Lüneburg, 6th May 2021

How can digitalization be shaped in a way that nurtures common goods and respects planetary boundaries? In order to address this question, representatives from civil society organizations and science, as well as policy-makers came together at the International Symposium “European approaches towards a Sustainable Digitalization”.

Professor Tilman Santarius, researcher at TU Berlin and ECDF, Professor Daniel Lang, researcher at the Leuphana University, as well as Friederike Rohde, research associate at IÖW, opened the event by emphasizing the importance of a specifically European approach in order to achieve sustainable digitalization: “We hope this symposium will push the debate, lift ambition and turn into ideas for collaboration across national borders. We believe this is essential in order to achieve a deep sustainability transition”, explains Santarius at the opening panel. During three parallel workshops, one of those about our D4S network, participants were able to dive deeper into certain questions. Michelle Thorne (Mozilla Foundation), David Jensen (UNEP Digital Transformation Task Force), and Kim van Sparrentak (MEP, Greens/EFA) subsequently discussed the vision for future collaboration among actors within the EU and agreed that academia and the scientific community need to set a focus on engaging with the civil society and actors like the tech industry to achieve real change. All panelists agreed, there needs to be a shift towards the consequences for sustainability and society when it comes to digital services and more sustainable business models need to become more attractive. A common assessment framework on an EU level is necessary, in order to achieve sustainability on several levels.

Full documentation

Please find the full review article and further material from the Symposium 2021 on our partners website: