilst accelerating growth and progress.
So what do we have to focus on? Where should we innovate?
It is always best to solve problems at their core. We are burning through our fossil fuels, fresh water is scarce, food demand is on the rise, mineral and metal prices are continuously increasing, and people require more and more medical care. Imagine a world where all resources are plentiful and abundant: an unlimited source of energy, water, food, materials, and healthcare. In this world, all people’s basic needs would be met, allowing us to elevate our collective intelligence and work towards realising a bright and sustainable future for all.
But is this possible?
When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce. They are mainly inaccessible. Good examples of this are water and energy, which are both abundantly present (ocean and sun) but difficult to access. It is through technology innovation that we can access these resources and/or prevent their waste. We need innovators that create exponentially accelerating technologies able to solve those challenges and entrepreneurs that can implement these technologies. Peter H Diamandis from Singularity University says: “When I think about creating abundance, it’s not about creating a life of luxury for everybody on this planet; it’s about creating a life of possibility. It is about taking that which was scarce and making it abundant.”
For al these reasons CUTEC has decided to dedicate this year’s Technology Ventures Conference (TVC) to this topic, in hopes of inspiring, enriching, and connecting people towards enabling this utopian future of resource abundance. Together we can make a difference and work our way towards green and clean global welfare.