Disruptive Trends for Global Sustainability (Concept Note) UNDP-RISE

Role: Project Supervisor

This project explores different ways of identifying and understanding disruptive trends, so that they can be used to deliver on global sustainability, starting with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): the 17 global goals set by the United Nations.

Rapid changes in society triggered by disruptive trends, including rapid technological development, new business models and shifting values, provide a window of opportunity for a platform that explores how these disruptive trends are understood; and how they can be leveraged to accelerate progress towards global sustainability goals.

Disruptive trends are becoming increasingly important as the pace of change in society is increasing and many of technologies underpinning them are more powerful and interlinked than ever. By better understanding different disruptive trends, including their likely impacts, probabilities, uncertainties, links to each other, time horizons, etc, we
can support strategic decisions that can help deliver on our global sustainability goals.

The project will initially identify the potentially disruptive trends and their relation to the SDGs by analyzing leading trend assessments. In a second phase AI/machine learning will be used to gather additional information about potential disruptive trends.

New ways to visualize, collect and process information, as well as tools that allow for interaction with large data sets, make it possible to present complex information in ways that can be understood and used by more stakeholders, eg they can be tailor-made for different users depending on need.

In summary, in order to ensure global sustainability there is an urgent need to ensure that disruptive trends can be used strategically by all relevant stakeholders.

Link to concept note leaflet