Road to 2030: Sustainability, Business Models, Innovation and Design

22nd International Conference
4th-5th March 2019
Business School
University for the Creative Arts
KT18 5BE


Sustainable Innovation 2019 will provide a platform to discuss future visions of how sustainability will impact on business models, products, services, technologies, innovation and design in 2030. Sustainable Innovation 2019 will include invited and refereed papers from academics, consultants, entrepreneurs, technology providers, designers, and innovation and sustainability directors. The international conference will create a unique space for learning, networking and thinking. Delegates will come globally from large companies, SMEs and start-ups, as well as academia, government and non-governmental organisations. The conference is supported by an international Advisory Board.


By 2030, the world will be a different place, reacting and responding to a number of mega trends. Thomas L. Friedman in his book “Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to thriving in the Age of Accelerations” highlights that the planet’s three largest forces – Moore’s law (technology), the market (globalisation) and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss) – are now accelerating all at the same time (Friedman, 2016). More broadly PWC described five mega trends: urbanisation; climate change and resource scarcity; shifts in global economic power, demographic and social change; and technological breakthroughs (PWC, 2017). Both reinforce growing environmental, economic and social mega trends that will have implications for the types of products, services and technologies that will be designed, developed and used into the future.

By 2030, tackling sustainability – particularly climate change, water scarcity and circular economy – will be increasingly important considerations in the design and development of products, services and technologies. A major survey by World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2017 gives a signpost to the future, highlighting that Millennials see climate change and the environment as the top global concerns (49%) for the third year in a row and they are willing to change their lifestyles (78%) to protect the environment (WEF, 2017). How these concerns will feed through to customer and societal requirements for products, services and technologies over the next decade will be an important consideration for design and development. On the flipside, there are likely to be an increasing number of new opportunities for eco-innovative products, services, technologies and new business models that will emerge for pro-active entrepreneurs, innovators and designers.

As concerns over climate change, water scarcity and circular economy increase throughout the 2020s, how will automotive, building, construction, electronics, energy, technology, food, retailing, fashion and clothing sectors respond? Many questions will emerge for entrepreneurs, innovators and designers as we move to 2030: Will execution of the UN Sustainable Development Goals accelerate sustainable innovation? How will the design and development of smarter, sustainable cities impact on the development of products, services and systems? Will increased electrification impact on mobility, freighting and materials movement; how will implementation of Industry 4.0 ‘enabling technologies’ – blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics – impact on sustainable innovation? Will open innovation and new collaborative approaches enable the development of new sustainable solutions? How will increased diffusion of circularity impact on design, innovation, business models and infrastructure? Will bio-materials innovation increase? what re-skilling and re-training will be needed to enable circular and low carbon futures be realised? And will the convergence of mega trends lead to systemic change?

Conference Topics

Sustainable Innovation 2019 welcomes conceptual and research-based papers focused on future visions of how sustainability will impact on business models, innovation and design in 2030. Papers should cover business models, products, services and/or technology design, and development and commercialisation issues related to the following topics:


Sustainable Innovation 2019 will provide a range of benefits to speakers and delegates:

Unique: Forum for new thinking, ideas and concepts
Leading-edge: Presentations from key international researchers, practitioners and policy-makers
Content: New research, results and thinking
Networking: Opportunities to meet leaders from business, government and academia
Track-record: Over 2500 delegates from over 50 countries have attended previous events

Submission details

Email, fax or post 500 word abstracts describing your proposed paper by 3rd September 2018. The abstract will then be sent to the Advisory Board for evaluation and authors will be given feedback. The highest ranked papers will be invited to present at the conference. Please only submit abstracts if you have budgets to attend the conference. 


For more information on Sustainable Innovation 2019   please contact:

Professor Martin Charter
The Centre for Sustainable Design ®
University for the Creative Arts
Tel: + 44 (0) 1252 892772
Fax: + 44 (0) 1252 892747

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