How innovation will revolutionise everything

With the rise of new business models and structures, and the frenetic advance of exponential technologies like 3d printing, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering and big data, the world as we know it is set to radically transform. The films in this year’s Transitions Film festival paint a picture of a society in flux and will challenge you to ask yourself, are you ready for the new world?

The development of radical new business models

As we confront new challenges and embrace new technology, we’re witnessing old models and systems strain under change. Are these systems up to the task? Or do we need a radical rethink of our most basic economic models?

A New Economy explores the Canadian businesses that are looking away from immediate profits in favour of more sustainable business models. The film showcases a range of businesses, including a small craft-brew co-op, a peer-to-peer open hardware lab, and an urban agriculture social enterprise.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, a new model for energy supply is emerging. Germany is facing the largest structural reform since the industrial age, as a grassroots movement has thrived through the growth of decentralised players in the energy market. Power to Change draws upon the personal stories of people who have taken their energy – and livelihood – back into their own hands.

The overhaul of damaging and unethical supply chains

It’s easy to forget the true cost of the goods we buy. While consumer action is a necessary force for change, there needs to be businesses that show leadership both ethically and environmentally when it comes to the production of their products.

When conservationist Mark Angelo began investigating the dark side of the fashion industry, his findings were troubling. His film, RiverBlue, shows the destruction of rivers and waterways around the world from the use of harsh chemicals and the impact of toxic waste. But there’s hope – Angelo meets the designers and brands leading the charge for a sustainable fashion industry.

Poor production practices have a human cost as well. When three Dutch journalists uncover child labour in the cocoa production chain, they set out to persuade large corporations to end these unethical practices once and for all. The Chocolate Case follows these three playful and cheeky journalists over their decade-long quest to revolutionise the chocolate industry.

The support and incubation of innovation

Real change comes from real action. A new generation of thinkers are ditching boardrooms and summits for more practical ways to change the world: by starting companies and building innovations that have real impact.

The University is the story of a new type of education institution, the Singularity University, that teaches students to confront the crucial issues affecting the future of our species. The film follows the students of Singularity University as they are given a fearsome challenge: create companies that will impact a billion people within ten years.

With entrepreneurship reaching record lows in America, another film delivers a vital call-to-action to inspire change. Generation Startup captures the struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who put everything on the line to build startup companies in Detroit. Shot over 17 months, it’s an honest, in-the-trenches look at what it takes to launch a new business.

Want to be part of the movement? Watch these films and more and Transitions Film Festival See your city’s full festival program here.