Want to have a successful business in the future? The Global Opportunity Report 2015 is a great resource to mine for ideas.

Co-created through workshops with over 200 experts, and by surveying over 6,000 public and private sector leaders from 21 countries, the Global Opportunity Report 2015 explores the big challenges, and hence the big business opportunities, coming our way. Here are the top three opportunities identified for each risk area and examples of businesses and initiatives getting ahead…

Lack of fresh water

By 2050, global water demand is expected to increase by over 50%. Yet worldwide, the number of people whose right to fresh water is not met is as high as 3.5 billion and nearly 10% of all watersheds in the US are overexploited.

The top three opportunities in this area identified by the report are:

Urbanisation

200,000 people migrate to cities every day, and already more than half of the global population live in urban areas. Cities can potentially help us manage the stresses of our growing population, but only if done right. Sanitation, pollution, energy use, transport, and quality of life are key challenges.

The top three opportunities in this area identified by the report are:

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

NCDs like cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are the top cause of death globally, accounting for 68% of all deaths in 2012. They pose a significant threat to economic development and a burden to healthcare. NCDs are rising fast in low or lower-middle-income countries.

The top three opportunities in this area identified by the report are:

Extreme weather

Natural disasters have taken over two million lives in the last 30 years. Since 1992 storms have cause losses of £720 billion, and in 2013 floods in central Europe led to an economic loss of $15.2 billion. Heatwaves, droughts, floods and storms are expected to occur more frequently and be more severe in the next few decades, so there’s plenty of innovation to be developed.

The top three opportunities in this area identified by the report are:

  • Early warning and forecasting services – see Earthworks’ sensor networks
  • Green bonds – see the size of the climate-related bond market has almost tripled since 2005
  • Extreme weatherproofing approaches and products – see New York’s BIG U project

Continued lock-in to fossil fuels

“Lock-in” refers to the inertia created by the big investments that have made into fossil fuel that hinders the development of innovations and new markets for cleaner alternatives. Fossil fuel accounts for around 86% of all energy consumption, and with demand for energy growing, we need to make sure we’re investing in cleaner alternatives that help us to avoid dangerous climate change rather than speed up its progress.

The top three opportunities in this area identified by the report are:

There’s so much in the report to explore, and it’s a great resource to spot trends and gaps for new innovations and business ideas – as well as discovering what people in different parts of the world made of the opportunities. Take a look, see what you think, and let us know what your new business idea is!

Find out more and read the report. #globalopportunity

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