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The improbable coalition of the “twin” green and digital transitions 
Zora Kovacic (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
Cristina García Casañas (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC))
Paloma Yáñez Serrano (Adam Mickiewicz University)
Lucía Arguelles (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
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Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The EU is betting its future on the “twin transition”. Yet, how the digital and the ecological spheres are to be connected is not clear. This panel discusses where, how, and why the ‘twinning’ of the digital and the ecological transitions takes place (or not), redefining environmental governance.

Long Abstract:

The EU is betting its future on the twin digital and green transition. The European Green Deal refers to the green and digital “twin transition” and defines digital technologies as “a critical enabler for attaining the sustainability goals of the Green Deal”. Yet, how those two spheres (i.e. the digital and the ecological) are or ought to be connected to meet that goal has not been spelled out. In this accelerating turn towards the digital society and economy, it is important to understand how the ‘twinning’ of the digital and the ecological transitions takes place, redefining environmental governance. The digitalisation of intrinsically ecological sectors, such as food and energy, mainstreams specific views and governance processes around nature and creates a technology-based understanding of how to frame and govern environmental problems. The major challenge might be to discern how “digital logics are not only built into our computers, mobile phones and other information and communication technologies, (but how) they dominate the framing of social problems and the options for dealing with them” (Jasanoff 2007). Is sustainability a matter of lack of precision? Is it merely a challenge of ordering interconnectedness? What is left out of digital problem framings? What kind of social and technological orders are created by digitalisation? The digital imaginary can significantly change environmental governance, but it is unclear whether it will improve the long-term sustainability (i.e. social, economic, environmental) of key economic sectors.

The panel welcomes papers as well as experimental proposals such as theatre sessions, on the following topics:

- The digital imaginary in governing institutions

- The relationship between AI and sustainability

- The impact of the European Green Deal in the Global South

- Entanglements of the green and digital transitions in specific sectors, geographies, policies

- Perspectives from the ground: promoters, actors, makers, users

Accepted contributions: