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Fast Forward 2030

This video introduces Fast Forward 2030 - a network and platform for businesses aiming to achieve the SDGs launched by the IGP
My name’s Arthur Kay, and I’m the Chief Executive and founder of Bio-Bean, and the co-founder and chairman of Fast Forward 2030. Fast Forward 2030 is a group of young entrepreneurs who are teaming together to try and deliver the sustainable development goals. The basic premise behind Fast Forward 2030 is to try and shift the way in which we do business. Historically people have looked primarily at technology is the main way to transition and solve some of the world’s biggest problems. We believe that technology is of answer. But more crucially, it’s around finding the right business models that can tackle the sustainable development goals and increase global prosperity at the same time.
A responsible business in the 21st century looks not just to profit motive, but also to incorporate social or environmental aspects in part of their business. By being in that Fast Forward 2030, we don’t believe that these are mutually exclusive and that you have to weigh off environmental good with making a successful and profitable business. We think that the best businesses, and the best business models, are those that deliver social environmental impact along with giving a very positive financial return to shareholders. The key thing that distinguishes the Fast Forward 2030 business model approach to old fashion CSR (corporate social responsibility), it’s not an extension of a marketing department. It’s not, as I say, not an either/or approach.
You do less well financially in order to give something back socially. We believe that everything should be tied– the better you do financially, the more you deliver in terms of your business model, environmentally and socially. They’re not mutually exclusive, they’re all tied together. At Fast Forward 2030, we’re looking to help deliver the SDGs not as big businesses and large multinationals, and not-for-profits, or whatnot. We’re a group of small businesses coming together because a huge part of delivering SDGs is around how small businesses can work to impact big change. And that’s really what Fast Forward 2030 is focusing on. The Sustainable Development Goals are really a handbook of how to do good as businesses.
And a bigger flag that businesses can work towards as part of global goals. Think of them as the 10 commandments, or the 17 commandments, for global business. So, to be in that zero-emissions by 2050, and support a world population of 10 billion people, we cannot carry on– I think it’s universally accepted that we cannot carry on as we are currently doing, and reach that point. We, therefore, need to make some drastic changes to how we do business. And the way that Fast Forward 2030 believe we’re going to make the biggest change is through change in the business models, not simply rely wholeheartedly on GEP and on technological growth.
The SDG stand is a testament that we can’t simply exploit and pollute our way to prosperity. Today there’s nothing stopping businesses, from the outset, and even some big businesses incorporating social and environmental elements into their business plans. Or aligning their strategy along with the SDGs. And the key thing here, is that we need to make sure that these are not play-offs, that people either deliver an SDG, or deliver greater growth to their shareholders. Need to find the business models that align those two agendas. And therefore, there’s no tension between delivering growth and prosperity for all.
My name’s Richard, and I’m one of the co-founders of Growing Underground. Growing Underground is an urban farm situated 33 metres under the streets of Klappen in London, in World War II air-raid shelter. We use hydroponics and LED’S to produce micro-greens, which are tiny herbs packed full of flavour. And we ship these to New Covent Garden Market and they are distributed over the capital to various food service restaurants, hotels, and retailers. We power this site entirely by renewable energy, and we’re working towards carbon-neutral accreditation. There’s always a key point in your journey. And I think with mine was, I read an author called Jeremy Rifkin. I read a series of books, but one of them is The Third industrial Revolution.
Which really triggered something inside me and it really resonated and spoke to me on a level that I really understood. And we’re on the cusp of a new revolution, of a new change in society and economy. And I think that the change is coming much quicker now. So now we’re on the cusp of a new Industrial Revolution. The third Industrial Revolution as Jeremy Rifkin calls it. And this we’ll see energy with the use of smart grids, and an abundance of small contributors of renewable energy. People producing on their roofs of their houses with solar photovoltaics, wind turbines, as well as with smaller communities, larger firms doing this on a bigger scale, using deserts to produce large solar farms and such.
And all this energy being fed into cities and this being spread across the world through nodes, through the cities. This abundance of energy will bring, obviously without doubt, the price down too. So we’re getting energy at very, very low cost, if not potentially free in the future. And this is the basis in the platform you need for really pushing some of these new technologies. Along with other areas, like the internet of things, we’re seeing 3D printers in the last few years. We’ve seen combustion engines being printed via 3D printers. It’s incredible what can be printed using different materials and 3D printers. This will only exponentially grow. And that really changes the manufacturing industry.
And with that the energy internet as such, and the internet of things, it’s really going to take business into a new direction. So Growing Underground uses abandoned space within a city to produce leafy greens and salad crops to supply the city from within the city. And we see ourselves as a stepping stone towards that new economy that Jeremy Rifkin portrays in his Third industrial Revolution. There’s a new type of business evolving, and these are New Economy Businesses.
They’re the types of businesses we need that are going to build a better economy for the people and the planet.

Now we move on to other ideas of what business can and should be. In this video, Arthur Kay and Richard Ballard explain the vision behind Fast Forward 2030, a business platform launched by the IGP to give a voice to sustainable entrepreneurs who are aiming to use their businesses to achieve the SDGs.

Right at the end of this video, Richard Ballard explains that he sees his business as a stepping stone towards a new economy. He points out that technological advances make new forms of business possible, and new ways of producing the energy, food, and products we rely on are becoming possible. He realised this after reading The Third Industrial Revolution and Zero Marginal Cost Society by Jeremy Rifkin. These books show that thanks to the internet and other new technology now available we can produce the goods that support modern life in a distributed, more equitable, and more sustainable way. Imagine the potential of every city producing their own fresh produce in a carbon-neutral, efficient way?

Richard Ballard and other Fast Forward 2030 members are examples of a ‘New Economy’ entrepreneurs. He has a vision of where we need to be 30 years down the line and is building a business that takes us a step in that direction. That is the challenge for entrepreneurs today, and Fast Forward 2030 was launched in order to encourage and promote this kind of business.

You can keep up with the Fast Forward 2030 by checking out their website and signing up to their mailing list. Additionally, if you’re in London, why not come along to one of their events?

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