Call for Papers: “Shaping a sustainable digital world”

Our society is currently undergoing a digital transformation that affects many areas of public and private life. Technological progress has great potential for improving living conditions, but also entails risks. In light of other megatrends such as climate change – and the associated negative consequences for people and the environment – it is crucial to actively shape digital change in line with environmental goals. With the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, Switzerland has set itself an important orientation framework. In this context, the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN has commissioned a study from the Bern University of Applied Sciences to assess the opportunities and challenges that digitization presents for the environment, and to determine where there is need for action. The results of this study give rise to a virtual workshop on 8 May 2020, where we want to find answers to the question: “How can digitization contribute to achieving the environmental goals”? 

In the edition on “Shaping a sustainable world”, we thus want to put a spotlight on areas where collective action is needed to maximize the opportunities, and minimize the risks of digitization for the environment. In order to facilitate the discussion on how to use digitization for the benefit of a more sustainable world, we are soliciting contributions that focus their attention on the topics of circular economy, sufficiency, increased efficiency through digital applications, transparency of costs and materials, data exchange and data governance.

Aspects covered may include, but are not limited to:

  • efforts to promote the production of goods and provision of services with a smaller environmental impact; efforts to promote the repairability and recyclability of electronic products;
  • examples on how to create incentives to increase the lifespan of electronic products; or incentives to reduce the environmentally harmful consumption overall;
  • reflections on the use of digital technologies and monitoring systems in order to increase energy efficiency; 
  • efforts to improve transparency regarding the components and the origin of products; or on the promotion of technology cost assessments;
  • thoughts on the application of the open data principle with regard to environmental data from public authorities, research and the private sector;
  • suggestions on the enforcement of the “MyData” principle with regard to environmental data, as well as ensuring data protection in the field of environmental monitoring;
  • efforts towards promoting the exchange of environmental data between different parties (e.g. research, public authorities, etc.)

Please submit your abstract by 20 April 2020 to:

The final version of your contribution will be due by end-April and should have a volume of  3500 – 7500 characters. Please submit it along with a very short bio (3-4 sentences) and a portrait image of the author(s). We accept contributions in English, French, or German.

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AUTHOR: Anne-Careen Stoltze

Anne-Careen Stoltze is Editor in Chief of the science magazine SocietyByte and Host of the podcast "Let's Talk Business". She works in communications at BFH Business School, she is a journalist and geologist.

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