Digital transformation and sustainability challenges:
Internet and convergence of technologies have created a digital takeover of all aspects of life to an extent that digital intrusion is now monitoring our most intimate details, which has produced a digital monopoly of nearly all services and has recently created the ultimate buzzword “digital disruption” which is actually a fuzz word.
There can be no sustainability without diversity. Diversity requires adherence to the principle of live-and-let-live. Digital disruption assumes the destruction of everything which is nondigital. However, Inclusive growth means allowing small competitors to survive and grow. Which is now an impossibility due to the juggernaut unleashed by digital disruption. Digital takeover of all aspects of life is now a reality. There is no sustainability of human culture, only the perpetuation of digital virtual existence.
Technology, especially digital technology is not value-neutral, it is against diversity of all kinds because of its relentless pursuit of conceptual structures that promote standardization and hence integration:
1. Environmental sustainability: Diversity of plants, diversity of animals, diversity of habitats, diversity of water sources, diversity of terrains vs concrete mega urban jungles. Big dams vs small dams/ponds. Big cities vs small cities. Big petroleum energy production plants vs small solar/renewable energy generation where required, plastic garbage, pollution elimination. Digital takeover is destroying all that is small and beautiful.
2. Social sustainability. Diversity of languages, diversity of ethnicities, diversity of customs, diversity of cultures, diversity of relationships, diversity of societies… Lifestyle changes from throwaway consumerism, throwaway relationships, throwaway single-use plastics, and throwaway products to lifetime warranty products and reusable products. Social sustainability is now under threat because digitalization has made such products so inexpensive while transferring the costs to pollution and solid waste.
3. Economic sustainability: Rich poor divide, 70% of global wealth is concentrated in 1% of the population, big 10 conglomerate MNCs hold 70% of FMCG markets, small enterprises instead of big huge Enterprises, big producers vs small producers, big farmers vs small farmers, big manufacturers vs small customized on-demand manufacturing, big giant retailers vs mom-pop stores, from GMO-preservative laden artificial food to fresh-natural-foods.
4. Small is Beautiful. Big businesses create monopolies and create market imperfections through opaque conglomerates. Small Enterprises are market efficient and transparent and do not have the power to create market imperfections