Innovation is critical to the future well-being of society and to driving economic growth, both of which are key priority areas for the World Economic Forum. To support these two pillars, the Forum launched its Technology Pioneer community in the year 2000.
The community is composed of early- to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and poised to have a significant impact on business and society.
The programme aims to give next-generation innovators a voice in solving global issues and the opportunity to contribute to the exploration of future trends. Each year, the Forum recognizes a new cohort of Technology Pioneers and incorporates them into its initiatives, activities, and events.
We asked our 2022 cohort for their views on how technology will change the world in the next five years. From maturing of advanced technologies such as Web3 and quantum, to managing flexible grids and on-demand manufacturing, here are their predictions for our near-term future.
‘Advanced manufacturing and fashion technology could digitally transform the apparel industry’
Matthew Wallace, Chief Executive Officer, DXM
Transforming the apparel industry with localized, on-demand manufacturing. The apparel industry is riddled with excessive waste and supply chain challenges. Today, most brands and retailers are forced to mass-produce goods with limited consumer input, resulting in high merchandise return rates, waste from overproduction, and lower profit margins due to deep discounts of unwanted merchandise. And while on-demand apparel and footwear are believed to be a solution, traditional manufacturing models still require months of lead time and hundreds of miles of travel between order and delivery - a problem which has only been exacerbated by global supply chain instability. Advanced manufacturing and fashion technology can digitally transform the apparel industry by bridging the gap between creators, consumers, and local manufacturers. It can play an important role in producing custom goods locally, resulting in dramatically reduced turnaround times – days, not months. This innovative model has the potential to not only reduce the environmental footprint of the fashion industry but also improve supply chain security on a global scale. It’s a promising solution that can be achieved with an open platform that unites best-in-class partners for the greater good of the apparel industry, and the world.
DXM CEO Matthew Wallace has been selected to be on the advisory board of a group of textile collaborators led by Walmart, whose goal is to bring manufacturing back to the US.
Recognition is part of The World Economic Forum’s selection of the 100 most promising Technology Pioneers of 2022 - companies that are tackling issues from sustainability and climate change to healthcare and more.