“The next decade can be the best decade in history if we harness technology for the many, not just the few.” - Erik Brynjolfsson, Director MIT.
Plastics For Change was crowned the regional winner of the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge 2018 for job creation in Asia. The MIT Challenges is about improving livelihoods through technology rather than replacing jobs. Plastics For Change leverages technology to addressing three of society's biggest problems - plastic pollution, poverty and climate action.
Our decisions determine the future of work, we are not passive bystanders in the global community. Technological and environmental changes force us to think differently and build companies with purpose. We use plastic pollution to create inclusive incomes and close the loop with virgin plastic. The initiative applies technology to improve the quality of recycled plastic, while designing more socially and environmentally responsible supply chains. Using discarded plastic as a valuable resource helps alleviate pollution and poverty, helping transition the industry towards a circular economy.
Technology has always been destroying jobs, but it is also always creating jobs. It’s not what technology does to us, it’s what we do with technology. - Erik Brynjolfsson, Director MIT.
In the new wave of machine learning and digitalisation, routine work is rapidly disappearing. Many feel progress will leave them behind. Plastics for Change is harnessing the power of technology to create inclusive incomes for thousands of India’s informal waste workers. Mobile technology is utilised to create transparent supply chains. By uploading data along every step of the supply chain, honest work is insensitised and processes can be standardised. Technology is the glue piecing together volatile supply chains and creating fair wages across the board.
Technology can help us solve the harness human potential and create new, inclusive incomes that never existed before. As Erik Brynjolfsson states “It’s not what technology does to us, it's what we do with technology.” The biggest disrupter of the future of work will be climate change. It will fundamentally shift the nature of capitalism and economic growth. Emerging companies solving rather than creating sustainability problems will be winners of the future. The Plastics For Change platform is successfully changing recycling infrastructure in India. By creating markets for discarded plastics, exponential amounts of plastic is diverted from the ocean and landfill. Oceanic air is responsible for 70% of the earth’s oxygen, thus a healthy ecosystem is imperative for reducing climate change and thriving in the centuries to come.
As Peter Diamandis states, “the world's biggest problems are the world's biggest market opportunities." Plastics For Change uses the huge opportunity of discarded plastic to create inclusive incomes and shared prosperity. The MIT Challenge is helping accelerate this process for Plastics For Change and various other purpose-driven companies. We are thrilled to be regional winners and look forward to the grand finals in Boston, USA.