Introduction to the programme

As humanity continues to produce and witness rapid technological change, the sustainable development goals have grown progressively intertwined among them and with digitalization on the path towards their achievements. The blend is especially important in the fight against climate change. This is particularly true for cities and local governments, who face the double-edged pressures of fulfilling the needs of their residents while playing a key role in broader national efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. With U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warning that the “climate time bomb is ticking,” the increasing urgency of the climate crisis – combined with the fast pace of digital growth and the opportunity to take action at local level – point to an integrated, transformative approach towards urban sustainable development.

Local decision-makers have a crucial opportunity to (i) understand the potential of digital transformation to deliver on sustainability solutions that meet core human needs and (ii) work on the research and innovation priorities that address the climate crisis . Recognizing that no single sector or organization alone can realize the actions needed to limit global warming to 1.5ºC, an integrated approach is needed – bringing together solutions providers and demand owners across levels of government, business, academia, the financial community, and civil society – to usher in an era of smart and sustainable cities across the globe that simultaneously tackle core human needs through urban research and innovation priorities.

Objectives of the Smart and Sustainable cities sessions at the DwP Global Summit

Through its three-day ‘Smart and Sustainable Cities’ programme, the 2023 Digital with Purpose Global Summit aims to convene the latest in solution implementation and thought leadership at the nexus of cities, digital innovation, and climate action.

Smart and Sustainable cities programme for the DwP Global Summit has the below agenda:

  1. Presenting challenges and opportunities for a twin green and digital transition.
  2. Using a needs-based approach starting from the core human needs and back casting to define the most enabling policy and governance context, then explore concrete digital solutions available for cities.
  3. Analysis of means to accelerate the transition through matchmaking and financial support.