SICT 2024

A doctoral school on sustainable ICT

Illustration of sustainable, ethic and human-centered ICT
September 9-13 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.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

[02-07-2024] Registration for SICT 2024 is open! Register here.

[13-05-2024] Subscribe to our new mailing list so you do not miss any information! To subscribe, send an email to sict-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.

[19-07-2023] Talks and debates from SICT2023 are now all available on our YouTube channel!

[08-06-2021] Our opinion paper "Could Unsustainable Electronics Support Sustainability?", written after SICT2020, has just been published in MDPI Sustainability.

Program 2024

Discovering what is going on in ICT and getting to know each other

Where do we (ourselves, our fellow researchers, ICT people) stand in the move towards sustainability?

Environmental and Social Sustainability of ICT (Extraction & Afterlife of Resources)

Can ICT be sustainable?

ICT and the labour market

How are you, as a researcher, navigating the changing labour conditions in the ICT playing field?

European Digital and Industrial Policies

If you are the next Ursula von der Leyen (president of the European Commission) what would your key priorities be in the EC digitalization agenda ?

Revising the current socio-economic model towards alternative socio-technical systems

How could we as a collective/community raise awareness and act for alternative systems? And what would you need to be a part of this?

About

Utopia or Dystopia: Perspectives & Choices in ICT


 ABSTRACT 2024

 POSTER 2024

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 2024

ICT for Sustainability
Stockholm, Sweden, June 24-28, 2024

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: https://conf.researchr.org/series/ict4s