Finding purpose in innovation: Digital for Planet at the Digital with Purpose Summit 2023

On September 27-29 representatives from the ICT public and private sectors came together in Lisbon, Portugal to answer one of our society’s most pressing questions:  how do we harness the many potentials and challenges of digital solutions to serve the people and the planet?

The content of the summit was divided into three main streams: Sustainable Cities, Education and Biodiversity. 

The event featured many thought-provoking sessions and speakers that offered a multitude of significant insights:

Dr Monique Calisti, President and Founder, Digital for Planet
  • Empowering cities and citizens to play their part in reducing urban CO2 emissions is possible, thanks to AI.
    Digital for Planet President and Founder Dr Monique Calisti gave a presentation on the topic of AI for Urban Mobility, featuring the CO2TRAFFICAI initiative. This digital solution uses Artificial Intelligence to transform sustainable urban mobility and enable policy-driven Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). It combines a cloud-native platform, IoT sensor/data management, and artificial intelligence to redefine how CO2 emissions are assessed and how city stakeholders use this new knowledge.
  • We can’t build on top of a flawed system. Innovation should come with a people and needs-first mindset. Today, digital solutions focus on economic growth and innovation for its own sake. As anthropogenic action has caused us to transgress six out of nine Planetary Boundaries¹, our planet asks of us for a human and planet-centric approach. The future of humanity is shaped by technology, and it is up to us to decide what it will look like.
Pearse O’Donohue, Director Future Networks, DG CNECT, European Commission
  • In today’s digital landscape, it’s crucial to recognize that not all digital solutions are inherently beneficial.  
    To maximize the potential and minimize unintended consequences of technology, it’s imperative to ensure a thoughtful and strategic deployment process, starting right from the design phase. This proactive approach is essential for creating technology that genuinely enhances our lives and our world.
Cacique Dadá Borari, Borari Chief, Maró, Brazilian Amazon
  • Digital platforms enable individuals to actively participate in knowledge generation and grasp the significance of biodiversity for a sustainable future.
    Leveraging big data can amplify our comprehension of biodiversity and provide an unparalleled boost to conservation initiatives. We can make this happen by involving citizens in the production, analysis and dissemination of data, fostering a sense of responsibility and belonging.


  • Our education system has not evolved enough over the past decades. We need an education revolution, empowered by technology. 
    About 250 million young people don’t have access to school or an appropriate education system². In order to address the needs of our youth in our rapidly changing world, the role of educators needs to undergo a fundamental change, and digital solutions have the potential to scale up grassroots innovations.

Collecting the many learnings and insights from the event, the Digital for Planet team looks forward to continuing the work with researchers, solution providers, and public institutions to enable a digital and sustainable transformation through purposeful innovations.



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