jueves, 7 de abril de 2016

Why ICT is not considered critical for sustainaibility?

When he entered as President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker set a new political agenda for Europe composed of ten priorities. The creation of a connected Digital Single Market and the fight against climate change was in the list of EU priorities. As a consequence, two strategic documents have been published by the European Commission which contained the roadmap for each priority. On one hand, "A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe". On the other hand, "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy"

The digital transformation of the social and economic activities has a verified impact on the consumption of physical resources and the generation of waste. Therefore, it was expected that the EU circular economy roadmap would have had plenty of connections with the actions contained in the Digital Single Market Strategy. However, this has not been the case. Few connections more than a brief remark of the contribution of the collaborative economy to the reuse of resources. For instance, even it was no reference to the Smart City concept and its promotion in order to decrease the carbon footprint of the EU cities.

Not surprisingly, on the last High-level Conference on the digital transformation of European industry and enterprises the "acceleration of the transition to a circular economy through digital transformation" was included as one of the ten points of the Declaration on Digital Transformation issued by the stakeholders. With a disappointed mood, they recall that "policy makers and digital transformation enablers should seize the opportunity to make digitalisation a key driving force behind the creation of a viable circular economy". 

This lack of understanding on the importance of the digital transformation to achieve a more sustainable world is not new. It happened the same when the UN 2030 Agenda was defined. The ICT community was not able to make room for a ICT as a front row objective in the long list of SDGs. And it we look at the long list of indicators for monitoring SDGs progress, the situation has not improved. Only a handful of indicators, regarding mainly with telecom deployment, has been included.

Maybe it is time for the ICT community to start thinking for the reasons of this situation. I´m start thinking that we have a serious shortage of communication skills and/or influence at the right levels to defend the case of ICT as the cornerstone for a sustainable society.

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