The Digital Disruptions for Sustainability Research Agenda (D^2S Agenda) explores the opportunities and challenges of leveraging the digital age to disrupt the facets of existing economic, governance, and cognitive systems that are maintaining society on a carbon-intensive and increasingly inequitable path. We identify research and innovation opportunities and near-term actions needed to enable society to steer the digital disruptions already underway to drive transformations to a sustainable, climate-safe and equitable world.
Tackling the climate crisis and working towards a just and equitable digital future are inherently interconnected agendas that require collaborative effort. The D^2S Agenda was developed with input from over 250 people around the globe.
Cite as: A. Luers et al., “Leveraging Digital Disruptions for a Climate-Safe and Equitable World: The Dˆ2S Agenda: [Commentary],” in IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 18-31, June 2020, doi: 10.1109/MTS.2020.2991495.
Two powerful forces are shaping human destiny: global climate change and the digital revolution. Both are human creations that pose systemic risks to society. The changing climate is driving systemic shifts that threaten to destabilize the health and wellbeing of humankind. Big data, digital platforms, and artificial intelligence are rapidly transforming society in ways that pose systemic risks to the global social fabric. But fortunately, the digital age also presents systemic opportunities for driving the large-scale societal transformations needed to build a climate-safe and equitable world.
The D^2S Agenda identifies four digital disruptors that are already driving transformations in social and economic systems. It is unclear where these transformations will lead society. They pose many risks for humanity and the planet. They may also hold the power to help society achieve a sustainable and equitable path to net-zero emissions. But this can only happen if researchers, tech innovators, policy and business leaders, civil society, and citizens collaborate together to consciously steer these digital disruptions to drive transformations to a sustainable, climate-safe, and equitable world.
In the D^2S Agenda we propose examples of questions, experiments, and actions to disrupt, steer and scale economic systems, governance systems and cognitive systems towards an inclusive digital future.
Online coverage: The D^2S received coverage in 55 different media outlets, 19 countries, and 7
A short video to illustrate the underlying premise of the Sustainability in the Digital Age initiative and the D^2S Agenda. (Co-produced with ClearPath):
Expert Advisory Committee
Director of Research and Scientific Programs, Element AI
Executive Director, Sustainable Water Future Program; Associate Professor, Griffith University
Co-Founder and CEO, Cleantech 21 Foundation
Mark De Blois
CEO and Founder, Upande
Global Sustainability Writer and Expert, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
CTO, Earthrise Alliance
Partner, The Coefficient Group; Executive Director and Founder, EC-MAP
VP Search Science and AI, Amazon
Chief Environmental Officer, Microsoft
Professor, Université Laval; Director, International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies (OBVIA)
Founder and CEO, MLSH Consulting
Managing Director, The Paulson Institute
Professor, École Nationale Supérieure d’Informatique pour l’Industrie et l’Entreprise (ENSIIE) & Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Researcher, Stockholm Resilience Centre
Executive Manager of Climate Change, Arapyau Institute
President and CEO, Mila
Asunción Lera St. Clair
Senior Advisor, Barcelona Supercomputing Centre – BSC + DNVGL Digital Assurance
Associate Professor, University of Cape Town