Trends Impact Award for Digitization: Connecting Technology – Businesses

Trends Impact Awards reward SMEs and large companies that have a sustainable impact on their environment. There are six categories and a Global Impact Award for the most comprehensive project. This week we are awarding the Trends Impact Award for digitization.

1 What is the problem?

Digitization has brought very good, but also less good. It’s about turning the bad effects into positive ones. Think of the digitalisation of banks. This is welcomed by most, but there is also a large group who are not digitally skilled enough to be with. Automation is a necessity in many companies, but it also means that some employees have outdated technical skills and can no longer find a job in the labor market. Data centers are indispensable, but they often use a lot of energy.

How can we make digitization and automation fully sustainable in the future? How do we ensure that technology connects people instead of making some feel left out? How can we use technology to solve some of the world’s critical challenges?

Supermarkets are using more and more technology to better manage their inventories and reduce waste. This could, for example, help bring SDG 2 – one of the UN’s sustainability goals – closer to stopping world hunger, ensuring food security and moving towards sustainable agriculture.

2 What can we do?

We saw some examples of the power of technology during the corona pandemic. Employees could continue to work from home, pupils and students could follow online lessons. Companies developed tools to create products with citizens long before the corona, and governments around the world use citizen participation technology to close the gap for citizens. Technologies like artificial intelligence or blockchain are actually still in their infancy, we can expect a number of unimaginable applications in the coming years.

Jochen Vincke, partner at the consulting firm PwC, for example, sees the role that technology can play in the agricultural sector: “Drones can see exactly which piece of land needs to be fertilized. An autonomous tractor can reduce the farmer’s workload so he can do other things. in terms of food, technology can support the farmer.For example, digitalisation will enable us to make the short chain work more efficiently.Another example is the energy sector.With new technology that better controls our consumption, people will use energy when it is most beneficial to them. ”

3 What projects are we looking for?

Wayne Visser, professor of sustainable change at Antwerp Management School, hopes to see many projects from the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0 – using automation and data to improve production processes. “We can also use these technologies to solve social and environmental problems,” says Wayne Visser. “Blockchain, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, drones. Heaven is the limit. ”

“This category also includes projects to retrain people so that they are ready for the future with new skills. Initiatives to update digital knowledge so that people are able to work with machines instead of just being replaced by machines. That lead people to education in STEM (positive sciences) and IT makes their careers more future-proof. ”

4 Examples from abroad

The inhabitants of the small Spanish village of Alginet already reduced their energy bills by an average of 12 percent in 2012, while commercial consumers saved as much as 58 percent. These savings arose thanks to the Nobel project, which was funded by the EU. It got people installing smart electricity meters so they could see how much energy they were using on the smartphone app and its website. Because the inhabitants of Alginet had more knowledge and awareness of energy, they were able to reduce their consumption.

The French Karos is a carpooling app that allows people to organize their commute. People can plan in advance via the app, but interestingly enough, the app also makes it possible to make appointments at the last minute before departure. By driving to work together, people save fuel, there are fewer cars in traffic, and carpooling gets new social contacts.

German Amazone is an advanced machine installed behind the tractor. This allows farmers to cultivate precision farming. As a result, they use less fuel, labor, pesticides and seeds.

Trends Impact Awards

Companies wishing to participate will for six weeks read what each category of Trends Impact Awards is all about.

May 26: ecology

June 2: circular economy

June 9: inclusion and diversity

June 16: welfare

June 23: digitization

30th of June: resilience

Digitization has brought very good, but also less good. It’s about turning the bad effects into positive ones. Think of the digitalisation of banks. This is welcomed by most, but there is also a large group who are not digitally skilled enough to be with. Automation is a necessity in many companies, but it also means that some employees have outdated technical skills and can no longer find a job in the labor market. Data centers are indispensable, but they often use a lot of energy. How can we make digitization and automation fully sustainable in the future? How do we ensure that technology connects people instead of making some feel left out? How can we use technology to solve some of the world’s critical challenges? Supermarkets are using more and more technology to better manage their inventories and reduce waste. This could, for example, help move closer to SDG 2 – one of the UN’s sustainability goals – to stop world hunger, ensure food security and move towards sustainable agriculture. We saw some examples of the power of technology during the corona pandemic. Employees could continue to work from home, pupils and students could follow online lessons. Companies developed tools to create products with citizens long before the corona, and governments around the world use citizen participation technology to close the gap for citizens. Technologies like artificial intelligence or blockchain are actually still in their infancy, we can expect a number of unimaginable applications in the coming years. Jochen Vincke, partner at the consulting firm PwC, for example, sees the role that technology can play in the agricultural sector: “Drones can see exactly which piece of land needs to be fertilized. An autonomous tractor can reduce the farmer’s workload so he can do other things. in terms of food, technology can support the farmer.For example, digitalisation will enable us to make the short chain work more efficiently.Another example is the energy sector.With new technology that better controls our consumption, people will use energy when it is most beneficial to them. ” Wayne Visser, Professor of Sustainable Transformation at Antwerp Management School, hopes to see many projects from the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0 – using automation and data to improve production processes. “We can also use these technologies to solve social and environmental problems , “says Wayne Visser.” Blockchain, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, drones. The sky is the limit. “” This category also includes projects to retrain people so they are ready for the future with new skills. Initiatives to update digital knowledge so that people are able to work with machines instead of just being replaced by machines. Leading people to education in STEM (positive sciences) and IT makes their careers more future-proof. “Residents of the small Spanish village of Alginet already reduced their energy bills by an average of 12 percent in 2012, while commercial consumers saved as much as 58 percent. These savings occurred. thanks to the EU-funded Nobel project, which led people to install smart electricity meters so they could see how much energy they were using on the smartphone app and its website.Because Alginet residents had more knowledge and awareness about energy, they are able to reduce their consumption.The French Karos is a carpooling app that allows people to organize their commuting.People can plan in advance via the app, but interestingly enough, the app also allows you to make last minute appointments before departure By driving to work together, people save fuel, there are fewer cars in traffic, and carpooling gets new social contacts.German Amazon is an advanced m askine installed behind the tractor. This allows farmers to cultivate precision farming. As a result, they use less fuel, labor, pesticides and seeds.

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