Innovation and sustainability are inseparable concepts, which is why WMF - We Make Future, the International Fair and Festival on Technological and Digital Innovation, has identified 12 Future Challenges with the aim of creating a shared, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable tomorrow, by highlighting projects and solutions that can generate a positive impact on the environment and communities.

Every year, all the actors in the innovation ecosystem come together at WMF: startups, companies, institutional delegations, investment funds, makers, and researchers, with the aim of promoting what we can define as an innovative, inclusive, and circular society, without which a tomorrow cannot be imagined.

Are you a startup that is developing or has launched a project to tackle one of the 12 Future Challenges? Discover the open calls and startup opportunities offered by WMF.

Are you a company committed to one of the areas defined by one of the 12 Future Challenges? Show the international audience of the Festival the solutions developed to tackle one of the 12 challenges, by presenting your services or products at the Festival, thus further enhancing your brand!

Discover all the 12 Challenges of the Future

In the coming decades, more than three-quarters of the world's population will inhabit urban settings. Increased urbanization brings a range of issues related to resource management and emissions containment. Reconsidering territories from the perspective of a more organic and sustainable development is the goal at the heart of research on urban spaces and smart communities: tending toward the achievement of a balance between the city, the community, and the natural ecosystem.

Some examples of industries: Smart City, Smart Community, IOT, Mobility, Energy Prosumer Market, Energy Storage, Efficiency & Management, Renewables & Alternative Fuels, Platform Economy, Big Data & Analytics, Environmental Sensors, Digital Twins, Smart Home & Buildings.

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As in other areas, the Covid-19 pandemic has raised unprecedented challenges in healthcare, requiring immediate and innovative solutions that can be applied on a large scale. In the biomedical sector, applications of new technologies are significantly changing practices and possibilities; AI is becoming an irreplaceable tool to support medical personnel in the detection and classification of specific diseases through the study and analysis of clinical, omics, and biomedical imaging data.

Some examples of industries: Digital health, Well being, Telemedicine, Healthcare supply, Patient Engagement, Medical devices, Fitness apps, Remote monitoring, Biotech, Ageing, Omics.

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Future work patterns will be influenced by technological, generational, and social changes. New technologies - from automation to algorithmic management - are increasingly widespread and indispensable, but they introduce new challenges from a social perspective: one of the main problems is the growing inequality related to digitization. It is necessary to foster the acquisition of digital skills, which will be increasingly important for social inclusion, and it is necessary to think about human-centric and trustworthy automation and artificial intelligence.

Some examples of industries: New ways of working, Digital HR, Change management, Diversity & Inclusion, Intranet, Intrapreneurship, Meta* for work, Tools for digital nomads, Design & Project/Task management, Voice&Video, Data protection.

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The travel industry is going through great and rapid changes, both as a result of the pandemic, which has restricted travel for a long time, and a global paradigm shift towards the very idea of travel, which is more oriented towards sustainable and localized solutions, but also towards innovative and nontraditional alternatives, with a strong focus on the experience of people with different possibilities and needs.

Some examples of industries: Artificial Intelligence for the Tourism Sector, Mobile Apps, QR Codes, IOT & Big Data, Augmented Reality, Smart luggage, Sharing & Rentals, Booking & search, Revenue Management, Channel Managers.

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The food and agriculture system is facing several critical issues that threaten the food security of the world's growing population, which is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. One of the main obstacles to innovation in the supply chain is caused by the many contingencies: droughts, floods and extreme weather conditions, plant and animal diseases and pests, increasing global population resulting in a problematic increase in demand for food, and access to resources that is not equitably distributed globally.

Some examples of industries: Climate smart agriculture, Smart or vertical farming, Smart Aquaculture, Autonomous Vehicles & Drones, Precision farming, Optimization of supply chain, Big Data & Analytics, 3D food printing, Ingredient innovation, Cell-based nutrition, Delivery.

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The world in which we live will constantly shape itself to accommodate an increasingly technological future, consequently what we teach through our educational system and how we do it will be inherently reshaped. Educational pathways will necessarily need to adapt to the new contexts to ensure the acquisition of useful skills and enable everyone to stay abreast of the complex demands of the future.

Some examples of industries: EdTech, AR, VR, AI, Robotics, Learning Management Systems, Learning analytics, Classroom engagement, Online to Offline, Learn from anywhere.

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Customer Experience is the new currency: in today's business landscape, retailers must be able to take advantage of a range of opportunities to ferry their customers and their business into the future.

Some examples of industries: Sustainable Materials & Production, Digital Marketing, Customer Engagement, Efficiency of Supply Chain, Phygital Stores, SaaS marketplaces, In store marketing & analytics, Cashierless checkout, Bots & chatbots, Fraud prevention solutions, Last mile delivery, Guest wi-fi.

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The last few years have brought enormous changes to the industry: every brand will need to implement a strategy focused on the evolution of data collection. It is necessary to rethink the standards by which we are used to measuring success, in favor of a precise definition of effective actions, clearly correlated with the achievement of specific objectives.

Some examples of industries: Advertising & Promotion, Content & Experience, Social & Relationships, Commerce & sales, Data, Management, Display & Programmatic Advertising, Search & Social Advertising, Content Advertising, Video Advertising, PR, Proximity Marketing, Sales automation, Affiliate marketing, Ecommerce Platforms & Carts, iPaaS, Cloud management, Vendor Analysis, Business Intelligence& Data Science.

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The big challenge in the world of entertainment is understanding how consumers spend their time, how they interact with different types of media, and how they relate to various forms of entertainment enabled on fully integrated multimedia platforms, artificial intelligence, and immersive virtual worlds.

Some examples of industries: Subscription on-demand, Connected home, AI, Curated Content, Streaming, Gesture control, VR/AR/XR, Infotainment, 4K, Contextual media, video intelligence, Consumer engagement via new medium.

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Sports and events have undergone significant transformation in recent years, and the future promises even more. The evolution of digital technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, is changing the way we experience sports: stadiums and arenas are transforming into immersive and engaging environments, creating experiences capable of reaching an increasingly wider audience.

Some examples of industries: Tech for events, eSports, Digital fitness, Fan engagement, Player engagement, Data for events, Team& Coach success, Ticketing, Broadcasting & Streaming.

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The future of the financial and insurance sectors seems extremely promising, considering the many opportunities that banks and insurance companies have to change the dynamics of interaction with their customers. To innovate these sectors, it is necessary to create increasingly personalized and effective solutions, while promoting environmental sustainability and social inclusion.

Some examples of industries: Payments, Financial inclusion, Buy Now Pay Later, Blockchain & Crypto-currencies, Identity & Authentication, Insurtech, Cybersecurity, NFT, Complementary currencies, Crowdfunding, POS, Lending, Online banking, Real Estate & mortgage.

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The most difficult but also the most urgent challenge is shaping a sustainable future for life on our planet. Innovation is the key to addressing global challenges and creating a better world for future generations.

Some examples of industries: Climate Change & Decarbonization, Space tech - downstream; Water consumption and sanitation, Waste to resource, Reuse of products, IOT based & AI powered smart waste management, Bio based materials, Remanufacturing, Traceability, Bees preservation, Circular economy

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Are you a startup?

Tell us how your innovative project addresses one or more of the 12 challenges, discover the currently open calls and all the opportunities for startups offered by the WMF.

Are you a company?

Is your business committed to one of the areas defined by the 12 Challenges of the Future? Show the international audience at WMF the value of your services or products: discover all sponsorship opportunities!