50 Ideas to Change the World

The FT has enlisted the help of readers, researchers and entrepreneurs to find 50 new ideas that will shape the world in the future.

The first 20 ideas have addressed the challenges of a growing world population and resource scarcity. The next tranche, on education and information will be published on 5 February 2018.

Waste can now be mined for metals and to create fuel

Artificial retinas and synthetic spider silk are among the lab breakthroughs

Wake-up receivers, energy-harvesting offer electricity for billions of ‘smart’ things

Scientists believe perovskite cells would get costs down to pennies per watt

New designs means turbines can be installed in more places and at lower cost

Hydrogen and graphene show promise for zero electrical resistance at room temperature

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Graphene and salt water offer promising advances

Tight mesh removes chemicals, solutes, salts and compounds such as pesticides

The gas may be best option for heavy transport such as trucks, ships and trains

Scientists produce mice pups from synthetic sperm and eggs — and grow lambs in biobags

Finland, California, Canada and Netherlands are among the countries staging trials

Machines take the strain of careworkers’ mundane jobs

Rivals vie to be first to put in place a new system, but technology is unproven

US state leads the way with dongle that charges drivers by the mile

2.3bn people lack access to safe sanitation and women face additional risks

New, long-acting contraceptives, mobile services and incentives make programmes more effective

Companies such as Unbabel and Mymanu are helping us understand each other

Technology offers agriculture higher yields and reduced gas from cows

Volkswagen, Hersheys and Capital One are among the companies hiring futurists

From roads paved with energy-generating crystals to molecular modelling

From fountains to yoghurt, innovation comes from the unlikeliest places

Criteria for five challenges: population, resources, education, health and nature

Inventions that want to make waves in our everyday lives

FT journalists and external experts will help identify the most promising innovations

The FT is looking to find the new ideas that will shape our world in the future