How can we develop transformative, inclusive, and sustainable climate solutions? Digital technologies can accelerate climate action and make way for more reflexive, decentralized, and inclusive governance systems that address the complexity of climate change and help meet climate goals. However, the digital age is not a silver bullet; it can amplify inequalities and increase our carbon footprint. The Re-Imagining Climate Governance in the Digital Age project collected insights from researchers, philanthropists, venture capitalists, social entrepreneurs, and technology innovators across five continents who work at the intersection of digital technology and climate action to develop a strategic framework for how philanthropic investments can drive transformative changes in climate governance systems.
We are embracing the resulting framework, which centers on the concept of shifting organizational mindsets and culture for example, by destigmatizing failure to allow for risk taking, handing over control to encourage local leadership, and shifting to maximizing long-term value over short-term impact. We have also built a database of over 200 examples of digitally-empowered climate governance strategies in action, as part of this effort. This project was created through partnerships with Future Earth and the ClimateWorks Foundation.
Cite as: Pierre Chuard, Jennifer Garard, Karsten Schulz, Nilushi Kumarasinghe, David Rolnick, Damon Matthews, A portrait of the different configurations between digitally-enabled innovations and climate governance, Earth System Governance, Volume 13, 2022, 100147, ISSN 2589-8116, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esg.2022.100147.
Cite as: Sustainability in the Digital Age, Future Earth, and ClimateWorks Foundation. 2022. Dynamic Philanthropy – A Framework for Supporting Transformative Climate Governance in the Digital Age. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5764443
The Strategic Framework Summarized: 8 Actionable Takeaways for Philanthropy to Support Transformative Climate Governance
Fail forward and share
Encourage the sharing of failures and lessons learned to shift towards a more agile, collaborative, and learning community of practice.
Co-learning and trust building
Engage with intermediaries that can connect diverse actors across disciplines and geographies, including local actors, with technology experts to increase inclusivity in this sector and increase appropriateness of technologies being developed.
Organize regular convening spaces where actors can build trusted relationships and partnerships and increase collective awareness on transformative climate governance and digital technologies.
Testing and co-development
Offer grants with succinct reporting requirements and longer and flexible timelines to allow for more iterative testing of solutions.
Invest in blended finance mechanisms that reduce risks and costs in enabling and scaling of digital technologies for climate action in order to attract new investors.
Apply more inclusive and ethically-sound criteria to evaluate impact aligned with a just transition.
Integration and scale
Support the development of more local leaders to help champion, integrate, and adapt inclusive digital solutions to climate change in different social and economic systems across geographies.
Implement digitally enabled pilot climate projects that are sustainable, transformative, and inclusive, to test and improve frameworks that can then be adapted and amplified across sectors and scales.
To understand more about how digital age transformations can accelerate climate action, watch this video:
Expert Advisory Committee
Global Lead for Sustainability Science, Microsoft
Co-Founder and Executive Director, WattTime
Assistant Professor, UNC Chapel Hill; Director, Data-Driven EnviroPolicy Lab
Hakizumwami Birali Runesha
Associate VP and Founding Director, Research Computing Center, University of Chicago
Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Climate Adaptation Governance, University of Groningen