Back Kicked off its Knowledge Sharing Process with Chambers of Industry and Commerce in NRW, the first ever Centre for Digital Responsibility in North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), held a joint meeting with project partners – the CSCP, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, and IHK NRW – and representatives of 13 chambers of industry and commerce in NRW to initiate a knowledge sharing process. Discussions and experience sharing about how to best link digital responsibility and sustainability were at the top of the agenda.

During the meeting, which took place as a webinar, the participants also discussed the best ways to facilitate more resilience for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in NRW and how to enable them to exercise responsible leadership during and after crises’ times.

The meeting opened with a survey regarding the participants’ associations with digital responsibility. Surevy results revealed that many already acknowledge the potential of digitalisation to support the implementation of sustainability goals.

Prof.Dr. Barbara E. Weißenberger from the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf gave an indroduction on the topic of digital responsibility from the scientific perspective, emphasising the further development of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) towards Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) and factors impacting the successful implementation at the SME level.

Dr. Saskia Dörr, an expert on Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR), shared a presentation about how CDR goes beyond corporate image improvement and pointed out competitive advantages that can be created through it. Dörr also shared numerous practical examples ranging from ‘New Work’ concepts to the proper way of dealing with customer data.

The participants were also provided with numerous insights and practical experiences from Caroline Kogel, CSR manager at the hardware company Lancom Systems in Aachen. Relating to her own work, she explained how sustainability and digitalisation positively impact production and supply chains. Besides that, Kogel shared valuable insights on how the company she works for used CDR to shift from in-person meetings and office face time to working remotely, online meetings, and the usage of online collaboration tools during the most recent period.

Following an engaging discussion, various modes of collaboration between and the chambers of industry and commerce in NRW were also discussed during the meeting. has also launched a series of online interviews with representatives of SMEs that have expertise in the field of digitalisation and sustainability. Fond OF, a Cologne-based sustainable fashion company, was the first SME to be featured in the new format. The online interview was streamed for SMEs and partner organisations.

The second online interview will take place on 16 July 2020 and it will feature e.GO mobile, an electric automotive manufacturer in Aachen. – Sustainably Competitive is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of NRW via the EFRE fund and it is a collaboration between the CSCP, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, and IHK NRW.

For further information, please contact Anna Hilger.