Forum for the Future launches new collaboration platform

Businesses can now take advantage of a new online tool enabling them to track sustainability trends, share resources and spot opportunities for collaboration.

The Futures Centre – launched on Thursday – aims to help business leaders move beyond day-to-day priorities and consider the business impacts of longer-term trends, such as climate change and resource scarcity.

The platform makes available to everyone the ‘futures techniques’ of sustainability non-profit, Forum for the Future, who have helped Pepsico, HP, Levi’s, Sony and many other to integrate sustainability into their business model.

In particular, the platform aims to engeneder collaboration and transparency – two terms identified by sustainability professionals as the buzzwords of 2015.

In practice, this may mean a company developing insight into how to improve its business model in the face of water scarcity, or an individual using the platform to connect with others and build a powerful coalition to tackle the problem across an entire sector.

Open forum

Forum for the Future CEO Sally Uren said: “Futures techniques enable leaders to look beyond the here and now and see how their organisations might fare in a radically different world.

“For nearly two decades we have been working with our partners to help them understand just how different that world could be, giving them the insights and confidence they need to help prepare for different scenarios.

“Through the Futures Centre we will now be able increase the scale and ambition of our work by giving access to our futures expertise at a truly global level.”

Topic bubs

Over the next year, the Futures Centre will bring together some of the world’s leading experts to explore a number of critical issues in more detail through “topic hubs”. The first of these is due to go live in April and will be looking at the future of shipping, although other potential issues to go under the spotlight could be diverse as climate finance to bio-technology.

Late last year, Forum launched a similar website called Collectively, where an editorial team shares sustainability stories in an attempt to inspire innovative solutions.

The Futures Centre is the second online tool to be made freely available to businesses in the last couple of weeks, as Decc recently launched its Global Calculator, which allows users to model the environmental impacts of various emissions and energy-use scenarios. 

Forum for the Future will be at Sustainability Live, speaking at a number of sessions across all three days, including a workshop called Value Unchained: From Competition to Collaboration. Sign up to attend the conference for free here.

Brad Allen

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