Major Mistra Application

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Researchers from the MID4S group has been involved in a larger Mistra application on Sustainable Consumption. The application is built a consortium with 11 (!) researching partners and many municipalities and other organizations. Let’s all cross our fingers, decision is made in June, and if we get the grant the research will start in the autumn. Cecilia Katzeff (honorary member in hour team) and Ulrika Gunnarsson Östling are the main applicants, but Elina Eriksson has also been involved as a member of the management team of the application. Below is the longish abstract of the application.

Our research programme proposal is called Mistra Sustainable Lifestyles. Lots of people involved. 

The planned research programme Mistra Sustainable Lifestyles will be grounded in everyday practices and lifestyles, around which people organize their lives. Focus will be on change of current unsustainable consumption practices in Sweden. The overall objective of the programme is to create conditions for a society, where sustainable lifestyles is the norm; where unsustainable consumption practices are fading; and, the negative impact from consumption on the environment is decreasing; and where quality of life is increased or maintained. In order to achieve this, one objective is to consolidate knowledge on how sustainable lifestyles are formed; how they relate to quality of life; and how the transition to a society where sustainable lifestyles is the norm can be initiated and sustained by different actors in society. The programme applies a design oriented approach for change, working with living labs and municipalities at sites in different parts of Sweden. This approach in combination with the framework of social practice theory seek to understand the mechanisms for change in lifestyles. Another objective is to understand how instruments and methods can be formed to stimulate the emergence of sustainable consumption practices. The objectives will be reached in collaboration with academic partners, local governments, governmental agencies, civil society actors, businesses, and citizens.

The core of the programme during its four years is an organisation of activities we call “interventions and provocations”. The provocations are based on results from the interventions. Provocations may, for instance, consist of exhibitions, campaigns, workshops, debates with politicians, new policy proposals, etc. Concepts developed from interventions may also result in new services, start- up companies, new types of business models, etc. Interventions are carried out both with private citizens in their real environment and with municipalities. The role of municipalities is central in their link to citizens and through their ongoing work regarding consumption and lifestyle issues. Researchers coach and follow households during the intervention year and document their learnings, barriers and successes. Insights from the intervention year are conceptualized into provocations, with the purpose of questioning norms, sparkle debate and inspire to upscaling. In addition to researchers the conceptualization phase also engages service developers, the civil society and other stakeholders. The provocations are externally directed activities and may consist of exhibitions, campaigns, films, or debates with politicians and citizens.

The programme is based on the theoretical framework for social practice theory, which clarifies important dimensions interacting to shape social practices. This framework will also guide us in identifying where changes need to be accomplished in order to establish sustainable consumption as a norm. Conditions for a transformative change is created through the wide constellation of the consortium, including researchers, governmental agencies, local governments, civil society, companies and private citizens. The research is based upon participation from these groups and a transdisciplinary approach including environmental science, design research, behaviour science, political science, city planning, and agriculture. The Mistra Sustainable Lifestyles programme consists of 6 work packages, all tightly integrated. Interventions and provocations will be carried out at four geographically distributed locations in Sweden. Additional locations will take part through workshops and testing of concepts. Municipalities and universities are represented at these locations.



EU-grant proposal: SHARE IT

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Two team members, Daniel and Elina, have just sent in a EU-grant proposal with sustainability motivations:

SHARE IT: Tools for sustaining not-for-profit grassroots sharing initiatives

The proposal was sent to the ”Collective Awareness for Sustainability and Social Innovations” (CAPS) call which is a part of  the 2014-2020 EU Horizon 2020 research program.

Three research partners have been active in writing the proposals; Lancaster University in the UK through mainly Adrian Friday (who is the coordinator of the project), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) (with Daniel and Elina from the CSC-school and Karin Bradley from the ABE-school) and Airi Lampinen from the think tank Demos Helsinki (Finland).

If you want to read more about the proposal you can take a look at Daniels blog. Keep your fingers crossed that we get accepted!


Smart Sustainable After Work – Resource Man

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MID4S (through Elina) and CESC and FMS (through Josefin Wangel) are inviting you all to participate in the first Smart Sustainable After Work seminar. We hope this will be a recurring series of critical discussions on smart technology over a cold beverage!


Welcome to Smart Sustainable After Work!

