Green, digital, and inclusive transition for socially responsible society
Thank you for being part of the 17th IRDO International Conference “SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE SOCIETY 2022: Green, digital and inclusive transition: how to make it happen?”, online, 2 and 3 June 2022.
We are proud that in the previous 16 years presidents of the Republic of Slovenia, of Government of Slovenia and the Director General of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia were honorary sponsors of IRDO Conference, now this is The European Business Network for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility = CSR Europe.
Our event is an official Partner Event of the EU Green Week (30 May to 5 June 2022). EU Green Week is an annual opportunity to debate European environmental policy with policymakers, leading environmentalists and stakeholders from Europe and beyond. This year's edition focuses on the European Green Deal – the EU’s sustainable and transformative growth strategy for a resource-efficient and climate-neutral Europe by 2050. More you can see here: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/eu-green-week-2022_en
2022 is the European Year of Youth, shining a light on the importance of European youth to build a better future – greener, more inclusive and digital. With plenty of opportunities to learn, share your vision, meet people and engage in activities all over Europe, the European Year of Youth is the moment to move forward with confidence and hope in a post-pandemic perspective. Find out more at https://europa.eu/youth/year-of-youth_en
As organizers of the IRDO 2022 international conference we have decided to take this opportunity to help young Ukrainian musicians in Slovenia. On behalf of young musicians, the SMO Institute, the Gallus Foundation and the Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility, we therefore invite you to help young Ukrainian musicians in Slovenia. Anyone who would like to make a donation can do so as soon as possible on the account of the SMO Institute, as we write below. We thank everyone for your kindness, which you will show to young people with your donations and thus support their further development and life abroad.
In 2021 we all recognised that the current global environmental-socio-economic-political crisis is killing humankind. All of us need to accept this fact and the fact that all of us must and can help ourselves solve this crucial danger to survive as the current and coming generations. No action for more sustainability is too small, all are urgent.
“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.” (UN Secretary-General António Guterres, 2021)
The main purpose of the conference is to explore conceptual framework(s), conditions and possibilities for a green, digital and inclusive transition that enables the development of a common sustainable future, in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs. A precondition for sustainable coexistence is socially responsible behaviour of each stakeholder in the community (local, national, global).
Without broad environmental and social responsibility, there is no survival of humanity. Social responsibility is a tool for achieving a sustainable future, connecting and integrating several other mechanisms. Sustainability is increasingly regarded as a process of societal and inclusive transitions. It makes social reponsibility a crucial practice, needed in the entire society.
Despite broad commitment to the UN 2030 Agenda and the EU spearheading its implementation (6 Commission priorities for 2019-24), recent reports at various levels alert that several SDGs are not being achieved. Among them, the European environmental report SOER 2020 (EEA, 2019) sums up that Europe continues to consume more resources and contributes more to environmental degradation than other world regions.
The IRDO 2022 conference emphasis is on the implementation of a green, digital and inclusive transition as embraced by the European Green Deal (EGD) and other EU priorities and policies, including the Recovery and Resilience Facility/Plans. The EGD puts sustainability and, therefore, social responsibility at the heart of the EU policy-making, reflecting the need for systemic change.
The implementation of the European environmental vision (“Living well, within the limits of our planet”) necessitates a systemic change of the development model, namely the placement of fundamental socio-economic systems within the boundaries of ecosystems (ecosystem-based approaches) (SOER 2020). To achieve the SDGs, fundamental transformations of societal systems (energy, mobility, food and built environment systems) that are at the root cause of environmental and climate pressures are urgently needed – i.e., through profound changes in dominant structures, practices, technologies, policies, lifestyles, and thinking (knowledge systems). The complex nature of the sustainability challenges requires a new policy response with a multi-level perspective on transitions and catalysing innovation and system change (sustainability transitions) toward low-carbon, circular and bio-economy, and society. Systemic transformations also include aspirations regarding financial investments, social justice, and behavioural change (e.g., mobility).
Digitalisation has been modifying our lives for the last few decades. The time has arrived to systemically address its impact not only on business but also on our private lives, the way we communicate and are being communicated to. EU is leading the development of new frameworks by adopting several guidelines for the development of digitalisation and opening the pace for discussion. The focus is on socially responsible development and integration of digitalisation in society as an indispensable element of sustainability transitions. The EU directions challenge us to examine the gaps and clashes between the digital and analogue worlds and propose solutions which equally address and support all stakeholders in these worlds. Integrating the digital working with the society, opening the research challenges, the data governance, the cyber security, the urban planning are only some of the new challenges. The desire for a socially responsible digital society leads to developing a safe and productive environment where individuals, nature, urban places, organisations, and regulators co-exist and thrive.
The basic vision of well-being for all while maintaining a healthy natural environment is also at the core of the model for an Integral Green Europe that is smartly integrating multiple EU potentials for sustainable development. Sustainability transitions, as the key processes of the European Green Deal, are integrally connected to other policies of the European Union, by placing fundamental values, underlying the European cultural heritage, in the centre of the model, rooting sustainable development in nature and community, and revisiting the economic paradigm. The proposal for an Integral Green Europe is depicted in 90 contributions on the platform for the Conference on the Future of Europe: http://integralna-zelena-slovenija.si/en/ig-europe/.
With the IRDO conference 2022, we explore in terms of green, digital and inclusive transition what young people, researchers, teachers, experts, managers and everyone else can do together and what we should do to include personal, business and society social responsibility in our social and natural environment where we operate.
Therefore, with the IRDO 2022 we contribute to a sustainable future as a way out of the current crisis, particularly in terms of challenges and opportunities opened up by the implementation of green, digital and inclusive transition.
So far, over 1500 authors from all over the world have participated in the previous 16 IRDO conferences. More you can see at www.irdo.si. We would like to thank all authors, participants, program and organizational board members, all co-financers, supporting partners, sponsors and all others who helped to implement this conference.
With kind regards,
Prof. Emer. Matjaž Mulej, PhD, PhD, University of Maribor, Faculty of Economics and Business, President of the IRDO Expert Council and Chair of the IRDO Conference Programme Committee
Prof. Emer. Peter Glavič, PhD, University of Maribor, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, and Vice-Chair of the IRDO Conference Program Committee
Darja Piciga, PhD, Citizens’ Initiative for an Integral Green Slovenia, Vice-Chair of the IRDO Conference Programme Committee and Chair of the 2nd IRDO & Citizens’ Initiative for an Integral Green Slovenia Conference
Assoc. Prof. Igor Perko, PhD, University of Maribor, Faculty of Economics and Business, WOSC director-general, and Vice-Chair of the IRDO Conference Programme Committee
Anita Hrast, MSc, IRDO Institute manager, Chair of Organizational Board of the IRDO Conference