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Digitalization for Sustainability: Science in Dialogue

The dialogue project “Digitalization for Sustainability: Science in Dialogue” aims at systematically connecting expert researchers from European academia and think tanks in order to co-create interdisciplinary approaches towards a sustainable global future in the face of the rapid development of digital technologies and applications.

At its core, the project will bring together a European expert panel, consisting of researchers reflecting different disciplines, i.e., informatics, engineering, computer, social, human, economic and sustainability sciences, as well as diverse thematic and national backgrounds. The dialogue covers a range of subtopics regarding digitalization/ICT like data governance, platform economics, surveillance/privacy, public interest tech, smart cities or artificial intelligence. These are integrated with issues regarding sustainability transformations such as poverty reduction, transnational justice, planetary boundaries, energy, mobility, agricultural transitions, sustainable production & consumption.

The aim is to synthesize these into an integrated, comprehensive analysis of prospects, risks, governance options and policy solutions for shaping a sustainable digitalization. Discussions will build on previous pioneering work, including publications from the ICT4S  and the ICT4D research communities, the Berlin-based research group “Digitalization and Sustainability” (Smart Green World?, 2020), the German Advisory Council on Global Change (Towards Our Common Digital Future, 2019), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (The World in 2050 Report, 2019), and others.

Out of the dialogue and the research endeavours of the expert panel, the project plans to publish a series of policy papers as well as a comprehensive final report. They will include both system knowledge derived from the interdisciplinary analysis as well as hands-on policy proposals how to shape digitalization in a way that it contributes to deep social and environmental sustainability transformations.