Exponential powers of Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, genomics and other emerging digital technology sets up unprecedented opportunities to shape the future of work and solve some of society’s most vexing problems. Improving access to education and health care, achieving gender equity and other challenges are bigger than any single entity—in academia, business or government—could possibly take on alone.

But there is strength in numbers. Accenture Labs believes only the “collective intelligence” of a synergistic ecosystem can steer the combined forces of tech for good toward the desired outcome.

Business leaders must think and act differently to find their place in these new digital ecosystems that are creating markets where none currently exist—indeed, innovators put themselves in position to capture part of a $12 trillion market opportunity by 2030 (1).

In this report, Accenture Labs explains what we learned from examining more than 30 case studies around the use of digital technology for solving social challenges, and explains our steps to unleash Tech for Good for future growth and prosperity.

"Governments, business and civil society can't alone address the multifold challenges we have on the global agenda. We need collaboration."
—Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum

The Tech4Good innovation ecosystem

Business leaders looking for the next big growth opportunity are unlikely to go it alone. More likely, they’ll adopt solutions developed by academic researchers and startups before building them out at industrial scale.

Additionally, businesses face challenges innovating where market mechanisms fail to function well, requiring help from civil society and government. The upshot: Businesses must orchestrate a synergistic innovation ecosystem to reach the next billion people and capture a multitrillion-dolar market opportunity (See figure 1).

The five "Es" of Tech4Good

Motivations for participating in the Tech4Good Innovation Ecosystem will vary depending on the player: academia will likely be driven by ideas; governments may seek transformational change; businesses must maintain a mission to create shareholder value.

  • Build a strong foundation of digital ethics.
  • Engineer solutions for the next billion.
  • Embed social good in business models and offerings.
  • Enable civil society with digital capabilities to address market cracks.
  • Educate to build capacity to absorb innovation for the masses.

Reimagine, reinvent how business is done

Through the Tech4Good Innovation Ecosystem, businesses can amplify their mission and their profits by leveraging collective intelligence of regulators, academics, innovators and civil society, rather than doing it alone.

By aligning these interactions with our recommendations, it’s possible for businesses to address needs of society with differentiated go-to-market strategies powered by digital technologies and partnerships.

In doing so, businesses will discover new revenue growth models and differentiate their brands. They’ll also be contributing to building a more inclusive, fair and prosperous world.

"Leading companies have seen this increasingly strong connection between trust and growth, and are looking to advance their businesses in ways that not only meet their business goals, but also benefits people, communities and citizens."
—Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Accenture

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