CESC retreat 2015

Last week a couple of team members attended the CESC annual retreat, which this year was held at Skogshem-Wijk, on Lidingö. The CESC retreat is an intensive 24 hour meeting (from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening) with researchers and partners of the centre. Here you can read about the 2014 and 2013 retreats.

Since there is an on-going process of defining the leading projects at CESC for the last stage of the centre, this was also the focus of the retreat. In the evening the first day, the different partners presented their view on the last stage, and wishes for topics, problems and projects that could be part of this stage. The second day was full of workshops around different themes, we were all brainstorming in different constellations on what kind of work packages we could have in the future projects. This was interrupted by a engaging talk by John Robinson from University of British Columbia. He talked about regenerative sustainability, the need for art and using landscapes for conveying complex climate issues, among other things. Daniel have blogged about the event in more detail here.

John Robinson, talking about regenerative sustainability.
John Robinson, talking about regenerative sustainability.

For those who did not know, CESC is a VINNOVA Excellence Centre, a kind of research hub, connecting researchers, the private and public sector. It is funded by VINNOVA with possible grants until 2017. Some of the team members are in different ways connected to CESC, doing research, or member of the management team. //Elina


Team meeting 150216

Present at the meeting: Daniel, Åke, Malin, Hanna, Elina, Henrik and Cecilia.

We used the meeting to discuss the team goals for 2015. There were formulated at the kick-off in the beginning of December but we discussed, revised and established them at this team meeting. The MID4S team aims to, during 2015:

  • Have critical discussions about what sustainability is and try to utilise the results of such discussions into our own research.
  • Have academic discussions. Explanation: we should continue to sometimes read articles (about theories, methods, research directions, trends) and discuss them together at some of our team meetings.
  • Many team members should regularly write blog posts on this blog. We should together cover issues and events that are relevant to us and a quantitive goal is to write around 2 blog posts/per month on top of the notes from our team meetings. We should introduce a standing item in our meetings, ”what’s up” and allocate someone to write a blog post about it in advance, but, we should also encourage not only instrumental texts but also spontaneous reflections.
  • We should clarify what our team does so that external people can find us and understand what we do. One way is to look at the description on the official CSC webpage and (perhaps) revise it.
  • Formulate an action plan for the financing of the team today and tomorrow, especially in relation to the writing of research grant applications.
  • The team should be able to offer members as thesis advisors if there are (several) students who want to work with sustainability-related thesis topics. Students start to write their theses every autumn (master’s theses) and every spring (bachelor’s and master’s theses).
  • We should formulate at least five new proposals for sustaianbility-related thesis topics during the year to be published on this blog.
  • We should formulate at least three master’s thesis proposals for sustaianbility-related thesis topics during the year in cooperation with companies to be published on this blog. We need to at some point organise a workshop to produce thesis topics.
  • We should, as a team, write at least 12 sustainability-related texts (articles, research grant applications, position papers, workshop proposals etc.) – accepted or not. These texts should also be vehicles for new constellations of team members.
  • We want to institute processes of internal reviews of articles/applications before they are submitted.
  • We want to ourselves write or be mentioned in at least 5 popular science texts.
  • We want to write at least one international and one national research grant application with partner(s) outside of MID.
  • Our goal is to get at least one research grant application accepted during this year.
  • We will aim at becoming a natural hub for ICT4S research and activities in the Stockholm area.

This list represent the goals we want to attain as a team during 2015. We should also use it as a checklist, i.e. if a company representative visits us, we should take the opportunity to figure out if there are opportunities for formulating a thesis proposal in common.


Seminar about self-produced electricity

This morning I went to a seminar on self-produced electricity organised by Sustainable innovation. The topic was so popular that they couldn’t use their own facilities but had to move the event to a conference center. Johan Ehrenberg, journalist and founder of the company Egen El, talked about the ongoing global “solar power revolution”. Up to now we haven’t seen so much of the revolution in Sweden, but with prices significantly lower than a few years ago Johan doesn’t see why this wouldn’t happen also here.

In a future when more people produce their own electricity it will be increasingly important for the big utility companies to get onboard. Interesting questions for such a future are who should pay for the electricity grid and how should we organise storage of electricity. Johan predicts that selling electricity will be easier; energy companies will simply trade the surplus electricity you produce for electricity you need from the grid the times of the day when the self-production is low. To increase the amount of solar power in Sweden it is not enough with people putting PVs on their own houses, there have to be “PV parks” as well. Some possibilities are to cover old garbage dumps with PV panels and and close nuclear power stations and use the land for PVs instead.



