INSIGHT

Organisations that could change
the world

Mind-blowing business

Is your organisation in the doldrums thanks to clunky ‘classic IT’? Then it’s time for a digital retox.

Yes, there are countless reasons to keep that head in the sand: cost, risk, even an aversion to challenging the status quo. But Digital Leaders are out there disrupting markets and winning new ground.

With the right tools and support, you can reach your digital potential and beat them at their own game. That’s why in this series of specially tailored articles, we’re focussing on how to change the path in front.

We’ll help you Unwrite Your Future.

“Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see…”

While no one can argue with the immortal lyrics, the future is something the most innovative enterprises grapple with on a daily basis. Sure, we can’t see it – but shaping it can prove very lucrative indeed.

Previously we featured Richard Browning from Gravity, the British firm developing a jet-propelled flight suit he reckons will become the next generation billionaire’s plaything. Is he right? Let’s see what the future holds.

Meanwhile we thought we’d look at some other firms which have blue-sky thinking in their DNA, and the potential to change the world we live in today.

This organisation made the semi-finals of our Pitch to Ritch 2015 competition for inventing a new way to map the world using – you guessed it – three words. Each 3m2 section of the planet has been assigned a triple-barrel name, which means locations can be found more quickly and accurately than ever before.

It neatly solves a problem affecting 25% of the world’s countries: having an adequate means of organising addresses. Now partnered with Deutsche Bahn, Quiqup and the Philippines Red Cross, what3words is disrupting location services around the globe and could even spell the end of postcodes forever.

A giant in the emerging cryptocurrency market, Blockchain made the Virgin Media Business / Fast Track Disruptor 10 list, and later triumphed by taking the Disruptor Award. The win recognised its rapid ascent to becoming the world’s leading bitcoin dealer, facilitating over half of all cryptocurrency transactions.

In its infancy, cryptocurrency was scorned by the same sceptical financial experts who are now taking note of the disruptive power of digital currency. But the fact that Microsoft, Dell and Expedia now accept Bitcoin payments is a sure sign of things to come.

Valued at almost £16bn in 2015, Palantir ‘builds software that connects data, technologies, humans and environments’.

That means using big data to spot patterns not obvious to the human eye in order to fight cybercrime, terrorism and assist in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Put simply, they allow governments and even companies to monitor people. It’s all very 1984, but in a world where the fight against terror has never been more important, so too is technology to fight back.

Just one of dozens of organisations hoping that insect-based foodstuffs will soon be flying off the shelves. Founded in 2013, Aspire raises crickets on a commercial scale and is working to normalise insect consumption in the western world. Will they succeed?

If experts are proved correct, chomping on creepy crawlies could become a necessity in future. After all, they’re high in protein and have a low carbon footprint – perfect food for an overcrowded, ailing planet.

If you fancy a taste-test, cricket flour and whole roast crickets are available from the website.

3-D printed limbs? All in a day’s work at this Bristol-based organisation, which is rewriting the rulebook for prostheses.

Open Bionics’ hands for kids cost around £5,000 and only take a day to make, using 3-D scanning and printing techniques to ensure a perfect fit. In contrast, competitors’ limbs cost up to £60,000, making them impractical for growing bodies.

A winner of the James Dyson Award for innovative engineering in 2015, Open Bionics is now partnering with the NHS on a clinical trial which could see the futuristic prostheses becoming available free to NHS patients, while further limbs and ideas are in the pipeline.

You know an organisation means business when they invent their own verb. Augmented reality experts at Blippar have coined the term ‘blipping’, which means to view items or advertising through a handheld to unlock information.

Spotted a killer handbag or mountain bike on your daily commute? In future, thanks to Blippar technology, you’ll be able to determine the make and model simply by viewing it through your device.

It takes visual marketing to the next level and means brands can interact with consumers in new and exciting ways. Investors who have contributed to funding to the tune of £80m are clearly expecting big things.

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