The challenge of the top 100 digital managers for social sustainability and inclusion

Sustainability Through Digital Citizenship and Inclusion

“The ability to consciously access the internet and its services is increasingly to be considered a true element of citizenship. Citizenship, based on established models of open government, sees digital as an enabling element and therefore represents a cornerstone of social sustainability with a focus on inclusion, equal opportunities, and the elimination of access barriers.”

This is stated in the Digital Sustainability Paper (PDF*), authored by over 100 Chief Information Officers and Chief Innovation Officers from the most important public and private companies, which aims to present to the Government the key points to make digital sustainability a lever for the country’s development.

In the document, prepared on the occasion of the General States of Digital Sustainability, the appeal is clear and effective: “It is necessary to promote the development of awareness in citizens and businesses and develop models that enable collaboration and participation of various stakeholders in the construction of digital sustainability paths.” The top managers offer to support the Government in implementing the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) by making their expertise and resources available to the community. This could start with the Digital Republic Fund, which could be applied to e-democracy initiatives and, more generally, to create tools for inclusion and democratic access supported by digitalization (such as functional literacy campaigns).

Sustainability is based on the “shared awareness of all citizens. It is therefore necessary – the Paper emphasizes – to develop widespread, cultural, and educational communication actions to inform and engage, starting from the assumption that sustainability projects must promote fundamental values, supporting the change of established habits and updating them in light of the evolutionary transformations we are facing, both through the commitment of actors specifically dedicated to this (for example, through an integration of the RAI service contract) and through the involvement of all Public Bodies in contact with citizens.

For the development of effective strategies oriented towards digital sustainability, “not only the Central Government but also the Regional and local Administrations, in accordance with the reform of Title V of the Constitution – add the top managers – must adopt legislative and communication initiatives aimed at supporting widespread knowledge among citizens and institutions of the role of digital as a sustainability tool, also in relation to the goals of Agenda 2030 and – in the case of Regions – in accordance with the S3 Strategy. To ensure full digital citizenship and, through it, real participation, it is important to promote and support open data and open government policies aimed at developing data ecosystems and supporting through them both environmental and economic and social sustainability processes.”

And they conclude: “In order to guarantee participation as well as access to public services, it is necessary to continue investing in the tools and processes necessary for the digital and unique identification of citizens and businesses, choosing methods that ensure accessibility, inclusion, privacy, and ease of use