Frontier 2030

Decade of Action

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out a 17 Global Goals (SDGs) to facilitate equal, sustainable and inclusive growth across the world, while promoting peace. Yet, progress towards delivering many of these Goals is far off track, and in some areas, progress is going backwards.

Business as usual could have catastrophic impacts for humanity and the environment. As we enter the so-called “decade of action” ambitions must intensify, and plans must turn into reality. The need for transformative change across all sectors of our economy is urgent. We need radical innovation to advance and accelerate the solution set.

Against the backdrop of these global challenges, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is reshaping industries and value chains, scientific discovery and national economic power at unprecedented speed and scale - even down to the very idea of what it means to be human.

While the opportunity for 4IR technologies to tackle major global challenges - such as poverty, climate change, nature loss and inequality – is immense, the potential is far from being reached. Current adoption is patchy and tends to be focused on areas that maximise private sector commercial benefits, including energy, industry and healthcare, rather than those areas of the Goals which might largely benefit wider society.

We have not managed to turn this technological advancement into faster and better SDG delivery. Choosing to “wait and see” will only increase the gap between technology’s impact on society and its potential to solve some of our greatest challenges.

Unlocking the potential opportunity for technology to help make the Global Goals a reality over the next 10 years requires a system level change in priorities, and significant challenges to be overcome. We need to embrace innovation, not only in the development of new technologies, but also in how we do things. This includes new business models (platforms and ecosystems, marketplaces, digital commons), public and private collaborations, and incentives to ensure solutions are applied to solving our greatest social and environmental problems.

Frontier 2030 - partnering together to scale technologies for the global goals 

There is a huge untapped opportunity, therefore, to harness new technologies to accelerate progress on the Global Goals, both broadening and deepening current action. Frontier 2030 – a new Fourth Industrial Revolution for Global Goals Platform - will be launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January 2020. It builds on calls from the United Nations (UN) High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation for a multistakeholder approach that brings together technology companies, government, civil society and international organization leaders to collaborate and unlock broader barriers to responsible deployment of new technologies to deliver positive societal impact.

This new platform will provide a focal point for the mobilization of a more concerted and cooperative effort to apply advanced technologies to the achievement of the Global Goals. It will serve, on one hand, as a global node and facilitator of networks of providers and users of technology solutions for sustainable development; on the other, it will advance intentional curated efforts, partnership building, government capacity development and finance to fast track new technology solutions for the Global Goals.

The platform seeks to form 4IR technology partnerships with three key objectives in mind:

  1. to help countries identify and apply technologies that address their specific SDG implementation priorities; 

  2. to catalyse further investment in breakthrough technology innovations for the SDGs; 

  3. to unlock barriers to the scaling of solutions.

The World Economic Forum hosts and facilitates the Frontier 2030 platform. It is a public-private collaboration that will be organized and delivered in cooperation with partner institutions, with PwC as knowledge partner. The Tech for Global Goals Leaders Group includes more than 20 CEOs, Ministers and heads of international organizations committed to leading a portfolio of projects and activities. . 

For more information and to get involved, please contact Anne Marie Engtoft Larsen, Lead, Frontier 2030, at

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