The overarching opportunity presented by today’s global challenges is to create a world of abundance for all people in balance with the natural world.
The accelerating speed of innovation and social change in today’s world, combined with practical and humane concerns to meet the needs of a growing population within the earth’s ecosystem, present both daunting challenges and vast opportunities.
To achieve an abundant future will require scalable, sustainable solutions. To achieve sustainable, scalable solutions, in turn, requires innovation, collaboration, culture, context, strategy, and new forms of enterprise informed by shared value. Today, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors are awakening to the opportunities for abundance and are taking steps to embed social purpose into their corporate operations. As a result, there is a growing awareness that scalable solutions for social and environmental problems can be created in a profitable, i.e., sustainable, way. In other words, there is a growing awareness of the importance of shared value as a core business strategy; and an awareness that private enterprise plays a critical role in providing a self-sustaining (i.e., profitable), scalable solutions for today’s problems.
The intersection of these two trends will result the highest percentage of human beings living in cities in human history.
To put this growth in perspective, it is estimated that to provide the necessary built environment for this new urban population will require the equivalent of building a new city for one million people from the ground up every week for the next thirty-five years. The scale and speed of this projected growth will put enormous pressure on both cities and rural areas. Leaders must work energetically to prepare for this tsunami of change.
To prepare, the world needs new, scalable urban and rural models that can accommodate the projected population shifts, and it must leverage the change to usher in a new era of sustainable abundance.