Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
How to find us dr. K.A. (Karsten) Schulz

dr. K.A. Schulz

Assistant Professor Governance & Innovation
dr. K.A. Schulz

Re-imagining Climate Governance in the Digital Age

Our modern world is characterized by two central, human-driven forces:
the digital age and climate change.

Digital innovations have influenced the lives of humans around the globe, pushing multiple levers of systems change. For example, the digital age has altered the global economy and labor markets, societal norms, flows of goods and information, and even our individual mindsets, influencing what we buy, who we listen to, and what we believe. Meanwhile, the impacts of climate change are increasingly affecting more of the global population, with continuing sea level rise, glacial retreat, increased forest fires, negative impacts on crop yields, changes to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, and more. Further, dated governance structures and institutions are unable to adequately address the scale and complexity of the challenges climate change poses.

Sustainability in the Digital Age (SDA), Future Earth, and ClimateWorks Foundation are partnering to explore this space through the Re-imagining Climate Governance in the Digital Age project. Through this project, we will develop a strategic framework and public report to help guide philanthropic investments and illustrate how philanthropy can support actors leveraging the digital sector to transform climate governance.

Deepening Digital Democracy (3D)

The 3D project is funded by the Young Academy Groningen and investigates the normative and empirical challenges posed by digital democratic innovations.

Democratic innovations burgeon all over the world, but their survival rate is disappointingly low and their legitimacy is often contested by critics, for example due to the sometimes-obscure selection process for participants or the poor implementation of communication strategies which can amplify political polarization. The 3D project aims to explore some of the underlying challenges for innovation and identify creative solutions with regard to democratic innovations in the digital sphere.

Digital democratic innovations include, for example, the use of digital technologies for participatory budgeting or online citizen participation. In particular, the 3D project investigates the implementation and use of the CONSUL platform in the northern Netherlands.

To this end, we have established a transdisciplinary partnership with the Municipality of Groningen who have successfully implemented the CONSUL project, an open online citizen engagement platform that is used worldwide by more than 140 institutions in 35 countries. Between October and December 2019, Groningen citizens had the opportunity to connect via CONSUL and to distribute a neighbourhood budget to projects that they deemed important.

Against this background, we will work with practitioners, citizens, artists and academics who are specialised in democratic and digital innovations to draw lessons from the CONSUL project and jointly reflect on the future of online citizen engagement, especially as the CONSUL project is now expanding to several municipalities in the Province of Fryslân. The key aim is to better understand the attitudes, aspirations and needs of different stakeholders, and to identify digital innovations that are best suited for tackling key policy issues at different levels.

Project members
• Dr. Karsten Schulz (Assistant Professor Governance & Innovation)
• Dr. Benjamin Leruth (Assistant Professor Politics & Society)
• Dr. Élise Rouméas (Assistant Professor Political Philosophy)
• Mrs. Anna Mikhaylovskaya, M.A. (PhD Researcher Global & Local Governance)
Last modified:13 January 2022 3.19 p.m.

Contact information

Wirdumerdijk 34
8911 CE Leeuwarden
The Netherlands

Office Location

0.37c (ground floor)