Collaboration for Sustainability in the Digital Age

Organizer: Nilufar Sabet-Kassouf
Format: Online, Evening

Two powerful forces are shaping human destiny: global environmental change and the digital revolution. Anthropogenic environmental change around the world – including, for example, climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation – is driving systemic shifts that are already beginning to destabilize human and planetary health. Meanwhile, society is also experiencing global transformations driven by the digital age, with both massive opportunities for positive change and the threat of systemic risks to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. From 2018-2020, the Sustainability in the Digital Age initiative – a partnership with Future Earth – collaborated with over 250 experts from around the world to develop the Digital Disruptions for Sustainability (D^2S) Agenda. The report explored how digitally-enabled disruptions have the potential to drive transformations to sustainability and equity – but only if there is a conscious and collaborative effort to steer them in that direction. Through this work, we realized that a number of initiatives are exploring how to leverage the power of the digital age to foster societal transformations to sustainability. This SRI 2021 session brings together representatives from some of these efforts, to discuss perspectives on sustainability in the digital age, with an eye towards common actions that might be delivered by the public and private sector, among others. Part of the session will include an interactive element with participants to identify what the different groups are doing well and where they see a particular gap or need for collaboration. This might entail, for example, polling, voting on pre-seeded ideas. Based on insights gathered through a pre-session survey, our intent in this gathering is to start a broader discussion on developing a framework for the unconventional collaborations and potential post-2030 targets needed to leverage the digital age in service of sustainability and equity.

Themes: Integrated Action for the SDGs