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Circularity, Sufficiency, and Justice: New approaches to governance of the twin transition of digitalization and sustainability 

The world is entering a digital era where digital technologies are said to support sustainable development and create untapped potentials in many areas. However, more recently social and ecological drawbacks have become more apparent where digitalisation has not lived up to its ascribed potentials. Over the past years, voices have become louder advocating for a sustainable and digital twin transition. To move towards sustainable digitalisation, work needs to go into reorganising existing production and consumption practices based on governance principles of circularity, sufficiency and justice. A central challenge to progress has been the siloed approach to the twin transition, with policy professionals in technology, sustainability, economics, health and social services rarely collaborating on these transitions.

Join us on 21 March, 2023 from 10:30 – 14:00 at the Brussels Press Club for a gathering of experts from different policy fields for an open discussion of the ways that the twin transition could be enhanced through new governance approaches. Questions to be considered include:  

  • What are the key challenges to move towards a twin digital and sustainable transition within the EU? How does existing work on circularity, sufficiency and/or justice point to overcoming some of these challenges?  
  • How can governance towards a twin digital and sustainable transition be supported if ideas derived from circularity, sufficiency and justice would become core elements of the political narrative around digitalisation within the EU?  
  • How would EU policy frameworks need to be designed and look like if they would integrate ideas derived from circularity, sufficiency and justice to move towards a twin digital and sustainable transition? What are promising policy areas where such policy work could be developed?   
  • What could be done to open up existing EU policy processes so that diverse groups in society can participate in shaping a twin digital and sustainable transition within the EU?

This event’s discussion is based on policy papers produced by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) for the German Environment Agency. The aim of the event is to move towards an overall political-strategic approach in this field based on issues and potentials raised by the three areas. For a little more detail on the papers about circularity sufficiency and justice, please see the annex in the attachment below.

Please click on the button below to register. We look forward to advancing the discussion around the twin transitions with you.


10:30-11:00 Registration and welcome coffee 

11:00-11:05 Introduction & welcome

11:05-11:15 Introductory keynote speech by Almut Nagel (Head of Environment Department, Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union) and introductory remarks by Barbara Beckert (UBA)

11:15-11:50 Presentation of project outcomes on circular economy, digital sufficiency and environmental justice by Sabine HielscherChristina KluschFrieder Schmelzle (Institute for Ecological Economy Research) and Agata Meysner (Institute for European Environmental Policy)

11:50-12:20 Panel discussion with Chris Adams (Green Web Foundation), Meadhbh Bolger (Friends of the Earth Europe) and Hugues Ferreboeuf (The Shift Project)

12:20-12:50 Q&A with the audience

12:50-13:00 Summary & closing by Christian Löwe (UBA) and the moderator

13:00-14:00 Networking lunch


For more information about the event, please contact: Agata Meysner 


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Funded by

This science-policy event is implemented as part of the R&D project “Digitalization and Sustainability at the EU level” (research code: 3720 41 101 0) on behalf of the German Environment Agency (UBA), and financed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). 

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