Team meeting 150202

Present at the meeting: Daniel, Mattias, Elina, Cecilia, Cristi, Malin, Ulrica, Hanna, Teo, Björn, Loove, Camilla – this might very well be the most persons present ever at a team meeting!

Invited guests: Claes Bäcklin and Jan Forsmark from Hela Sverige ska leva (HSSL, ”The Swedish Village Action Movement”) and Omställning Sverige (Transition Town Sweden), working with energy, sustainability/climate, economy/debt and social implications of those forces).

For those who want to know more, read the report ”Ställ om Sverige” (pdf) or watch the movie ”In Transition 2.0”.

I will switch to Swedish below (too much of an effort to translate stuff of mostly local interest).


HSSL har jobbat med ”lokalekonomisk analys” av finansiella flöden in och ut ur en bygd; hur kan man stärka den lokala ekonomin i en bygd? Hur kan man få pengarna att stanna kvar i bygden (= nya arbetstillfällen)? HSSLs ledord är att ”jobba med hållbara bygder”

De vill nu gå vidare och undersöka den ”lokala energibalansen” på samma sätt som man tidigare har undersökt den lokala ekonomin. Hur kan man gå vidare för att hitta hållbara/kollektiva lösningar utifrån en analys av nuläget? De behöver ett verktyg, en modell som man kan använda lokalt – ett hjälpmedel för att få fram underlag för att verka i en bygd och få utvecklingen att gå åt rätt håll.

HSSL jobbar framför allt med landsbygd, energi, ekonomi. Viktigt men inte riktigt lika centralt är klimat/CO2.

Vi (MID4S) var intresserade av jobba och att utifrån detta möte försöka gå vidare för att sätta samman ett gemensamt projekt och en ansökan. Vi är intresserade av att fram ett IT-verktyg + metodiken hur man ska använda detta verktyg. Möjliga bidragsgivare är Energimyndigheten, Vinnova och Jordbruksverkets landsbygdsprogram.

De som tar tag i och driver detta vidare från vår sida är Cecilia, Elina, Daniel och kanske Malin. Dessutom kan det hända att vi borde söka samarbete men någon annan forskargrupp på KTH, t.ex. FMS eller Energiteknik (Omar och Örjan?). Nästa steg därefter vore att spåna tillsammans med HSSL framför en whiteboard


During the last 15 minutes we discussed which papers we as a group could commit to write to the upcoming ICT4S conference (deadline March 15, internal team deadline 2 weeks before that). These suggestions came up at the meeting

  • Cecilia, Elina, Malin, Anton(?): Resource man in Sweden – gränssnitt, energivisualiseringar och samordningsrådet för smarta elnät. Titta på elbolags webbsidor och kolla på deras “bild” av vem deras kunder är. CC till Björn, Daniel om Energirådgivarnas syn på deras ”kunder”.
  • STEM-papper (Daniel, Björn, Henrik), förslagsvis något utifrån ”foodprint”-arbetet
  • Mattias, Daniel, Ulrika och kanske också Åsa, Luciane om S&I-projektets scenarier
  • Cristi, Hanna (någon mer) om något från något av deras 2-3 projekt.
  • Daniels refuserade ICT4S’13-papper, “Green websites for next generation screens: Energy savings and agency” – Jag behöer en ny medförfattare som kan hjälpa till att frama (”frejma”?) och skriva/skriva om pappret och Björn har anmält sitt intresse.

Från ett tidigare möte (kick-off för två månader sedan) fanns det också ett antal möjliga papper på bordet. Många av dem är saker som jag (Daniel) kan gå vidare med men jag har en deadline till en annan konferens 15 februari så det är tveksamt vad jag mäktar med direkt efter det…

  • Introduce the HCI discourse around persuasion to the ICT4S community (Daniel, Cecilia, Björn, X)
  • Daniel Pargman och Daniel Berg, paper om ICT, Sustainability and money. Hackers vs hippies, Consumer Price Index as reflecting middle class life/desires, Velocity of money vs velocity of goods vs obsolescence/quality
  • Daniel, Mattias, Josefin om design fiction and futures research (eller till CHI?)
  • Daniel och Björn Wallsten om ICT och materiella resurser
  • Daniel och Jorge, “Another reality is possible” about hacker values and on constructing an alternative to the BAU capitalist system.
  • Daniel vill skriva om ICT4S, collapse informatics, computing within limits, minimal computing och ICT4D med någon. I nuläget är detta ganska ospecificerat.
  • CESC D2S-projektet (Cecilia, Jorge, Ulrica)??

Dessutom kan vi också fundera över att erbjuda oss att anordna workshops och en som har nämnts är:

  • Cecilia – HCI, Sustainable social practices and smart grids