Digital Revolution at the service of Sustainability
Digital Revolution supporting Sustainability, the most debated theme of 2021. Many scholars agree these two social transformations are so deep and global they will be reported in our History. European Union considers indeed they are the main challenges to our contemporary society. In the ambitious Green Deal and 2030 Agenda, Digitalization is considered fundamental to pursue the Sustainable Growth. For example, many digital solutions can be implemented to sustain the circular economy or decarbonization and reduction of the enterprises’ environmental footprint. However, Digital Innovation and Transition must be structured and oriented to adequately support Sustainability. In the last decades, for example, some digital transitions caused the increase of greenhouse gases. For this reason, it is necessary a radical transformation to direct the Digitalization to sustainable paths.
The term “Digital Revolution” describes all the transformation phenomenon applied to different areas of society, supported by digital data production, distribution and consumption. Some examples include Virtual and Augmented Reality, 3D Prints, Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Blockchain. The European Union estimates the data economy value will grow more than 800 billion of euros in 2025 and digital professionals’ hiring will double instead of 2018. It is, therefore, fundamental considering Digitalization a real opportunity to support Green Transition at a global level.
For example, speaking of medical field, thanks to the 3D Print evolution it will be possible to produce advanced prosthesis adaptable to patients at a reduced cost. Moreover, the actual Coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated how much effective “telemedicine” can be: during this period in China multiple telemedicine platforms based on 5G and 6G technologies have been implemented, facilitating communication and consultation of medical reports remotely.
The urban transformation is to be considered important, too. Not only thanks to the increasing introduction of automatic and electric vehicles, but also optimizing energy consumption through automated smart buildings.
It is fundamental, moreover, the digitalization role in Education, especially in remote areas of the worlds, where Education Access is still lacking. The Digital Education Plan has the aim to educate and train being supported, for example, by huge investments in connectivity structures based on 5G and 6G.
Human Resources Management will continue to be deeply affected by Digitalization. The introduction of solutions as smart working and videoconferences will lead to an enormous decrease in transports usage by workers, and consequently also to a decrease in the environmental footprint. Moreover, enterprises will be able to increase their productivity thanks to the enormous amount of emerging digital solutions, to facilitate workflows, and to the automation field. This process will bring out the need to develop new type of skills and competencies, creating new job roles. However, it is important to highlight digitalization should be used as an added value not as to create potential social inequalities.
What about labs? Thanks to digital management systems’ adoption, laboratories can not only contribute decreasing environmental footprint and paper’s usage, but also promote remote collaboration and data security and traceability.
These main goals have to be supported by an effective communication strategy. The information asymmetry regarding new technologies and machines’ intelligence needs to build trust among society, to promote its growth. For this reason, European Union confirms norms about cyber security will be established. At the same time, enterprises will be protected too, thanks to a dedicated plan to support the transition to Digitalization.
In this scenario, it is extremely important both companies and citizens collaborate to lead the digital revolution supporting sustainability for our society and to protect our planet.