The annually issued report, Resolving Societal Issues through Innovation: Listings of Societal Issues is that analyses and organizes a wide range of domestic and international societal problems, in particular those that are expected to be resolved through innovations, in six areas; Wellness, Water and Food, Energy and Environment, Mobility, Disaster Prevention and Infrastructure, Education and Human Resource Development. This report identifies and explains these societal challenges in detail.
In this book, the “societal problems” are defined as the gap between the “goal” of the ideal future society and the “as-is” of the present one. In prioritizing societal problems, ICF has focused on both the size of potential impact and chances of a successful resolution through business. However, this is not a static list. Updates are made every year by constantly checking and studying the emergence of new problems, solutions, as well as new technologies and business models. The diagram below arranges societal problems in the field of wellness. With the vertical axis denoting the size of the feasible impacts on society and the horizontal axis denoting new business opportunities, we are particularly interested in resolving societal problems in the upper right quadrant.
Then, we compare cases of “as is” where these problems were left unattended with “the goal achieved” where problems were completely to be resolved. We also quantify the differences in terms of damage and loss, or the improvement and benefit which are presented as the “Potential Impact.” Next, we presented how to address the problems in order to achieve these goals, which is named as a phase of “Identify and Set Issues. In addressing those issues, we will try to find, design, and implement ideas and concrete solutions. Tips on the trends in advanced technologies and the related regulations, and case examples can be found in the listings.
The listings are intended to be used as follows.
- Providing clues for creating new businesses that help resolve societal issues and achieve the SDGs
- Applying in-house technologies to help develop businesses in new fields and resolve societal issues
- Encouraging open innovation using the technology and knowledge of other companies
The secretariat hopes that the listings may give some ideas to companies looking to create new businesses by incorporating the perspectives of societal issues and SDGs into their management. “There may be issues in the areas that can be resolved with our own technology” or “The company introduced in the listings may have the technology we need but do not possess.” We will be delighted if the listings will be used as a reference for societal issues and technological knowledge and repeatedly referred to as a collection of materials that will provide organizations with insights into resolving their business and societal issues.