Digitalization is coming. And in many cases has already arrived. But the impact it will have on societies, human lives and the planet still remains to be seen. If digitalization truly is an element of great social change, it has to be sustainable, fair, and relevant to all people and working for the common good. Without proper discussions on benefits or risk, without democratic control and regulations, technologies have the potential to lead to more and new social, economic and ecological problems.

Important first steps have been made to discuss the role of technology and the digital world. Yet we have to continue to actively shape the path of a truly sustainable digitalization.

As a framework, we propose one of the most comprehensive sustainability concepts ever agreed on by the world: The 2030 Agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2015, all UN Member States adopted the SDGs. These goals tackle the most important challenges of our times and propose a large variety of sustainable policy solutions. Among them are goals to reduce poverty and hunger, establish sustainable economies and sustainable use of resources, bring peace, as well as access to free and fair institutions and justice. All these aspects and more are crucial for a sustainable digitalization.

How and why to get involved

This online platform wants to provide a space for the discussion on sustainable digitalization. All our suggestions are just that: suggestions aiming at finding ground rules for a sustainable digitalization, widening the discussion on specific elements of digitalization, and strengthening the dialogue between environmental, development, social and IT/digital NGOs. The ideas are structured along the SDGs, some goals are combined to avoid duplication. Many of our ideas and suggestions were inspired by publications and positions from fellow civil society organizations. In case of questions or other please contact us.

Do you have suggestions on positions? Disagree or agree with something? Anything missing? 

Any comments are welcome – please respect the netiquette.

What will happen with your comments?

This is an attempt to start an exchange and a collection of a wide range of positions on sustainable digitalization.

We first released our ideas on this platform in November 2018. Since then, we have revised the text and published a print version in November 2019.

Yet, the discussion for a sustainable digitalization must go on. We still welcome all of your input and ideas, in order to collectively find ground rules for the path that lies ahead.

(1)  The purpose of this platform is to publicly chanel, collect and discuss a variety of thoughts, ideas and demands on the topic of digitalization. You are the experts, and we need and very much welcome your input.  If comments seem to have reached a meaningful agreement on a position, we will include them in the text to be further discussed. We will continue to revise the text accordingly.

(2) We have started to present this process of online discussion and its results in a variety of political spaces. This included approaching politicans, political institutions, civil society organizations and science institutions, the wider public as well as companies. We want make this a transparent process and keep anyone interested inform on the way ahead. To make this as diverse as a process as possible, please contact us if you are interested in joining our promotion of a sustainable digitalization in various formats.

(3) We are aiming at a decentralized process, where anyone can use these ideas and work with the text. The text and this website is therefore available and accessible to everyone and can be used by everyone.

(4) It doesn’t stop with this text. We want to help create a network, to start/ continue a conversation on how to shape a sustainable digital world. Ideally, this means to facilitate and strengthen the dialogue between environmental, development, social and IT/digital NGOs. You are the experts it needs, so come and join us in this project – also beyond the creation of this text. Send us a message via the contact form or write an e-mail to info@sustainable-digitalization.net.


What do we want with this project (in German)

Do you want to get on board? Do you have ideas on how to go about it? Already brimming with suggestions? Who should be involved as well?

Let us know!

To leave a comment on our suggestions, please go to the individual chapters or send us a message via the contact form or write an e-mail to info@sustainable-digitalization.net.