With the support of IFIP Working Group 9.9 on ICT and sustainable development, Working Group 9.2 held a well-attended workshop on Saturday 16 February, 2013 at ETH’s Main Building in Zurich, Switzerland. It followed the very successful ICT4S conference http://www.ict4s.org.
Among the 20 people attending the workshop, attendees came from Australia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, the USA, and the host country, Switzerland.
Among the speakers were Don Gotterbarn, De Montfort University (UK); Iordanis Kavathatzoupoulos and Ryoko Asai, Uppsala University (Sweden); Patricia Lago, VU (Netherlands); Giovanna Sissa, Universita degli Studi di Milano (Italy); and Diane Whitehouse, Chair IFIP WG9.2 social accountability and computing.
Important messages from the workshop were the need to bring sustainability and environmental topics together with a critical framework for assessing sustainability in a more societal or social way. The diversity of the different disciplines represented, and the potential for cross-disciplinarity research and action was also striking.
On summarising, the attendees emphasised three core topics of future interest to them: change and transformation; philosophy and ethics; and technology.
Change and transformation
- How can we change products, solutions, and legislation?
- Openness, engagement, and potential for transformation.
- ICT products, rebound effects and Jevons’ paradox.
Philosophy, ethics, and the work of designers and engineers
- Engineers, ethics, and sustainability.
- Framing awareness, concerns, and ethics.
- Long-term issues.
- Reflecting on how society is speeding up; “sometimes we need to slow down”.
- ICT and its unexpected consequences and outcomes; the value of the unexpected.
- Tools for stakeholders to use to further sustainability in terms of ICT.
- The web and its complexity.