Published 4 years ago.
About a 3 minute read.
Image: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay
Coined after we first set foot on the Moon 50 years ago, 'Moonshot' thinking means applying disruptive, innovative thinking to difficult problems. Today, we have access to means and resources that were unimaginable 50 years ago. Let’s make the impossible possible again.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of man's landing on the Moon. Once again,
we have relived the impact of the amazing images of Neil Armstrong next to
the Apollo 11, crowning his feat with his legendary walk on the lunar
surface, revealing humanity’s astonishing capacity to make practically any
challenge a reality. And today, with the potential provided by technology, our
possibilities are almost boundless.
Beyond such great feats, life is full of stories of people who achieve
incredible things. In fact, it’s human nature to constantly set ourselves
challenges and defy nature to prove that we can excel.
However, in spite of showing how proud we are of the goals reached — as is the
case with the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the most interstellar
journey of all time — little or nothing has been said about the current
challenges faced by humanity. And these are not few — or to be more precise, not
trivial. Because, beyond a space race that still continues, which includes an
objective to reach Mars (will there be water on the Red Planet?), we have
much more down-to-earth problems to solve. The main one is, of course, to save
our own planet, for which we need to change the order of many things.
This is precisely where the concept of 'Moonshot Thinking' is coined, through
its link to the challenge of changing the world as we know it to make it a
better place to live in. Before being able to take that first step on the Moon,
human beings dreamed of reaching it, of making the impossible possible. Well,
this approach — applying disruptive innovation — is what has given rise to
'Moonshot' thinking, which tries to tackle a difficult problem using innovative
This is what we have proposed for the fifth edition of Sustainable Brands®
Madrid — the international benchmark
meeting in Europe on sustainable development: to use disruptive thinking to
deal with the global challenge of making a planet with more than 7.6 billion
people more habitable; while fostering fairer, more inclusive and equal
To this end, five disruptive ideas, or 'moonshots,' have been identified as
necessary to promote changes that will speed up the transition to a
people-centred economy that will contribute to the achievement of the
Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) by 2030.
The first one is how to tackle the growing climate crisis. The Earth's
temperature has risen by 1 degree since the pre-industrial period, and the
climate continues to change around the world. The second is inequality:
there are 821 million people suffering from
in the world; and in 2017, just 8 people from the so-called “first world”
concentrated in their hands the same wealth as the 3,600 million people from the
This, in part, leads us to the third moonshot: Migration. Almost 71 million
people have been forced to leave their homes because of famine, war or to seek a
better life. The fourth relates to the future of work. Many jobs as we know
them today will disappear because of the fourth industrial revolution; but other
new roles will
many of which do not even exist yet.
And lastly, we need to meet SDG 17 and create alliances between civil
society, businesses and countries to make Agenda 2030 a reality. And that may
prove to be a much more complex challenge than reaching the Moon.
Today, we have access to means and resources that were unimaginable 50 years
ago. Let’s make the impossible possible again.
Published Sep 9, 2019 11am EDT / 8am PDT / 4pm BST / 5pm CEST
Sandra Pina, General Director at Quiero, is also the Director of Sustainable Brands Madrid, Sustainability speaker and advisor, Associate Professor at Instituto de Empresa Business School and member of the Advisory Board of Sustainable Brands Global. She has previous global experience in FMCG multinationals: Kellogg’s and Danone.