This will be a fully loaded blog post. Yours truly, and several team members and team hang arounds, have just attended the triple event of Computing within Limits workshop (LIMITS 2018), ICT4S 2018 conference and adjoining workshop on Computing + Sustainability + Education. The events stretched from Sunday the 13th of May to Friday the 18th of May 2018, followed by a Hackathon that we unfortunately did not attend.
Putting LIMITS and ICT4S back to back made sure that both events received attendees that probably would not have attended (both) and that for at least some of us, travel was reduced. Personally I really appreciated this and hope for more synergies in the future.
Besides the pleasure of networking with colleagues of the same persuasion, the list of key note speakers and papers presented were wildly interesting. At LIMITS Peter Victor kicked the workshop off with a keynote on Ecological Economics and a Steady State Economy. This was followed by interesting papers and discussions, with the program allowing break out sessions and mingling. The second day started with Alan Borning presenting SEED – Solutions for Environment, Economy and Democracy.
The ICT4S conference was yet again facilitated by Peter Woodward who made us laugh, cringe and to the fullest connect and communicate with each other. Also this conference had brilliant keynote speakers, William Rees (the father of the ecological footprint), Lisa Nathan (whose talk on privilege made an impact on many) and John Robinson (who talked about how to interact with buildings). Personally, I was touched most by Sanjay Khanna, a futurologist who seemed to be well connected to his own feelings, letting it show how deeply emotionally affected he was in light of the future we are facing.
Finally, despite being relatively unplanned, the workshop om Computing + Sustainability + Education became a great success with interesting exchanges on how we teach sustainability within computing (HCI, Software Engineering, Computer Science etc). Steve Easterbrook also led us through an exercise on Systems Thinking. We have already drawn up plans on how to continue the energy from this group at the next ICT4S conference – in the form of another workshop and a tutorial. More to follow.
And happy news for us! Next ICT4S conference will be held in Lappeenranta in June 2019. See you all there!
[here is a placeholder for the link to Daniel’s blog post that will probably come]
The 5th of October, a large contingent of team members were attending the conference ”Design för energieffektiv vardag” arranged by the Swedish Energy Agency, which is the final conference of the research program ”Energi, IT och Design”. The conference cover a summary of the projects that has been financed during the last 10 years, and a workshop on what kind of energy and design related research is needed for the future.
There were also an exhibition where the projects financed during the third and last period of the research program presented their results. There are several projects where current or previous team members have been part of. For example from Green Leap, the projects Sensing Energy, Hållbara Livsstilar, Energiframtider and Ett bilfritt år are exhibited.
Furthermore, Förbättrad energirådgivning och förbättrade energivanor genom Quantified Self Assisted Advisory were also present at the exhibition.
We are all hoping there will be a continuation in some form, some kind of research program with similar themes as the past has had, since practices and everyday life is still missing in the energy research and development. And we need more visions of a sustainable future.
The 6th and 7th of December some of the team members attended the program conference for the research program EID (Energy, IT and Design) arranged (and funded) by the Swedish Energy Agency. The program is in it’s last phase, and will end in the summer of 2017, and has then been running for 10 years!
At the conference, all the project managers in projects funded by the program present the current status of the projects or the results from finished projects. From our group I (Elina) present the project ”User-centred images of the future energy transition”, Björn present his project ”Improved energy counceling and energy habits by Quantified Self Assisted Advisory”, Loove present his project ”Sensing Energy”. For a full program see this PDF. Daniel wrote a longer blog post about the event, including many personal reflections.
Here is a picture of the opening slide, notice Green Leap is mentioned, as a ”result” of the program, with which several of us are affiliated. 🙂
This a late blogpost about the workshop Computing within Limits that I and Daniel attended in Irvine* the 15-16 of June 2015. Or really, Daniel was one of the main organizers of the workshop, which was a first of its kind. This were the theme of the workshop:
LIMITS 2015 aims to foster discussion on the impact of present or future ecological, material, energetic, and/or societal limits on computing. These topics are seldom discussed in contemporary computing research. The medium-term aim of the workshop is to foster concrete research, potentially of an interdisciplinary nature, that innovates on technologies, techniques, and contexts for computing within fundamental limits. A longer-term goal is to build a community around relevant topics and research, with LIMITS 2015 constituting the inaugural meeting. A goal of this community is to impact society through the design and development of computing systems in the abundant present for use in a future of limits and/or scarcity.
