Meridian Global Dialogue Dinner: Leveraging Software for a Sustainable Future

Eric Loeb (Salesforce), David Livingston (State Department), Andrew Friendly (Autodesk), and Karyn Chan (Embassy of Singapore). September 28, 2022. Photo by Kris Tripplaar.

Software and digital technology should be leveraged to drive a sustainable future, as it can act as a force multiplier, maximize environmentally efficient designs, and fuel economic development with comparatively low environmental impact.

On September 28, Meridian brought together stakeholders for a Global Dialogue Dinner “Leveraging Software for a Sustainable Future” in partnership with BSA | The Software Alliance. Steve Rochlin, Founder and CEO of Impact ROI, moderated the discussion with welcome remarks from Ambassador Stuart Holliday, CEO of Meridian, and Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. Attendees included U.S. government officials from the National Economic Council, State Department, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and Commerce Department, senior foreign diplomats, software industry professionals, think tank scholars, and other experts in related fields.

The discussion uncovered areas of potential cooperation between industry and governments around the world, with attendees calling for increased cross-sectoral collaboration. It was noted that the software industry has great stories to tell about how government policies can create an atmosphere for innovation and sustainability, and how governments should continue to leverage industry partnerships to garner public support for technology-enabled solutions.

Industry representatives pointed to the ways that their software has contributed to advancing sustainable development goals -- whether by integrating energy-efficient design elements into architecture, providing technology to environmental advocates pro-bono, or creating employment opportunities for women and girls.

Attendees observed that infrastructure must be advanced in developing countries to enable the uptake of technology. Additionally, the group discussed certain data localization trends and the potential impacts on sustainability. It was noted that software may be also able to tackle another obstacle in achieving carbon neutrality: determining more successful methods for carbon capture.

Alonzo Fulgham (Palladium Group), Kevin Richards (SAP), Jennifer Bachus (PDAS for the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy), and Joseph Dunne (Director of the European Parliament Liaison Office). September 28, 2022. Photo by Kris Tripplaar.
Timothy Wu (The White House), Victoria Espinel (BSA | The Software Alliance), Ambassador Stuart Holliday (Meridian) and Ros Docktor (IBM) at Meridian on September 28, 2022. Photo by Kris Tripplaar.
Alex Engler (Brookings) joins in conversation with Alonzo Fulgham (Palladium Group) and Ambassador David Gross (Wiley). September 28, 2022. Photo by Kris Tripplaar.
Steve Rochlin, Impact ROI, welcomes guests to the Salon Dinner on September 28, 2022. Photo by Kris Tripplaar.
Meridian International Center hosts Global Dialogue Dinners to foster dialogue on pressing issues among government officials, private sector representatives, foreign diplomats, and policy influencers. Photo by Kris Tripplaar.
Participants mingle ahead of the Global Dialogue Dinner, “Leveraging Software For A Sustainable Future” on September 28, 2022 at Meridian in Washington, DC. Photo by Kris Tripplaar.

Project summary

Meridian Global Dialogue Dinner: Leveraging Software for a Sustainable Future | September 2022
Number of Attendees: 25
Regions: Europe and Eurasia, East Asia and Pacific
Countries: Singapore
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Science and Technology, Entrepreneurship
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Private Sector