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Regulate, measure and monitor to meet goals

The second day of work at the Digital With Purpose (DWP) summit opened with the theme of education, considered a fundamental tool for equal opportunities and inclusion, but also preparation from the youngest to the real world. In the words of the participants in the first debate of the morning, they will be the leaders of the future, who will be given a planet full of challenges and they need to be prepared.

But, to transform education, digitalization is essential, both to democratize access to knowledge and to rethink educational models. However, to make this transformation accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the foundations still need to be worked on. In 2020, “teachers did not have the right skills to teach digitally,†said Willem Schoors. For the project manager da EmpowerEDa teaching platform that aims to help students reach their potential“it all starts with the teachers who have to have the right training before they start teaching†.

Furthermore, it is necessary to change traditional teaching models, as advocated by António Câmara. “Reduce what institutional education is and make it something more contemporary, with creative projects, with initiatives that accompany learning capabilities. Teaching has to be reliable at the instructional level, but it has to be inspiring and at the same time practical,” highlighted the professor na Nova School of Science and Technology. “Quando We talk about resources such as renewable energy, sustainable mobility, etc., we have to take into account the skills that will need to be developed,” added Roland Jan Meijer. From the perspective of the general secretary of Globe EU, platform whose mission is to discuss policy proposals from the European Commission and coordinate political action between like-minded legislators in the European Parliament and at Member State level, there is a lack of collaboration between industry and universities, “so that schools can understand what companies need†. The person responsible believes that the European commission can facilitate a discussion between universities and industry about the needs and necessary understanding on the topic.

Without sustainability there is no business

“Sustainability is becoming the only way to move forward, it is no longer just a buzzword†. The words are from Nizar Kammourie, CEO of SAWACO Water Group, who warns that companies and businesses will not be supported by investors and stakeholders if they are not sustainable. “The big challenge is to integrate sustainability into the business, because in the short term it will cost a lot of money, but then you will reap the rewards,†he reinforced.

Changing mentalities in organizations, implementing changes in management and breaking down silos are fundamental ingredients for including sustainability in companies’ strategies. “There is clearly a business in sustainability and we have to show this to companies,†emphasizes Radoslaw Kedzia, Huawei’s senior vice president for Europe.

But sustainability must also be at the basis of building smart and efficient cities. “Cities are both a problem and a solution when it comes to the energy transition,†exemplifies Jane Cohen, Senior Program Manager at the International Energy Agency, who highlights the importance of thinking about digitalization § and the role of cities in the energy and climate transition. “We achieve between 30 and 50% energy savings with automation in cities,†adds Doug Arent. However, for the executive director of strategic partnerships at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the transformation and digitalization of urban areas must always have people at the center, involving them through inclusive processes.

For society to make a fair and phased transition, financing is needed so that companies can also follow this path, but also simple regulation. “It is not possible to manage more regulation,†defended Ana Cláudia Coelho. The PwC consultancy partner gives the example of the number of rules in the European taxonomy, which obliges companies to report their sustainability activities. “Companies lose focus and are unable to move forward with the transformation†. For Alice Khouri, Head of Legal at Helexia and founder of Women in ESG Portugal, “there is no need for more regulation after the taxonomy, but better management to extract concepts for governance the common one†.

Other conclusions from the second day:

  • There is a greater need for quality data to support the digitalization of cities, and for all systems to be interconnected. This will be very important for everything to work.
  • Artificial intelligence, together with other digital solutions, and financing will allow us to have a better quality of life and decarbonize society.
  • The regulatory aspects are complicated and legislators need to try to simplify.
  • Everyone is committed to reducing emissions, but the truth is that emissions continue to increase every year, globally. There is something wrong here.
  • More data needs to be implemented to help read the metrics and monitor how we are meeting climate transition objectives.
  • The goal of reducing invasive species – animals, plants and other microorganisms – by 50% can only be achieved with detection, monitoring and involvement of the entire society. These invasions are interacting with other climate problems such as wildfires, and the risks are increasing.
  • Most biodiversity ecosystems are public, but the private sector must support their recovery and maintenance. Global coordination is key to success.
  • The biggest problem with current biodiversity is political and financial.

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Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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