SICT 2023

A doctoral school on sustainable ICT

Illustration of sustainable, ethic and human-centered ICT
From JULY 3rd to 7th 2023 in Grenoble, France - to be confirmed
SICT2023 aims to bridge the gap between research in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the overarching and inter-related social, environmental, and economic questions of our time. The third edition of this doctoral summer school will critically look at the current state of ICT, challenge its mainstream research agenda and underlying assumptions, and discuss the role(s) ICT researchers can play to build a sustainable and desirable future in a finite world.

Far from limited to researchers with an engineering background, the event wishes to promote trans-disciplinary interactions on ICT topics by bringing together individuals with a broad range of expertise.


[12th of October 2022] Talks and debates from SICT2022 are now all available on our YouTube channel !

[8th of June 2021] Our opinion paper "Could Unsustainable Electronics Support Sustainability?", written after SICT2020, has just been published in MDPI Sustainability.

Program 2022

Systemic view of ICT impacts and perspectives

We aim to build a foundational understanding of the different types of impacts related to ICT. By discussing environmental and social impacts, we want to encourage a reflection across disciplines on the role of ICT within our societies. This reflection will guide us through the week to rethink the future of ICT and research related to ICT within the Anthropocene.

Interdisciplinarity meets sustainable ICT for rethinking mobility

Developing knowledge about sustainable ICT is a multi-faceted issue and technology alone cannot be seen as the silver bullet. It requires different disciplines to work together and combine their domain-specific frameworks and methods in order to develop new knowledge on sustainable ICT. During this day, we are thus exploring the practice of inter- and transdisciplinarity in the context of ICT related to transforming mobility.

Between post-growth and degrowing science: how to research for the future?

During this day, we investigate the concept of post-growth and its impacts on how we practice science. We discuss how researchers can realign their research practices with their values. By way of fictional abstracts, participants will be able to explore futures of ICT research while questioning their purposes and uses in our societies. Towards this, we hear about the pluriverse concept and how it can inspire new kinds of research for a future within planetary boundaries.

Building bridges for practicing transdisciplinarity

Transdisciplinarity implies always being in contact with different members of society: citizens, communities, companies, and institutions. Building bridges to ensure this dialogue among stakeholders is both essential and a real challenge. For this, we bring together a group of people from academia, industry, and public policy. We use their discussion and the concept of design justice as further input to our work in groups and engage in reflection.

Visions for the road ahead of ICT

On the last day, we take a historical perspective to gain a better understanding of technological trajectories and how they have influenced (and may influence) our societies. As a conclusion, we celebrate the vernissage of our collective museum displaying the different contributions produced over the week as well as key discussions and take-home messages. While enjoying refreshments, we have the ability to engage in stimulating conversations with fellow participants, speakers, and (very fun) organizers.


  ABSTRACT 2022

Time is running out on limiting the extent of human-made destruction on our planetary foundations. We are already overshooting five out of the nine planetary limits: climate change, bio-geochemical cycles disruption, biodiversity loss, novel entities production, and land use. Our way of life in the Global North is one of the primary drivers for this worsening situation and requires fundamental change for a transition to sustainable societies. Despite having powerful and efficient technologies at our disposal, we have thus far failed to bring the anthropogenic pressure on our planet into balance with its boundaries. Among all technologies, information and communication technologies (ICT) have grown enormously in production, deployment, and reach over the past decades, spreading to almost all aspects of our daily lives at the individual and industrial level. They have undoubtedly brought benefits to society (e.g., near-instant communication, access to knowledge, automation), but have already caused and will continue to cause severe socio-environmental damages. Given the expected continued growth and ensuing increased pressure of ICT on our planet, we question the roles that ICT play in the necessary sustainable transition during the Doctoral Summer School on Sustainable ICT (SICT) 2022.

SICT 2022 builds on top of previous editions of this doctoral summer school, in which we saw the difficulty to determine whether the impacts of ICT are net-positive or net-negative. We highlighted the complex interactions between our growth-based socio-economic systems and (new) digital technologies: ICT are often leveraged for continued economic growth instead of a reduction of our absolute impacts on the planet. Finally, we see a lack of multi- and interdisciplinarity in the current research and innovation processes which biases the digital technologies that are their outcomes. Indeed, as ICT are socio-technical elements, we need to study them under a variety of perspectives to get a representative global picture. In this context, the third edition of SICT aims at gathering researchers with different backgrounds to collaborate and rethink the road ahead for ICT and the way we research and develop digital technologies for a sustainable tomorrow. In this mindset, we will question which steps to take towards a post-growth world, tackling both short- and long-term challenges.

Over the course of the week, we will receive inputs in a post-growth context from leading experts in sustainability, ICT, and social and human sciences. We want to connect researchers, practitioners, industry experts, and activists to analyze, understand, and rethink the roles of ICT in the sustainable transition. Involving as many different groups as possible is important to quickly and effectively transfer scientific knowledge to the civil society and implement it in the little time we have left. We will also discuss the limits of our current socio-economic systems and the mechanisms that hinder a profound transition of our systems with key actors from institutions and industries. This will feed the reflexion on the transformations of our business-as-usual practices and the pathways to transition towards sustainable alternatives in post-growth economies. We will hear from impacted communities on the harmful fall-outs of consumerism. In workshops and group work settings, we will debate and challenge the way we, as researchers, approach the roles of ICT for humanity’s future. We will bring our different backgrounds together to describe, question, envision and outline new approaches to research and develop ICT that ensure our future within planetary boundaries.

We invite PhD students from diverse academic fields to come together for a five-day workshop from Aug 29 to Sep 02, 2022, in the area of Grenoble, France. A few places are also available to master students. The event will be held in English.

Fictional Abstracts Workshop


Date: Thursday, September 01, 2022, 14:00 - 18:00, completion by Friday morning, September 02, 2022

In this two-day workshop we will work with “Fictional Abstracts” – 200-300 words long statements about fictional research that has not yet been conducted. We will more concretely work with, explore and discuss abstracts of yet-to-be-written research papers that will (could) be published in the future. We believe Fictional Abstracts can be a fun and interesting way to explore and highlight possible ethically problematic aspects of certain research areas (for example AI, ML, IoT, HCI, Ubicomp, Smart X, Autonomous X) that are hard to pinpoint and discuss — since the technology and its effects on people and planet strictly speaking do not yet exist. It could be that one function of Fictional Abstracts is as an early-warning systems of potential future uses of a technology that could be perceived as problematic, e.g. exploring ”the shadow of the future” in the present.

The Ephemeral Museum: Reimagining ICT for Futures Within Planetary Boundaries

Date: Friday, September 02, 2022, 12:00 - 13:00 & 14:00 - 15:00

In our collaborative museum, we capture both our scientific heritage grounding our knowledge so far and our visions for how we may move towards safe and just futures for humanity. You will find an exhibition of scientific and artistic representations of key sustainable ICT concepts and project yourself into possible futures through the fictional abstracts that SICT participants contribute. We invite you to debate the exhibits with your colleagues, exchange reflections and emotions on our scientific past and possible futures, and get inspired to explore them further. We hope that this personal and collective journey offers you a vision of the pluriverse, energizes you to conduct research on sustainable ICT according to your own values, and motivates you to work towards futures beyond growth. 

Other initiatives of interest

ICT4S 2023

ICT for Sustainability
Rennes, France, June 5-9, 2023

The international ICT4S conferences bring together leading researchers in ICT for Sustainability with government and industry representatives, including decision-makers with an interest in using ICT for sustainability, researchers focusing on ICT effects on sustainability and developers of sustainable ICT systems or applications.

More information: