Our Work

Sustainability in the Digital Age operates under three main interrelated streams of work:

These three streams of work are critical to continuing to build an international network of collaborators and to leveraging the transformative power of the digital age to steer society towards a more sustainable and equitable world.

Research &

We facilitate research and innovation around priority areas identified in the Digital Disruptions for Sustainability (D^2S Agenda).

We coordinated a special issue on Sustainability in the Digital Age in the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine (Vol. 39, Issue 2) published in June 2020.

Futures CoLab: A collaboration between Future Earth and MIT Center for Collective Intelligence launched in 2017, Futures CoLab brings together a network of diverse international experts to engage in a process for asynchronous and facilitated dialogue using a platform for online collaboration. The goal of Futures CoLab is to enable subject matter experts to collectively explore solutions to global systemic challenges. 

Global Risks Perceptions Initiative: Through this work, we strive to capture and analyze the perceptions on global risks of different scientific communities. By bringing together multiple viewpoints on risks, this initiative aims to spark and inform a pluralistic dialogue around risks that draws on a diversity of experience and knowledge.

Rapid Foresight Surveys: We seek to spark critical reflection on the challenges and the opportunities that major events and crises present, and to contribute to global conversations on how to respond to and recover collectively through rapidly developed surveys.

Training &

We are building networks through convenings such as the CIFAR AI & Society workshop on Sustainability in the Digital Age.

We are also developing additional convenings through partnerships with UN Environment Programme to continue strengthening the international community working in this space.

In partnership with the collaborators, we are developing a dialogue series on Sustainability in the Digital Age.

With partners, we set up the Leadership in Environmental and Digital Innovation for Sustainability (LEADS) program to train sustainability leaders in the digital age.

Policy Standards &
Best Practices

We are working with partners to advance the enabling conditions for leveraging the digital age for sustainability. The Montreal Statement was prepared from discussions held during the CIFAR AI & Society workshop in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which included participants from multiple sectors and geographies. 

We ask leaders in business, government, and civil society to recognize that building a climate-safe and equitable world requires a conscious effort to steer the societal transformations unfolding from the development and deployment of new digital technologies.

Immediate action is needed in five specific areas:

  • Build a new social contract for the digital age, which addresses individual rights, justice and equity, inclusive access, and environmental sustainability;
  • Ensure open and transparent access to data and knowledge critical to achieving sustainability and equity;
  • Foster public and private collaborations to develop and manage AI and other technologies in support of sustainability and equity;
  • Promote research and innovation to steer digital transformations toward sustainability and equity; and
  • Support targeted communication, engagement and education to advance the social contract.

Re-Imagining Climate Governance in the Digital Age

Sustainability in the Digital Age and Future Earth in partnership with ClimateWorks Foundation developed the Digital Climate Projects Database as part of the Re-imagining Climate Governance in the Digital Age Project. To explore the rapidly evolving space of digital technology and climate governance, this larger project looked at the challenges and opportunities of using digital tools to accelerate climate action through a series of expert consultations, a literature review, and an analysis of the Digital Climate Projects Database. Using the data collected, a Strategic Framework was created to help guide actors to develop transformative, inclusive, and sustainable climate solutions.