Breakthrough: The Promise of Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development

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The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the international community even further off track for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), deepening inequalities within and between countries. What are the changes needed to achieve these goals by 2030?

This book claims that “gradualist approaches” will not help us get there but that scientific “breakthroughs” in the development of new products and services and in institutional systems could be the key.

In the book, 15 distinguished international experts examine how frontier technologies could accelerate the attainment of the SDGs within the next 10 years. The authors attempt to answer the central research question: What are the likely technological advances that support the achievement of the SDGs and affect large segments of the world population or geographies, given the existing technology and potential progress over the next decade? The chapters cover a range of topics, including pandemic preparedness, AgriTech, smart cities, digital payment, and AI and disaster response, presenting a glimpse of the possibilities for the future of sustainable development.

Ohno Izumi, senior research advisor at the JICA Ogata Research Institute for Peace and Development (JICA Ogata Research Institute), is among the editors, and Yamada Eiji, research fellow at the JICA Ogata Research Institute, contributed as a co-author in Chapter 8: “Eyes on the Planet: Toward Zero Deforestation,” proposing an increase in new forest-monitoring technologies.

The book follows the previous collaboration between the Brookings Institution and the JICA Ogata Research Institute, "Leave No One Behind: Time for Specifics on the Sustainable Development Goals."

The book was published by Brookings Institution Press and is available for free download via the link below.

Homi KHARAS, John W. McArthur, OHNO Izumi
Date of issuance
January 2022
Number of pages
256 page
Research project