Project Breakthrough goes live: a sustainability skunkworks

by John Elkington 19 September 2016


What happens when you apply an exponential lens to the sustainable business agenda? How can we in the sustainability industry disrupt ourselves? What are the technologies, business models and mindsets needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030?

We’re delighted to announce the launch of Project Breakthrough – a collaboration between Volans and the UN Global Compact – designed to explore exactly these questions. The website was officially unveiled this morning by John Elkington and UNGC Executive Director Lise Kingo at the “Leading the Way in the SDG Era: Connecting Global Business” event, held at the UN headquarters in New York.

Among the breakthrough leaders spotlighted in the starting line-up on Project Breakthrough, are Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase, X Prize Foundation’s CEO Marcus Shingles, Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas, and Gary Cohen, President of Health Care Without Harm. We also feature companies across the globe, from WeFarm in the UK, Miniwiz in Taiwan to Philips in the Netherlands, that are applying new technologies and business models in ways that are bringing key SDG targets within reach.

Our vision for Project Breakthrough is to create an open-source skunkworks for the sustainability industry – as explored in John’s latest article on Our goal is to inspire and activate radical change in business.

We’ll be building the content over the coming months, profiling an A-Z of innovators and thinkers who are pioneering disruptive, exponential approaches with the potential to help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by the early 2030s.

Most immediately, we will publish a report on Breakthrough Business Models – written by Volans for the Business and Sustainable Development Commission. So please stay tuned…

@volansjohn:Maybe not something that mainstream financial markets would do, but could be the nucleus of a civil society campaig……
@volansjohn:Thanks for providing the headroom, Joel.…
@volansjohn:Simply that, a provocation!…


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Growing the Business of Tomorrow

Visit Project Breakthrough, exploring the mindsets, business models and technologies needed to deliver the Global Goals.