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We would like your help

The Financial Times is looking for 50 ideas that have the potential to change the world, tackling challenges in five different fields. To contribute your suggestions by October 13, you can either comment below, email 50ideas@ft.com or tweet using the hashtag #FT50ideas

  • Population growth What do population shifts mean for the way goods and services are produced and delivered? In a society that is ageing and has fewer people to look after the elderly, what are the technologies and social innovations that can be deployed? As levels of urbanisation increase, what opportunities can technology provide to improve the functioning and sustainability of cities, from improved urban transport to food supply to access to clean water?
  • Energy and resources What technologies and practices offer the best means of mitigating climate change, pollution and making most effective use of scarce natural resources? What technologies can meet the changing and various energy needs of tomorrow’s industry and society?
  • Skills and education Between 600m and 1bn people are expected to enter the labour market between now and 2030, and the pace of job creation is not nearly as fast. What policies or inventions will be the most successful in ensuring labour of all ages has the skills required to earn a living in an increasingly automated or cash-strapped world? How do we maximise the productivity of the future workforce while maintaining the intrinsic value of humans?
  • Healthcare Underfunded health systems sit uncomfortably alongside the seemingly limitless promise of new technologies and techniques to address a variety of health risks. What emerging approaches and techniques are the most promising for treating or avoiding sickness and disability?
  • Nature The natural world has always been a source of both opportunity and threat. What technologies offer the greatest promise to address risks from natural disasters, such as tsunamis, earthquakes, flooding and drought? We are looking for techniques that harness all aspects of our environment — from space to the deep oceans — to solve a particular problem for humanity.

If you are a university or research lab and would like to tell us about your idea or project in more detail, please use this form.

We will update this page with ideas as they come in. Nominations will close on October 13 and then, with the help of our expert judging panel, we will select the ones we think have the most potential. These will be featured in the FT starting in December.

We have devised the following criteria for the suggestions we are looking for:

  • An invention, a service, a practice, a method, a project or a prototype for which there is at least a pilot or some kind of testing in place.
  • A feasible and pragmatic idea that can contribute to the common good.
  • An idea that has universal applications where relevant.
  • Where two ideas are in competition for a place in our list, we will select that which has the greatest potential impact for money spent.

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Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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