All participants at the workshop had been invited to send in position papers to the workshop, which were then peer-reviewed before acceptance. There was a great diversity, and the papers presented intriguing subjects, I can only recommend you to browse the list of papers under program and papers and read those that catch your eye. Personally I presented a paper that I had co-authored with Bran Knowles, ”Deviant and Guilt-ridden – Psychological Limits to Computing”, where we start discussing the psychological and sociological limits when trying to work/research computing within limits.
My main take-away from the workshop, besides the obvious of meeting researchers I have been keen on meeting for a long time, was the discussion around how to address, discuss or get papers published that handles limits, degrowth** and a future of scarcity. One participants told us that his papers hade been met with comments in the lines of ”this is Mad Max scenarios, not research” when sending his texts to conferences. There were interesting discussions on complexity and if we can scale down complexity in society in a ordered fashion, and I really liked the term ”refactoring society” which Barath Raghavan coined in one pre-workshop discussion.
In terms of research areas, this was workshop where several different computing areas met around limits, so that there where scholars in ICT4D, networking, software engineering, Human-Computer Interaction, sensors and energy. I do hope this research community can get more established and grow [sic!]. There are many interesting topics that can come out of this group, even though you don’t believe in decline or collapse scenarios.
* ironically #1 we were in a place where it has been a severe drought for several years, and where there were only one year of water reserves left in the state. Talking about a limits scenario.
** ironically #2, my web browser does not want to recognize degrowth as a proper word, but tries to auto-correct it to regrowth. 🙂
It’s time for some bragging.
The MID4S team submitted no less than 7 papers to the ICT4S conference that will be held in Stockholm in August. Of these 7 papers, no less than 6 were accepted for presentation/publication!
– That’s an acceptance rate of >85% for the team’s submissions.
– The general acceptance rate for the conference is around 50%, e.g. 100 papers were submitted and half of them were accepted. Our colleagues and collaborators at CESC probably has an equal number of additional papers accepted besides our papers…
– That also means our team will contribute with >10% of all a accepted papers/presentations at the conference.
There is one caveat though. One of the papers has 27 authors Only 3 come from the MID4S team (half of those 27 authors come from UCI), so it’s hard to claim that paper as ”ours”. It will however be me (Daniel) who will present that paper at the conference.
We are doing great and are on a roll right now! Keep up the good work!
Additional comment (May 9). Here are the six accepted papers that team members have written/contributed to:
- Jorge Luis Zapico. Data blindness and the risks of implicit values in ICT for Sustainability
- Malin Picha Edwardsson. Environmental aspects of media scenarios for the future ICT society – a qualitative study
- Elina Eriksson and Daniel Pargman. ICT4S reaching out: making sustainability relevant in higher education
- Åsa Nyblom and Elina Eriksson. Time is of essence. Changing the horizon of travel planners
- Mario Romero, Hanna Hasselqvist and Gert Svensson. Supercomputers Keeping People Warm in the Winter
- Birgit Penzenstadler, Bill Tomlinson, Eric Baumer, Marcel Pufal, Ankita Raturi, Debra Richardson, Baki Cakici, Ruzanna Chitchyan, Georges Da Costa, Lynn Dombrowski, Malin Picha Edwardsson, Elina Eriksson, Xavier Franch, Gillian R. Hayes, Christina Herzog, Wolfgang Lohmann, Martin Mahaux, Alistair Mavin, Melissa Mazmanian, Sahand Nayebaziz, Juliet Norton, Daniel Pargman, Donald J. Patterson, Jean-Marc Pierson, Kristin Roher, M. Six Silberman, Kevin Simonson, Andrew W. Torrance and Andre van der Hoek. ICT4S 2029: What will be the systems supporting sustainability in 15 years?
This is a somewhat belated blog post about a conference that Daniel and I (Elina) attended in Cambridge in September. The conference was the EESD – Engineering Education for Sustainable Development , and this years theme was ”Rethinking the Engineer”. We attended since we had a paper accepted, “It’s not fair!” – making students engage in sustainability, based on the Media Technology and Sustainability course we are teaching . Daniel were also co-author to another paper accepted to the conference, Engineers of the future: using scenarios methods in sustainable development education.
I really enjoyed the conference, it was the first time around for me. It probably was the most friendly and welcoming conference I’ve been to, with lots of (to me previously unknown) people inviting me to sit down at meals to join the discussions. I will keep this blog post short, and instead refer to others who have written longer and perhaps more critical about the conference. The first is James Keirstead who have written some thoughts on the conference in his blog and the other is our own Daniel who have written about the conference on his academic blog.