GEMI Launches New Project to Look Ten Years Ahead at External Future Forces That Will Disrupt the Business of Sustainability

What four or five external future forces are most likely to ‘disrupt’ the business of sustainability for companies, the industry, and society at large—thinking ten years ahead? 

In 2007, Institute for the Future created a 10-year custom forecast for GEMI focused on external future forces likely to disrupt sustainability. The forecast was quite accurate and it gave GEMI project members unusual foresight that contributed to their business strategy.

Now, GEMI and IFTF are partnering again to look another ten years ahead at a very different future in a very different world. In this world, it is too late to have just a sustainability strategy. Now, companies must have a strategy that melds sustainability and business.

Project Objective

Through this project, GEMI and IFTF have committed to work together to develop a new custom forecast that will point a ten-year lens on external future forces—including both threats and opportunities—that will disrupt sustainability, with a focus on business choices and business strategy.

GEMI’s goal for the project is to use foresight to awaken, engage, and drive change in the present. Urgent future disruptions are looming and this project will provide the grounding to engage with and win through the most important external future forces.

This project will focus on this research question: Over the next ten years, what four or five external future forces are most likely to disrupt the business of sustainability for companies, the industry, and society at large?

We will focus in particular on the links to digital transformation and the impacts on the business of sustainability. This new forecast will help leaders glimpse and understand the future disruptions in the environment within which they will be required to win. It will help companies heighten their game, and it will give a rigorous, provocative futures perspective to inform business strategy.

Project Participants

Current GEMI members and project participants committed to participate in this project include: American Forest & Paper Association, Carnival Corp & plc, CBRE, ConocoPhillips, Dell, The Dow Chemical Company, ExxonMobil Chemical, FedEx Corp, Gannett Fleming, Ingersoll Rand, Lockheed Martin, SABIC, Schlumberger, Sealed Air, Smithfield Foods and Waste Management.

Project Deliverable

IFTF will work with GEMI to develop a new custom forecast map for project partners in pdf form to allow partners to focus strategic conversations on the four or five most important external future forces. The 2007 map was a very accurate forecast, but as the speed of business has increased, maps like this are just too busy to engage many top executives. This map will be just as content rich, but more clear and actionable.  The project is scheduled to formally kickoff in February 2019, with the final map delivered to GEMI six months thereafter.

To learn more about this GEMI project and opportunities for participation as a GEMI member or non-member project participant, please contact Kellen Mahoney. 

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