Sustainable Digital Economy

Relevance and Background

The ongoing Digital Transformation will change the very social and economic fabric of countries across the globe and will critically impact the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Policy Initiative on Sustainable Digital Economy therefore brings together EPF member think tanks with the objective of tackling questions of prosperity and societal challenges through digitalization. Jointly, they develop innovative policies that harbor the potential of digital solutions to advance environmental sustainability and climate protection as well as to make the future of work play out as socially inclusive as possible. Reflecting the spirit of EPF, the Policy Initiative supports evidence-based policy research, shapes global agenda setting through the G20 and its Engagement Groups, and explores options to foster the implementation of sustainability solutions through the EMSD private and financial sector networks.

How we work

Launched in 2016 during the annual EPF Think Week in Beijing, EMSD has meanwhile facilitated a G20 Engagement Group Dialogue on Digitalisation in Berlin. Building on EPF´s successful contributions around issues of digital infrastructure and skilling, the third Think Week 2017 in Beijing looked at how digital transformation will impact value chains and labour markets in emerging economies. Concrete follow-up initiatives include scenario-building exercises that led to the publication of three country studies, scoping the impact of technological change in the informal sectors as well as on gender relations. Next, a modular approach for analysis and pilot projects around matching skill demand and supply in selected emerging economies was developed.

1 Research and Analysis

Future of Work

Future of Work: Reconfiguring Informality in the Platform Economy

Country Report, 2019 (forthcoming)

Policy Paper:

Technological Innovation and the Future of Work: a View from the South, 2018 (read more)

Country Studies:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Future of Work in Argentina, 2018 (read more)

work 2030 – Scenarios for India, 2018 (read more)

Future of Work in South Africa, 2018 (read more)

Digital Skills and Infrastructure

Digital Infrastructure – Overcoming the Digital Divide in China and the European Union, 2017 (read more)

Bridging the Digital Divide in the G20: Skills for the New Age, 2017 (read more)

Bridging the Digital Divide: Measuring Digital Literacy, 2017 (read more)

Joint Study with W20 “The Effects of Digitalisation on Gender Equality in the G20 Economies”, 2017 (read more)



3 Implementation Initiatives

Green Assets Wallet (GAW) Initiative (read more)

2 Policy Agenda Setting

Discussion of preliminary Findings of the W20 study “The Effects of Digitalisation on Gender Equality in the G20 Economies” at the W20 Outreach Event in Argentina (read more)

Integration of peer-reviewed Policy Papers in T20 Communiqué “20 Solutions for G20” (read more)

Publication of Joint Declaration by the B20, T20 and W20 to G20 (read more)


Members of the Policy Initiative:

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Tandem Research
JustJobs Network
Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
Zhejiang University of Science and Technology
Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC)

EPF | Economic Policy Forum

EPF | Economic Policy Forum