Internet of Things: Aligning the Ecosystem towards Sustainable Adoption

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Guiding question: How can a functioning global Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem be built so as to harness the benefits of sustainable development?
Context: The Internet of Things has a crucial role to play in the digital transformation of industries, which are at the core of such technological trends as cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The wider societal implications are also significant and there is an enormous potential for IoT to deliver social value as part of commercially viable strategies.

To maximize the potential value that IoT can bring to industries and to the broader society, all stakeholders involved in this fast-changing and complex ecosystem would need to address challenges related to architecture, security, governance, business models and other issues related to the diffusion of connected computing devices.

To address these challenges, the Forum’s Internet of Things: Sustainable Models for Impact has been focusing on the following deliverables:

  • A framework for a preliminary evaluation of the impact of IoT projects across sustainable development areas, which can be found here: 

  • A set of IoT Guidelines for Sustainability that provide recommendations related to cooperation, investment and business models, and impact measurement to encourage the prioritization of sustainability goals within commercial strategies. 

  • A discussion paper in collaboration with MIT, which maps out the key components of a healthy IOT ecosystem. This paper will be published in early 2018


Design and lead a public-private partnership pilot programme to help unlock the potential value of digital communications for industry and society. In order to achieve this overall goal, the project would aim to 1) align ICT and Media industries (currently at diverging positions) to define a single common goal to unlock value, 2) partner with cross industry (ie: retail, automotive) to define a specific area of focus (ie: e-commerce) with great socio-economic potential , 3) partner with public sector to develop guidelines for implementation and 4) develop a positive narrative on the impact that ICT/Media industry partners have on society