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Online Event – Digitalisation and Sustainable Development: Leveraging Digital Technologies for a Sustainable Future

March 15: 10:00 - 17:00

Digitalisation is now part of everyday life. Smartphones, messaging apps, social media, and email have revolutionised how we connect with others, making it possible to communicate with anyone around the globe instantly. Many jobs have transitioned to digital, enabling telecommuting and remote work, which has become particularly prevalent after the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital tools and platforms allow for collaboration regardless of geographical location.

In the field of education, digitalisation has transformed learning through online courses, digital textbooks, and interactive software. This has made education more accessible to people around the world. There is a perceived need to leverage digital technologies for a sustainable future. This need is underpinned by several pressing global challenges, including climate change, resource depletion, loss of biodiversity, and socio-economic disparities.

Digital technologies such as AI and IoT (Internet of Things) enable the optimisation of resources in manufacturing, energy production, and distribution. Smart grids can balance energy supply and demand more efficiently, reducing waste and facilitating the integration of renewable energy sources. Big data analytics can provide insights into environmental trends and help in the predictive modelling of ecological outcomes. This can inform better decision-making in urban planning, conservation efforts, and can lead to more effective policies for environmental protection.

Digital technologies and digitally enabled products and services often require fewer materials and less energy to deliver than their physical counterparts. E-books, streaming media, and digital communication can reduce the need for paper, plastics, and travel, respectively. Digital communication technologies can also reduce the need for physical travel, thus cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation.

The rise of remote work can also decrease the carbon footprint of office spaces and commuting. The growth of digitalisation and its many applications for sustainable development, and sustainability-related efforts, suggest that a wide discussion on this key theme is needed.

Against this background, the online “Digitalisation and Sustainable Development: Leveraging Digital Technologies for a Sustainable Future” is being organised by theEuropean School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR), the UK Consortium on  Sustainability Research (UK-CSR) and the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP).

The aims of the event are:

  • To foster a greater understanding of the role of digitalisation in promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • To introduce and explore innovative digital solutions that address environmental challenges
  • To discuss the impact of digital technologies on economic, social, and environmental sustainability

A further aim of the event is to encourage greater collaboration between higher education institutions, tech companies, policy-makers, and environmental organisations.


 The event will be held online and will be structured around the following elements:

1. Keynote speeches
2. Panel discussions
3. Breakout sessions

The list of topics entails, but is not limited to the following themes:

  • Digital Transformation and the SDGs
  • Innovation in Green Technologies
  • New digital tools for carbon footprint tracking
  • Data Analytics and Sustainable Development
  • Policy-making for digital and sustainable development.
  • Smart Cities and Sustainable Urban Development
  • The Role of AI and Machine Learning in Environmental Protection
  • Blockchain for Sustainability
  • Digitalisation in the Energy Sector
  • Ethical Considerations and Cybersecurity in the Digital Age
  • Circular Economy and Digital Platforms
  • Digital Education and Capacity Building
  • Digital Inclusion and Bridging the Digital Divide

Also, virtual reality experiences showcasing the effects of climate change and how to develop digital solutions for environmental issues will be welcome.

The event intends to ensure a diverse range of speakers representing different geographies, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. It will be of special interest to representatives from companies working on CSR and sustainability, technologists, and sustainability researchers. This seminar will also be a convergence point for various stakeholders, from policymakers and industry leaders to activists and academics, to engage in meaningful discussions and forge partnerships that drive forward both digital innovation and the world sustainability agenda.

Publishing opportunity

 As output and long-term documentation of the event, selected papers will be published in the book “Digitalisation and Sustainable Development” which will follow the success of the “Encyclopedia of Sustainability  in Higher Education” which is a “living edition” and the “Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable  Development Goals”, the world´s largest editorial

project on sustainable development ever undertaken. The book will be produced as part of the World Sustainability Series, published by Springer Nature which is fully indexed.

Expressions of interest to attend the event, initially consisting of a 200 words abstract outlining the paper and with the full contact details of the author(s) should be sent to the IUSDRP team at:

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 20 January 2024. Full papers are due by 30 March 2024. The details will be discussed with the selected authors.  

This event is part of the Continuing Professional Development Programme on Sustainable Development, undertaken by the European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR) and the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP). An official certificate of participation, useful for professional development purposes and to be shown to employers, will be issued to participants, with the equivalent of 20 hours, including attendance at the event and preparation time. The issuing of the Certificate is included in the registration fees.

The event is self-funded, and in other to offset the costs of staff time, organisation, and preparation for the follow-up, a registration fee of Euro 100  (plus taxes) will be charged per delegate.  Waivers may be possible in cases where some delegates are unable to pay the fees.


March 15
10:00 - 17:00

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