An initiative to explore the opportunities and challenges of leveraging digital capabilities to drive transformative systems changes for a sustainable and equitable world.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies have the potential to help tackle some of the world’s most pressing societal problems, such as climate change, biodiversity, food insecurity, public health risks, and equity. The transformational capabilities of the digital age might even be a necessity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, as set out by the United Nations (UN).

Yet, global sustainability is not an inevitable outcome of the digital revolution. In fact, the digital transformation has helped drive the exponential rise of the human imprint on the natural environment that now threatens the resilience of Earth systems, and there remains a significant risk that technological advancement will exacerbate inequalities and escalate social injustice. The digital revolution has the potential to help transform society to a more sustainable and equitable world but only if there is a conscious effort to steer it in that direction.

Future Earth’s Sustainability in the Digital Age initiative explores the opportunities and challenges of leveraging new capabilities which have emerged from digital revolution to enhance global sustainability and equity and aims to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships and foster actions to make this vision a reality.

Activities

Digital Disruptions for Sustainability (D^2S) Agenda: Research, Innovation, and Action

The Digital Disruptions for Sustainability (D^2S) Agenda was developed over the past year in a collaborative process with input from over 250 sustainability and digital experts from around the world under the guidance of an Expert Advisory Committee (see below). The Agenda explores the interconnected climate and digital agendas, highlighting research, innovation, and actions needed to drive societal transformations in support of a more sustainable and equitable world.

Download the D^2S Agenda and see related material here.

Futures CoLab

Futures CoLab, a collaboration of MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and Future Earth, is a network of diverse international experts, a platform for online collaboration, and a process for asynchronous and facilitated dialogue. The goal of Futures CoLab is to enable subject matter experts to collectively explore solutions to global systemic challenges.

Futures CoLab ran an online facilitated dialogue exercise from March 4 to March 24, 2019 on Digital Disruptions for Global Sustainability. The goal of the exercise was to generate broad inputs to inform the development of the Research, Innovation, and Action Agenda. Participants explored the systems maintaining unsustainability and opportunities to disrupt them and shift society onto a more equitable and sustainable path. The final report is available for download here.

Expert Advisory Committee for the D^2S Agenda

An international team of diverse experts convened to guide the development of the Digital Disruptions for Sustainability (D^2S) Agenda./p>

Valérie Bécaert
Nick Beglinger
Dr. Anik Bhaduri
Mark de Blois
Owen Gaffney
Lucas Joppa
Tom Hassenboehler
Ravi Jain
Lyse Langlois
Mats Linder
Kevin Mo
Mathilde Mougeot
Per Olsson
Renata Piazzon
Valérie Pisano
Asunción Lera St. Clair
Gina Ziervogel