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Circularity, Sufficiency, and Justice: New approaches to governance of the twin transition of digitalization and sustainability
The world is entering a digital era where digital technologies are said to support sustainable development and create untapped potentials in many areas. However, more recently social and ecological drawbacks have become more apparent where digitalisation has not lived up to its ascribed potentials. Over the past years, voices have become louder advocating for a sustainable and digital twin transition. To move towards sustainable digitalisation, work needs to go into reorganising existing production and consumption practices based on governance principles of circularity, sufficiency and justice. A central challenge to progress has been the siloed approach to the twin transition, with policy professionals in technology, sustainability, economics, health and social services rarely collaborating on these transitions.
Questions to be considered include:
- What are the key challenges to move towards a twin digital and sustainable transition within the EU? How does existing work on circularity, sufficiency and/or justice point to overcoming some of these challenges?
- How can governance towards a twin digital and sustainable transition be supported if ideas derived from circularity, sufficiency and justice would become core elements of the political narrative around digitalisation within the EU?
- How would EU policy frameworks need to be designed and look like if they would integrate ideas derived from circularity, sufficiency and justice to move towards a twin digital and sustainable transition? What are promising policy areas where such policy work could be developed?
- What could be done to open up existing EU policy processes so that diverse groups in society can participate in shaping a twin digital and sustainable transition within the EU?
This event’s discussion is based on policy papers produced by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) for the German Environment Agency. The aim of the event is to move towards an overall political-strategic approach in this field based on issues and potentials raised by the three areas. For a little more detail on the papers about circularity sufficiency and justice, please see the annex in the attachment below.
10:30-11:00 Registration and welcome coffee
11:00-11:05 Introduction & welcome
11:05-11:15 Introductory keynote speech by Almut Nagel (UBA)
11:15-11:50 Presentation of project outcomes on circular economy, digital sufficiency and environmental justice by Sabine Hielscher, Christina Klusch, Frieder Schmelzle (Institute for Ecological Economy Research) and Agata Meysner (Institute for European Environmental Policy)
11:50-12:20 Panel discussion with Chris Adams (Green Web Foundation), Meadhbh Bolger (Friends of the Earth Europe) and Hugues Ferreboeuf (D4S & The Shift Project)
12:20-12:50 Q&A with the audience
12:50-13:00 Summary & closing
13:00-14:00 Networking lunch
For more information about the event, please contact: Agata Meysner