The idea of a Smart Sustainable After Work originated from the wish to bring together people working on smart sustainable solutions, to share experiences and perspectives, and to create a forum for a critical discourse on smart everything agendas. We understand smart as being a synonym to ICT-enabled, and sustainable as the intended contribution of such solutions.

Resource Man

The theme of this first Smart Sustainable After Work is “Resource Man”; what is the archetype that smart energy solutions are designed for? What can we say about ideators’, designers’ and developers’ underlying assumptions by looking at the products being designed? Could it be otherwise, and what would that archetype be?

As a preparation participants could read the following paper: Strengers, Y. (2014). Smart energy in everyday life: are you designing for resource man? interactions 21(4): 24-31.

Very welcome!
Elina Eriksson & Josefin Wangel


Drinks and snacks: At the seminar there will be beverages (with and without alcohol) and snacks available. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided by CESC. Alcoholic beverages will be at your own expense so please bring cash.
When: Monday December 15th 17.30-19
Where: CESC – Centre for Sustainable Communications, Lindstedtsvägen 5, 4th floor. For wheelchair users this location is a bit difficult to get to, but there is a way in without stairs. If you need directions, please let us know.
Sign up: Please let us know that you are coming through signing up here:
Contact: Elina Eriksson ( and Josefin Wangel (

Smart Sustainable After Work is organized by CESC – Centre for Sustainable Communication, MID4S – Media Technology and Interaction Design for Sustainability and fms – the Division of Environmental Strategies Research, all at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Workshops workshops workshops!

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One of our goals for the team was to at least submit a workshop proposal during the year, and we have succeeded! Not only did we submit, we got accepted! So in October, at NordiCHI, we will arrange the workshop titled Is there a European Strand of Sustainable HCI?. From our team, Daniel, Elina and Cecilia is the organisers. Now we have to tweak the workshop text and fix a Web page for the workshop, before it’s official, but please start to plan your position paper submission! We’d love to see you in Helsinki!

If this wasn’t enough, we will also arrange a workshop at the upcoming ICT4S conference. The main aim is to gather all sustainable HCI researchers before the conference starts, and the working title for the workshop is Sustainable HCI + ICT4S =?. To this workshop you only need to register, and then prepare a Pecha Kucha to the workshop, so do register!


EESD 2013

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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.

Yours truly making a funny face, and Daniel saying something intelligent.
Yours truly making a funny face, and Daniel saying something intelligent at the EESD conference.


Klimatförnekare i DN idag?

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DN publicerar idag en debattartikel som vill lugna massorna som blivit upprörda över att Världsbanken diskuterar ett 4-graders scenario. Jag har svårt att se ett annat budskap i artikeln än det vanliga bland klimatförnekare; det är alls inte säkert att de tecken vi ser idag är början på en klimatförändring, och att det inte finns någon anledning till radikala förändringar.
Tråkigt att ge utrymme för den typen av åsikter, jag tror inte det är det vi behöver just nu. Hoppas att någon skriver ett bra svar! (och att det blir publicerat…)

Nåt jag alltid finner lustigt med klimatförnekarna är just det där att eftersom man inte anser att det är 100% säkert finns det ingen anledning att agera.
På andra områden råder inte samma logik. Anta att man hade observerat att tex Iran började bygga fler missiler och nukleära anläggningar;
”Vi kan fortfarande inte helt utesluta att Irans aktiviteter bara är för vetenskapliga syften, och bör därför avvakta med att förbereda vår försvarsmakt.”
Skulle inte tro det…

On this blog’s functions

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This blog is written by and (at least initially) also for the sustainability team at the Department of Media Technology and Interaction Design (MID), School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC) at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.

We decided to start the blog at our kick-off meeting on Dec 18, 2012. Blog posts here are supposed to be short and these are some of the things we imagine the blog will be used for:

   – Short presentations of team members
   – I read a good/interesting book/article, here are my thoughts
   – Take a look at this upcoming seminar/workshop/Ph.D. course/conference/call for research grant applications
– I’ve been to this interesting seminar/workshop/conference, here are my thoughts
   – I handed in a research grant application
   – I got funded!
   – I’ve formulated a new master’s thesis proposal
   – I’ve been the advisor of a bachelor’s/master’s thesis
   – A short presentation of the upcoming team meeting external guest
   – Here’s what we did at our latest team meeting!

I’ve written a longer blog post about our kick-off meeting on my personal academic blog – read more here!

Daniel Pargman, team leader