Building off of the previous day’s plenary on “Ecosystem service science for policy impact at local to global scales”, this companion session showcases technical innovations that will help bridge the gap in information needed to face looming global environmental challenges. Despite the urgency of these challenges, we do not currently understand which ecosystems are providing the most critical benefits to humanity. As a result, governments are planning blind; businesses cannot reduce risks to their supply chains; communities cannot safeguard the places they depend on for food and livelihoods. To achieve our sustainability goals, we need science at a global extent but locally-relevant scales, connected to human well-being in meaningful ways. Here we explore some of the science frontiers and technological innovations to deliver this information at the pace and scale at which it is needed.