The Digital-ESG Project of the DQ Institute is co-funded by the Future Consensus Institute (Yeosijae), a philanthropic foundation and independent think tank in Korea.

  • Beyond-Sustainability
  • Cross Economy
  • Digital-ESG criteria


Above: DQ Institute founder Dr. Yuhyun Park presents the Digital-ESG framework at the Asia-Korea Conference for Science & Technology on November 25th, 2022.

DQ Institute beta launched its Digital-ESG Whitepaper at the 10th Asia-Korea Conference (AKC) on Science & Technology from 24 to 27 November, 2022 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. At the event, DQ Institute founder, Dr. Yuhyun Park, presented the freshly minted Digital-ESG framework to sustainability professionals, activists and the academia. The whitepaper concluded the findings of a research project that she initiated in 2021, espousing these three new socio-economic views of the fast emerging digital world:

  1. Beyond-Sustainability: a new concept of sustainability for the phygital world.
  2. Cross Economy: a new economic model for Beyond-Sustainability.
  3. Digital-ESG Criteria: a set of expanded ESG criteria for companies and investors to achieve Beyond-Sustainability in the phygital world through Cross Economy.


This refers to technology innovations for economic prosperity in physical-digital hybrid (phygital) worlds that promote sustainable development and well-being. When a business proactively designs technology from a moral perspective, positive economic benefits spill over into sustainable development and human well-being. Academic research behind the economics of mutuality is a good example of how moral growth is practical and achievable. This illustrates how companies perform better when they adopt fair and purposeful forms of capitalism rather than focus on purely financial returns.

Cross Economy

This term was originally coined by Professor Nam-Joon Cho of Nanyang Technological University and Dr. Park to describe an economic model that leverages advancements such as materials science and digital transformation to “transform, create, and multiply” growth in the phygital world.

Digital-ESG Criteria

The world’s rapid shift to online use and the ensuing rise of cybercrime means companies need to update their sustainability frameworks. Related to this, the whitepaper sets forth 40 criteria grouped under the following digital quotient (DQ) areas:

At the AKC, event participants raised concerns on how sustainability frameworks should factor in tangible returns as well as issues over digital inclusion. For the next steps, we would like to invite investors, industry leaders, and standards setters to co-create the practical Digital-ESG indicators and measurements that effectively support corporate risk management as well as help to generate successful return-on-investment in the digital economy.

Moreover, we would like to invite the academic and nonprofit communities to develop collaborative research on cross economy and cross-dimensional technology to pioneer innovative ways to enhance beyond-sustainability.

Lastly, and not least, we also invite policymakers to embed beyond-sustainability in designing innovative strategies to realize successful digital transformation and to build agile and efficient regulations and policies related to digital technologies and innovations for addressing crucial issues such as child online safety, data protection, AI ethics, and many more.

Read the Digital-ESG whitepaper here:

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