SICT 2024

A doctoral school on sustainable ICT

Illustration of sustainable, ethic and human-centered ICT
Early September 2024 in Brussels, Belgium
"Utopia or Dystopia: Perspectives & Choices in ICT"

SICT Summer School 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 aim of the 5th edition is to provide participants with a comprehensive insight into the multifaceted landscape of socio-economic harms along the supply chain and life-cycle of products, as well as the efforts being made to promote sustainability issues, and to foster a systemic understanding of the collective action required to shape a more sustainable future in the ICT sector.... [more]

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.


[04th of May 2023] The registration for SICT 2023 is now OPEN! More information on the registration page.

[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 2023

Radical Changes and Rethinking ICT

It can seem daunting or even difficult to take on sustainability in the broader context of ICT. All of us arriving from different backgrounds and motivations, we need to establish common terminology and get to know each other. On Monday, we start off our SICT 2023 week with a welcome, before grounding ourselves in shared knowledge on the many justice, equality, and ecological problems connected and not-yet-enough-connected to ICT and its sustainability.

Decolonising ICT: Understanding digital extractivism

For us, ICT is not neutral. We are far away from producing, building, researching, using ICT in just and equitable ways. As far as injustices and harmful structures exist in all of society, they have defined and continue to define ICT just as much. On Tuesday, we are introduced to how decolonisation, moving beyond (digital) extractivism, and strengthening our digital rights are essential to making ICT more sustainable. We try to unfold these concepts to learn about their many impacts and to identify in what ways they lie at the foundation of the problems of sustainability in computer science today.

How radical changes in ICT transform research on computing

Each of us plays many different roles in our everyday lives. Whether we are early-stage researchers, advanced academics, political activists, consumers, teachers, users, workers, friends, partners, organizers, citizens, humans in this world. For Wednesday, we ask how we can shape our professional, private, public roles to respect planetary boundaries and enable change in these contexts, acknowledging the inherent contradictions involved in doing this.

Taking the place of IT designers

On Thursday, we work on new imaginaries for sustainable futures. In the morning, we have a series of lightning talks, first from an artistic perspective (helping us to reimagine ICT) and then from various collectives working on alternative paths forward. Inspired by impressions, discussions, and learnings of the week, we collectively produce artifacts for radical imaginaries in the afternoon.

Transforming imaginaries around ICT

How to round off the week? To enable us to go home full of energy, we have one final talk on alternative futures, after which we hear about experiences/struggles of collectives working towards different futures in the form of a panel. We end the summer school with the ephemeral museum to which we all (participants, organizers, and speakers) contributed during the week.


Utopia or Dystopia: Perspectives & Choices in ICT


Setting the scene

In 2023, six out of nine planetary boundaries have been breached. We are facing multiple ecological and environmental crises while we continuously ignore planetary boundaries. Digitalisation and the use of Information and  Communication Technologies (ICTs) are proposed as ways to face these crises. But is this techno-solutionism, i.e. the hope that more technology can solve the problems of earlier technology, not just an utopia? ICT can provide some benefits, such as reducing the need for travel or improving energy management. However, their ubiquitous deployment and use, and their constant renewal cause severe socio-environmental damage and fall short of equity throughout their life cycle. We question the relevance of continuously introducing new digital systems, and the relevance of propositions solely focused on improving efficiency without addressing the socio-environmental damage these systems cause. As is, these systems and their optimizations are “band-aid” solutions that fall short of developing broader perspectives and focusing on systemic change – revising our current models and considering alternative systems.

What we are going to explore

The Sustainable ICT (SICT) Summer School is a interdisciplinary event that emphasizes learning as much as doing, and involves a series of lectures as well as workshops. We will start the week by exploring the current sustainability challenges and opportunities within the ICT industry. In this context, we will also explore the evolving labour market dynamics influenced by advances in ICT and AI. The focus will be on the 'hidden' workers along the ICT supply chain as well as, the challenges faced by researchers working in this discourse in navigating issues of justice and sustainability. Recognising the urgency of the sustainability challenges in ICT, the Summer School will look at initiatives taken by both official bodies, such as policy makers, and unofficial entities, such as grass-root organisations and activists.  At the end of the week, the Summer School aims to give participants a sense of agency by demonstrating that we not only have choices, but also by providing clear action steps. By highlighting actions rather than just choices, the program aims to provide clear strategies for tackling these challenges head-on. SICT 2024 aims to empower participants with knowledge, facilitate critical discussions and inspire concrete actions towards a more sustainable and equitable ICT landscape.

How we will proceed

The aim of SICT 2024 is to provide participants with a comprehensive insight into the multifaceted landscape of socio-economic harms along the supply chain and life-cycle of products, as well as the efforts being made to promote sustainability issues, and to foster a systemic understanding of the collective action required to shape a more sustainable future in the ICT sector. Throughout the week, voices from academia, politics, artists, activists and organisations will come together to discuss and analyse the sustainability challenges facing the ICT sector. The summer school will aim to move away from neo-colonialist and extractivist debates on how much pollution is acceptable for progress, to an approach that is making room for the most impacted to be heard.

We invite people from diverse communities, academic fields, the industry and arts to come together for a five-day summer school in early September 2024, in Brussels, Belgium. The event will be held in English. Places are available to master/PhD students, researchers, senior academics and people working in the industry and arts. We may have a limited number of scholarships available, details on this will be announced in the coming months.

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: