3. Myanmar: Having visited the country and engaged on a few Myanmar-related projects, I'm struck by the caution about ICT risks (such as privacy and surveillance) emphasized by those outside Myanmar and the huge excitement about ICT opportunities (such as greater access) emphasized by those living there. Both, of course, are real.
What I'd love to see: More deliberate collaboration among ICT companies and other stakeholders on how to invest responsibly in Myanmar, address the risks and coordinate social investments for maximum positive impact given the unique local circumstances.
4. Sustainable product design "supplier readiness": Recently, major telecommunications brands have made tremendous progress integrating sustainability criteria into the design of mobile devices. I hope and expect that other brands will follow suit. However, I've also heard concerns by companies in the supply chain about their lack of preparedness for these new expectations.
What I'd love to see: More brands and suppliers (such as plastics, components or chips) working together to improve readiness for sustainable product design.
5. Integrated reporting: The ICT industry has a powerful story to tell about the relationship between business success and sustainability. There are so many revenue-generating applications of technology that address big sustainability challenges such as energy use, access to finance, and gender equality. New integrated reporting frameworks help companies convey this story to investors, yet examples are few and far between — and those that do exist tend to do little more than combine previously separate reports with a giant stapler.
What I'd love to see: ICT companies experimenting with new approaches to integrated reporting and shaping this new reporting agenda through experimentation, rather than waiting for it to be shaped for them.
What strikes me about these items is that they all require proactive leadership by companies. This is not about responding to outside pressures or demands, but about shaping the future through experimentation, innovation and investment — attributes that define the ICT industry.
This article originally appeared at BSR Insight and is reprinted with permission.
Computer image by Andresr via Shutterstock