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Digital Society/Society 5.0 and Sustainable Development

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (17 August 2023) | Viewed by 6758

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences – CICS.NOVA, Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies, 2765-273 Estoril, Portugal
Interests: sociology of science; sociology of health; teaching sociology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
CIPES – Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies, 4450-227 Matosinhos, Portugal
Interests: higher education; student satisfaction; student success; institutional actors; student experience; gender studies; assurance of learning (AoL); quality assurance in higher education; higher education in developing countries; digital literacy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to announce a new Special Issue “Digital Society/Society 5.0 and Sustainable Development” of the journal Sustainability.

Sustainability and the digital are two unavoidable dimensions that shape the present and, increasingly, the future of societies. The digital has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and is embodied in the digital society, in which Society 5.0 (a paradigmatic concept that originated in Japan but that has currently worldwide influence) can be considered one of the most visible models, inasmuch that it reflects the centrality of the individual-technology relationship in promoting the enhancement of individuals’ quality of life through a super-intelligent society, which is embodied in a fusion between cyberspace, artificial intelligence, the internet, and the social and physical world.

This materialization, which has advantages but also limitations, takes place concurrently with the growing attention ascribed to the need to consistently promote sustainability in the social, economic and environmental dimensions. This relationship between the digital and sustainability, entailing a cultural reinvention due to the disruption it causes, raises profound and very interesting challenges in terms of its realization and also in the sense that it may translate into a fairer society.

This Special Issue aims to relate digital society – such as, for example, the Society 5.0 paradigm – with sustainability. This purpose falls fully within the scope of the Sustainability journal (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/about), given that “Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050) is an international and cross-disciplinary scholarly, open access journal of environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability of human beings, which provides an advanced forum for studies related to sustainability and sustainable development.“ The main novelty is the digital. Social changes are being intensively and quickly shaped by the digital, which brings serious and worrying consequences regarding sustainability in society and industry. Sustainability and the digital are two critical challenges and should be faced jointly. Digital sustainability is pivotal in this process.

So as to meet this purpose, this Special Issue aims to invite the submission of original manuscripts (whether in the form of research, reviews, theoretical papers or reasoned essays, whatever the methodology used), from a disciplinary or interdisciplinary stance.

Dr. Sandro Serpa
Dr. Carlos Miguel Ferreira
Dr. Maria José Sá
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • digital literacy
  • digital society
  • digital sustainability
  • digitalization
  • Society 5.0
  • interdisciplinarity
  • Internet of Things
  • smart society
  • social innovation
  • sustainable development
  • sustainability
  • sustainability innovation
  • sustaining society
  • digital transition

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 584 KiB  
Article
Digital Literacy, Farmers’ Income Increase and Rural Internal Income Gap
by Bo Liu and Jing Zhou
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11422; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411422 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1715
Abstract
The digital economy has promoted the income growth of rural residents in China, but it has also widened the income gap within rural areas. The excessive income gap will lead to the uneven distribution of social resources and the decline of efficiency, thus [...] Read more.
The digital economy has promoted the income growth of rural residents in China, but it has also widened the income gap within rural areas. The excessive income gap will lead to the uneven distribution of social resources and the decline of efficiency, thus threatening the sustainable development of the rural economy. This study utilizes the ‘Circumstances-Efforts’ analytical framework, the skill-biased technology change theory, and data from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) in 2018 to examine the impact of digital literacy on income growth among rural residents and the resulting income gap within rural areas. The findings indicate that digital literacy positively contributes to the income growth of rural residents. Moreover, the mechanism analysis reveals that improved access to digital devices and more effective information play a significant role in enhancing the income of rural residents. Furthermore, the analysis of income structures demonstrates that digital literacy has a greater impact on increasing wage income and agricultural income for both high-income and low-income rural residents. However, it is important to note that digital literacy also contributes to the widening income gap within rural areas, particularly impacting high-income rural residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Society/Society 5.0 and Sustainable Development)
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17 pages, 663 KiB  
Article
Financial Inclusion through Digitalization: Improving Emerging Drivers of Industrial Pollution—Evidence from China
by Mingzhao Xiong, Wenqi Li, Chenjie Jenny and Peixu Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10203; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310203 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
As an emerging product of the coupling of digital technique and traditional finance, digital inclusive finance (DIF) may play a vital role in alleviating the contradiction between economic growth and environmental contamination. This paper utilises the panel data from various provinces in China [...] Read more.
As an emerging product of the coupling of digital technique and traditional finance, digital inclusive finance (DIF) may play a vital role in alleviating the contradiction between economic growth and environmental contamination. This paper utilises the panel data from various provinces in China as a sample to empirically test the effect of DIF on industrial pollution. The study found that (1) DIF and its sub-dimension coverage (DIF_B) and depth of use (DIF_D) have significant governance effects on industrial pollution, and the conclusion remains valid even when endogeneity is considered; (2) the mediation effect test found that the upgrading of the industrial structure and the degree of technological innovation are important transmission paths for DIF to reduce industrial pollution; (3) the heterogeneity test found that the effect of DIF on industrial pollution control successively showed a pattern of weakening in the centre, eastern, and western regions, while the treatment effect of DIF on industrial wastewater is better than that of industrial waste gas, and the effect on industrial solid pollutant emissions has a U-shaped non-linear relation that is first suppressed and then promoted; (4) the threshold effect test found that DIF, DIF_B, and DIF_D all have a double threshold effect on industrial pollution. Based on the empirical outcomes, this paper proposes measures to improve the development mechanism of DIF, formulate differentiated monetary support and oversight policies under local conditions, and build and enhance the supervision mechanism of the digital financial industry and prevent systemic risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Society/Society 5.0 and Sustainable Development)
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37 pages, 3008 KiB  
Article
Building a Super Smart Nation: Scenario Analysis and Framework of Essential Stakeholders, Characteristics, Pillars, and Challenges
by Murali Krishna Penmetsa and Sebastian Juan Bruque Camara
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2757; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052757 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2568
Abstract
Globally, countries are increasingly facing challenges regarding their national future post the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to decreasing and aging populations; dwindling workforces; trade wars due to restricted movement of goods, people, and services; and overcoming economic development and societal problems. Accordingly, we [...] Read more.
Globally, countries are increasingly facing challenges regarding their national future post the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to decreasing and aging populations; dwindling workforces; trade wars due to restricted movement of goods, people, and services; and overcoming economic development and societal problems. Accordingly, we identify the challenges and corresponding solutions that act as pillars for a framework to build a super smart nation. We analyze 73 peer-reviewed research papers from Scopus index databases and use the Delphi methodology to identify the challenges, which include people and society, robots, technology, research and innovation, digital infrastructure, data, politics, governance, and sustainability. Further, we discuss the relevant solutions, including top leadership motivation and commitment; proactive steps from the government, development of policies; legal frameworks and laws; creation of awareness programs; use of advanced technologies (such as robotics and semantic technologies); and development of interoperable infrastructure; innovation ecosystem; sustainable energy sources; and global standards for education system through transformation of the education system. These novel insights have valuable practical and theoretical implications for guiding policymakers, industry leaders, and researchers in building a super smart nation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Society/Society 5.0 and Sustainable Development)
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