Business innovations in technologies, products, services and business and financing models will be essential tools for the successful delivery of almost every Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), with the potential to transform the lives of the world’s poor through greater access to the essential drivers for human development including food, water, sanitation, healthcare, energy, education, and more.
Examples of promising innovations exist in almost every sphere of development but relatively few end up achieving a meaningful level of impact at scale. Instead many remain stuck at pilot stage because, amongst other things, they fail to attract the necessary finance, distribution networks and technical support to enable them to scale, sustainably.
While business plays a key role in leading innovation, whether by multinational corporations, national companies, small and medium firms or social enterprises, achieving and sustaining success at scale is also highly dependent on a supportive “innovation ecosystem” of partners including universities, foundations, development agencies, civil society organisations, incubators and accelerators, and governments.
As GSK and Save the Children launch their annual $1 million Healthcare Innovation Award, which supports innovations in healthcare that help to reduce child deaths in developing countries, this online discussion will explore the following questions:
- What role will innovation play in achieving the SDGs? How can the SDGs help build and strengthen the ecosystem for innovation? What roles can different sectors best play?
- What are some of the key drivers and barriers to innovations reaching scale sustainably and what are the essential enabling conditions required for success?
- What principles and processes do partnerships between business and the development community need in place to help drive innovation? What are some good examples and what can we learn from them?