Canada’s Sustainable Future – Creating a Digital Action Plan Launch

22 September, 29 September & 6 October 2021 at 1 - 3 PM (EDT)

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Future Earth, Sustainability in the Digital Age, and the Canadian Science Policy Centre are pleased to announce the launch of a new project called: “Canada’s Sustainable Future – Creating a Digital Action Plan.”

This project, taking place in September and October 2021, will roll out as a national, online dialogue series to gather brilliant ideas on digital action for sustainability targets from all peoples living in Canada and Canadians around the globe.

Specifically, we want to explore how digital innovation could help Canada achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Together, we want to collect ideas, solutions and recommendations from all sectors, regions, communities, Indigenous Nations, and other stakeholders.

The findings and recommendations from this dialogue series will be presented at the 13th Canadian Science Policy Conference, CSPC 2021, in November.

What can participants expect from this series?

Dialogue series participants can expect to interact with engaged and engaging people from different sectors, regions, generations, and cultures on three key sustainable development topic areas:

1. Digital transformation to scale public awareness for sustainability

The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a focus for global action on clean water, climate, good health, equity, and well-being. We want to explore the challenges and opportunities of using digital innovation to bring attention and energize our communities around the SDGs and to connect all peoples in Canada with the natural world. Strengthening our personal connection to nature is a first step toward building awareness of what we could lose by not paying attention to our natural environment. With new digital tools to gather data about our physical and social environments, to share information and crowdsource solutions, what could a sustainable future in Canada look like?

2. Enabling cross-sectoral partnerships to drive sustainable innovation

Our world is facing systemic challenges related to the environment, health and society that are too complex to resolve by a single organization or sector. We must foster cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaborations that merge digital innovations with sustainability science, to drive change toward Canada’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Digital platforms and the circular economy are creating opportunities to reflect on the best ways to balance digital capabilities, sustainability, and equity in society. Learning from the successes and challenges of cross-sectoral partnerships in Canada, we will explore funding mechanisms and other enablers to bring the public, private and plural sectors together to support societal goals.

3. Indigenous Science and Knowledge driving transformative solutions

Indigenous-led sustainable development and conservation projects grounded in Indigenous Science and Knowledge offer transformative pathways to address the climate crisis and ongoing inequality. Amidst brilliant successes in Canada, there are also challenges for Indigenous Peoples, including issues around Rights and Responsibilities, scientific and academic data sovereignty, access to broadband connectivity, and inclusion of Indigenous voices in policy change. We will explore the potential of digital technologies in this space to disrupt systems, while fostering constructive dialogue to align Indigenous and non-Indigenous science in various fields and environmentalism. What do we need to do to create more inclusive socio-economic development in Canada?

Each theme has a dedicated virtual live event you can join. Registration is free:

  1. September 22, 2021 (1 – 3PM EDT) – Register now
  2. September 29, 2021 (1 – 3PM EDT) – Register now
  3. October 6, 2021 (1 – 3PM EDT) – Register now

The live events will consist of a two-hour public town hall via Zoom for all who wish to participate. Additionally, each theme has an online dialogue rollout through ThoughtExchange where you can engage and share your thoughts in the lead up to the live events. The ThoughtExchange questions are now open for comments. Please join in the discussion!

Theme 1:

QR code graphic to join the ThoughtExchange 1 -, 504-224-508. Question: What is the role digital technology can play in helping people to connect with nature?

Theme 2:

QR code graphic to join the ThoughtExchange 1 -, 704-991-800. Question: How can cross-sectoral partnerships leverage digital tools to work towards an increasingly sustainable economy?

Theme 3:

QR code graphic to join the ThoughtExchange 1 -, 697-326-155. Question: How can the sustainability science world actively support what Indigenous Peoples are working on?

We will also be posting video interviews on our social media channels with experts related to this exciting series. Follow us to be sure you don’t miss out!

In the words of Éliane Ubalijoro, Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age:

“We believe the best way to overcome difficult challenges is to face them together. Sharing knowledge across regional, cultural, and professional communities can reinforce shared values, shape new norms, and strengthen our capabilities to become a more sustainable society. By facilitating national dialogues around these issues, we can come together and use this framework to push for positive change.”

So be ready for an engaging combination of virtual presentations and online discussions through the ThoughtExchange platform to explore challenges and opportunities related to the three key topic areas of our National Dialogue Series.

“We want people to really engage with these themes and present their ideas and perspectives on them. We’re eager to hear from all participants who can contribute their unique expertise with respect to key challenges and opportunities in each of these areas,” says Mehrdad Hariri, the Founder and CEO of the Canadian Science Policy Centre. “Through this mix of virtual exchanges and dialogues with participants from all regions of Canada, we hope to create a truly collaborative sustainability knowledge base. This knowledge base will provide insights to guide recommendations to policymakers, as well as stakeholders across sectors who can take actions to innovate solutions.”

Come and engage with us! We want to know what you think!

This national online dialogue series is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sustainable Development Goals Funding Program. (The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.)

Register now for the virtual town halls and start sharing your ideas through ThoughtExchange!

Join us for the National Online Dialogue Series 2021: “Canada’s Sustainable Future – Creating a Digital Action Plan.”

Day: Wednesday

September 22, 2021
September 29, 2021
October 6, 2021

Time: 1 – 3 PM (EDT)
Platform: Zoom

For more information contact: