Disruptive Technology - 3 Challenges 🤖

Disruptive Technology :robot:3 Challenges

This theme is really about finding the companies that are using technology to address social and environmental issues. How can technology disrupt the old ways of business and lives, to help improve how we operate every day?

By using technology at scale, many hope to accelerate the solutions to problems and challenges we face as a society.

Challenge 1 - Innovating Fast Enough!

29% of startups fail because they run out of money, 19% are outcompeted, and 18% fail due to pricing and cost issues (Forbes).

Businesses, companies and researchers often struggle to innovate fast enough to be able to keep up with the demands of producing technology that is in line with the research being carried out globally. 3D Printing can be a great way for small businesses, large corporations and even the healthcare industry to face the challenges of innovation.

3D Systems :printer:

Chuck Halls founded the company after inventing the technology that led to the first ever 3D Printer that was produced in the 1980’s. He founded 3D Systems shortly after.

  • Fast manufacturing process :fast_forward:
  • Cheaper
  • Allows you to test much more complex designs more easily
  • Impacts multiple industries, from the Aerospace industry to Healthcare! :rocket::hospital:

Challenge 2 - Communications during disasters :warning:

During disaster events, such as shootings, flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes - communication systems can go down. This can cause problems during the event and afterwards. If someone has got trapped or stuck in a certain location after the crisis, they often might need to be contacted to get extra help to prevent any serious injuries or death. :rotating_light:

The challenge to overcome is: How can you safely communicate with everyone to ensure their safety, but also ensure each person understands the situation and can be ready for whatever may come.


Founded in the aftermath of 9/11 in response to the situation that was caused in New York. They set-up at first, a scalable messaging system which could notify everyone promptly during crises.

  • The majority of the biggest 500 companies in the world use their system!

  • 4,500 organisations are signed up to the Everbridge communications platform

  • The system has the potential to reach up to 500 million people worldwide. :zap:

Hurricane Sandy (2012)

During hurricane Sandy in 2012 (apologies I said 2004 in the video!) - 30% of the population in New York City didn’t receive any communications on evacuating.

AND 44% of the people that DID receive communications, thought that they’d be safe without evacuating. Clearly demonstrating that the messaging and communications they received weren’t good enough!

Challenge 3 - The Threat of Cyber Attacks

Every 40 seconds, a business falls victim to a cyber attack (Forbes, 2017).

By 2021, it’s expected to cost the economy $6 trillion annually (Cybersecurity Ventures, 2016).


Specialise in firewalls, antiviruses and intrusion prevention software.

Ken Xie founded the company NetScreen in the 90’s, one of the first internet security companies. He left to form Fortinet as the CEO in 2000. They’re the most used cybersecurity software company in the world.

They also allocate a lot of time in forming an education platform as an aside to the core business to help train up and educate new students on the ways of tackling cyber attacks and protecting companies against the threat. This is one of the ways they’re looking to the future, to help solve the problem at scale.

Have any thoughts on these challenges? Share them below and let us know what you’re thinking! :point_down:


I like the disaster communications one!! Actually really important in loads of situations. In fact would have been nice if it was in place when Typhoon Haiyan hit Leyte in the Philippines; as we spent a month without contact with our family there. Thankfully my family and Nan was fine, and we knew this because one of the first things she said was a complaint about the Russian soldiers giving her fish rather than beef as part of the disaster relief work :joy:

Haha it was lucky that your family were all safe!

I wonder whether that sort of system would’ve been more useful for people after the event (to help provide beef meals rather than fish :sweat_smile:) - or if it could’ve helped get people out the area… Guess it would’ve helped in both instances!

This is a really interested read/video! Be keen to see more of these posts :+1:


Hey @neilarch! Glad you like them! We’ve got a few of these kinds of posts dotted around -here’s one on the Global Water Subtheme!

Global Water - 3 problems the world has with 🌊


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