Digitalization, Decentralization, and Sustainability: Our Future Depends on it
Article in partnership with Swiss Re.
While there is a tendency to regard “animosity” as a hostile feeling towards someone or something, in the past, it was synonymous with pride and bravery. As Niccolò Machiavelli observed in Il Principe, we should strive to be recognized for our “greatness, animosity, gravity, and fortitude” in each of our actions.
As I have come to discover, that same duality is evident in Westerners’ attitudes towards climate change. At the same time as we show righteous indignation towards those who would jeopardize the future of our planet, we are doing little more than striving to mitigate the damages of harmful emissions.
Until a few years ago, our only recourse was to take to the streets and protest, but we now have the power to adopt a more active role, through digitization. By giving netizens a seat at the table in global discussions and providing knowledge resources to combat climate change as a collective, digitalization has allowed us to embrace sustainability.
Energy communities: a case in point
Whenever a group of citizens generates energy from renewable sources and then shares their excess, we are describing energy communities. To deconstruct this idea, let’s consider one of the easiest ways to become an energy producer. By installing solar panels on your rooftop and connecting them with IoT devices that measure the outgoing and incoming currents through compensatory credit charges, you can exploit blockchain for your transactions.
Notice that you are still a consumer in this scenario, but you are also a producer — hence the portmanteau, “prosumer”.
Risk awareness increases social security
Now, I want to provide you with a clear example of how digitization can increase social security by engaging citizens.
By combining data from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) with information from citizens on their property structures, I’m helping to industrialize a patent for a mobile device that can calculate the risk of a building’s collapse. Essentially, the system combines a building vulnerability index with a risk factor related to the area’s expected seismic events, as per INGV data. Through a mobile app — which uses AI to communicate verbally and increase accessibility — the citizen shares simple…