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We cannot transform our businesses, economies and societies to achieve Vision 2050 without understanding what transformation truly means, and what it involves. WBCSD defines transformation as profound change in the systems that have created the social and environmental challenges we face – change that generates dramatically different, and more positive, outcomes and impacts for people and the planet. Transformation tackles problems at the root cause level with completely new ways of thinking and acting, based on fundamentally new premises and sources of value.

Macrotrends, innovations and enablers combine
to bring about transformation of systems

THREE FACTORS THAT DRIVE AND
SHAPE SYSTEMS TRANSFORMATION

MACROTRENDS

All systems operate in a broader context, and are subject to external pressures that can encourage change over time. Macrotrends are pressures that are significant and sustained enough to have far-reaching impacts, such as aging populations, climate change, the rise of automation or a shift in the global economic center of gravity.

INNOVATIONS

As actors within a system react to evolving contexts, they develop innovations. These can include new technologies, business models, and ways of fulfilling social functions – eg the internet, the circular economy, a universal basic income. Often, transformations occur when multiple innovations combine to allow a system to operate in a completely new way.

ENABLERS

Ultimately, a set of enablers propel trends and innovations into the mainstream, changing the way a system works. Enablers are forces that shape the incentives, power dynamics and capabilities of different actors in a system at scale – such as norms and values, policy and regulation, information flows, financial flows, and technology.

RELEVANT DOWNLOADS

Get all the key sections of our Vision 2050 report here to read how business can help build a better world.

25/Mar/2021 pdf(942 KB)

Time for a shared vision

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25/Mar/2021 pdf(12 MB)

Time for action

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25/Mar/2021 pdf(506 KB)

Time for a mindset shift

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25/Mar/2021 pdf(925 KB)

Time to succeed

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25/Mar/2021 pdf(374 KB)

Time for leadership

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