World Business Council for Sustainable Development


As part of its global initiative to chart pathways to sustainable change, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) asked Collective Invention to help them better understand how to gain insight into human behavior change and how to more effectively motivate people toward what we call, “Enlightened Mutual Interest.”


Over nine billion people are expected to live on the planet by the year 2050. Creating sustainable systems of production and consumption to support the exploding global middle class requires systemic change. We must redesign how we produce goods, value them, use and reuse them, and educate the citizens of planet earth to live well as we reduce the demands on all environmental systems.


An important beginning step working with WBCSD was to conduct ethnographic research on four continents. Collective Invention then created a series of online immersive experiences designed to give WBCSD members insight into the lives of people who will be living in 2050. This was followed by face-to-face workshops where participants inhabited those lives and “worked in the future” to understand the forces, conflicts and opportunities we must now understand and work toward if we are to create a smooth transition to a sustainable global economy.


This work dovetails with the WBCSD’s larger perspective on areas of opportunity for industrial and consumer companies in the coming decades. The results and findings were compiled by Collective Invention into a series of reports and publications. These materials were designed to capture the outcomes of the workshops and related events. But they also took the important next step of communicating, using diagrams and words, the major frameworks of understanding global forces and systems thinking to “redesign the global economy.” As visionary computer scientist Alan Kaye said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”


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