How can new business ideas be made to benefit people as well as profit margins? At World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, one of central themes will be the question of how to sustain a world of 9 billion people: how to feed house also employ such a vast population in face of dwindling resources also escalating climate change. It's no longer relying on traditional solutions; we need future-focused thinkers to come up with new plans.
At the World Economic Forum, a community of Young Global Leaders - a group of more than 900 people under age of 40, from all over world, across private and public sectors - has spent a large part of 2013 developing ideas that can effect large-scale, lasting change. Take a look at some of highlights of their work:
Ten ideas that contribute to sustainable growth, from creating jobs for young people to safeguarding environment.
1. Education is a tool for empowerment:
Why there are so many nations opposed to a free-flowing labour force when elimination of immigration controls could add 5-15% to world's income? Columbia Law School's Annul Bradford has shown how countries can facilitate free migration by looking at the downsides of "undesirable migration" and introducing idea of a migration fund in which "reversible bonds" would act as a form of insurance policy, replacing quotas and desirability screenings.
For example, if a US company wanted to hire a worker from Colombia, a bond could be posted to cover any potential costs to state (such as welfare benefits, should worker later become unemployed). In event of worker keeping their job for a specified time period, the bond would be divided between the company and Colombian government.
2. The immense opportunity for non-bank lenders:
Did you believe only banking institutions could be big-time lenders? Think again: Tadhg Flood of Deutsche Bank in the UK suggests that there is nothing stopping European companies from trying their hand at finance. It's something that could lead to all sorts of financial mechanisms, such as peer-to-peer lending, retail bonds and municipal bonds.
3. The brand new climate industry:
Market for environmental protection is thought to be worth as much as US$10 billion. In next 20 years this could generate as many as 500 million new jobs around world - mostly in small-scale farming. Tristan Lecomte, head of Pur Project in France has developed a process that works towards this goal, partnering farmers with businesses in forest conservation and agro forestry, practice of planting trees among other crops to boost the biodiversity and productivity of land.
4. Unemployable or Unemployed:
Both private as well as public sectors have an interest in creating sustainable incomes but how can they go about it? What's needed is dissemination of more vocational skills, argues Sandeep Naik, Managing Director of General Atlantic in India. Naik believes that in order to raise more people up to level of employability private companies' focuses on developing entrepreneurial skills and government programmes should work on scaling them up.
5. The Enterprise Credit System:
Ashish Thakkar suggests a social movement and watchdog monitoring system as he calls Enterprise Credit System where large and multinational corporations are required to designate a percentage of their annual procurement of goods and services with small-to-medium enterprises. It could make sure that certified indigenous SMEs have ample demand from large companies also sustain extra jobs which it creates. Thakkar is founder and Managing Director of Mara Group in United Arab Emirates.
6. Skills development for the unemployed:
Applying for a job can be a brutal process for young people and graduates especially whenever consider how little control they have also how little information they are given about employer. Enter Chief Executive Officer Rajeeb Dey of in UK who has hit upon a way for business owners to support rejected job seekers. Called UnRecruitment- it takes a constructive approach to interview process, assessing candidates at same time as providing them with skills and personality training.
7. Ability in disability:
One in every 100 people has autism- a condition connected with limited language as well as social skills. MNC's designs software solutions for a business has been working on a way to integrate people with autism into the workforce. Trick lies in seeing condition as a competitive advantage rather than a handicap. People with certain types of autism have unusually good memories and can repeat task over and over again - skills that are ideal for complex product testing. SAP says it aims to source 1% of its workforce from autism spectrum by 2020.
8. Flex Work Options:
When highly qualified women are not integrated into paid work force, their potential goes untapped. Answer is to make a new model for workplace flexibility. Geraldine Chin Moody, of UN Women Australia is working to make an online marketplace for highly qualified part-time experts, whom she calls "flexperts". Concept would help employers find highly qualified talent - of both sexes - and create ways for workers to stay connected and build experience.
9. Aging societies in addition to economic growth:
Private organization is often associated with youth and yet many countries possess a predominantly aging work force. Daisuke Iwase, head of Japan's Lifenet Insurance Company, has shown how getting young people to team up with experienced or retired workers can be a win-win solution. Older employees promote by feeling useful plus earning an income to sustain them in retirement and businesses benefit by not losing precious expertise too soon.
10. Enhancing innovation by talent acquisition:
What is one of major factors stalling growth of an organization? David Boehmer, of financial services practice Heidrick & Struggles, argues that it's company's inability to recognize and harness new talent. Creative people dismissed as "outsiders" can inject fresh, innovative ideas and lead to unexpected growth, Boehmer explains. In the meantime cross-collaboration can be maximized in such a way that big corporations and growing businesses can keep innovating without interruption.