Follow Sustainia’s series on digital leaders who could disrupt big businesses, build the marketplaces of tomorrow, and become Global Goals frontrunners.

Digital technology has profoundly changed our lives every day, everywhere, at unprecedented speed and scale. Such exponential, transformative power of digitalization is exactly what it takes to accelerate breakthrough solutions for the advancement of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thereby closing the gap between where we are right now and where we need to be in 2030, while leaving no one behind.

According to Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Accenture Strategy, not only is digital technology a crucial enabler of all 17 goals and over 50% of the 169 targets, but it is also a huge market opportunity: digital solutions for the SDGs could bring as much as $9 trillion economic benefits for industries across all sectors, governments and consumers annually in 2030.

The Next Digital Disruptor Can Be Anyone

As Sci-fi-like digital levers such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), robotics, and 3D printing are now becoming a Sci-fact, it’s high time we went beyond hype and delved deeper into how they could be applied to reshape the market landscape. And it’s not just tech leaders like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Tesla whom you should watch out for. The democratized and decentralized nature of digital technology enables everyone with access to it, be it from the urban garage or the rural village, to be a disruptor.

First Things First

In the coming weeks, we will be introducing disruptors who tackle some of the greatest challenges – and tap into some of the greatest market opportunities – with a combination of cutting-edge digital levers such as AI, blockchain, IoT, and robotics. These disruptors, who come from all over the world, are now growing and gaining momentum from a small start. 

Coming first in the series will be Daniel Jones, the innovator behind the world’s first AI-and-blockchain-powered coffee. The coffee industry generates $55 billion annually, but only $7 billion reaches the world’s 25 million coffee producers. Find out how Daniel empowers coffee farmers at the bottom of the supply chain with artificial intelligence and the blockchain.