Workshop: The Sustainability Awareness Framework

How does your research effect sustainability? Not just technically, but also from the social, individual, environmental and economic  perspective? For example, what does it do when the number of users increases or a tool is used by someone not meant for him/her? We want to introduce you to an analysis framework that helps software developers to consider potential impacts of their software on sustainability already during system development.

For this online workshop we have Dr. Birgit Penzenstadler from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, on board. She was part of a group of computer scientists to publish the Karlskrona Manifesto and develop the The Sustainability Awareness Framework (SusAf). It consists of a series of questions, guidelines, examples and a visualisation diagram that are used to guide the identification and discussion of a system’s potential impact on sustainability.

How does it work

You will be working in groups of 3-5 persons via Zoom and Mural. At the beginning of the workshop, each group will choose one software system, application or technology to be analysed. Birgit Penzenstadler guides all groups to answer questions about the chosen topic regarding the five dimensions of sustainability: social, individual, environmental, economic and technical. Within each dimension, five key issues are considered, for example: In the social dimension it is – among others – trust: How can the product or service change the trust between the users and the business that owns the system? Or in the environmental dimension it is logistics: How can it affect the need (and distance) for moving people or goods? Also you will analyse if the effect will be immediate, enabling something else or even could cause structural changes.

The identified effects will be visualised in a diagram showing the potential chain of effects and all groups will quickly present their results. As an example, the summarized effects for airbnb can be: the platform enables the rental of rooms more expensive to travelers than to residents (individual dimension, immediate and enabling effect) causing an increase of rents (economic dimension, structural effect) and gentrification as well as greater racial disparities in the end (social dimension, structural effect).

In short, your take away is a framework that helps you to identify potential effects on sustainability of your future research. #sustainabilitybydesign

Find all details and the workbook here.

Date & Agenda

Thursday, January 28th, 2021

  • 9:00 Introduction, group building and start of the group work
  • There will be 90 minute work blocks divided by longer breaks and short guided active breaks.
  • 15:30 Presentation of the group results and discussion about further fields of application and reflection
  • 17:00 End of workshop

First come, first serve – please register until January 15th, 2021

The workshop is open to all current particpants as well as graduates of Software Campus program.

As we plan to use part of the workshop for communication, we ask you for your consent about that. This might include a video of the introduction part, where none of you is being recorded exept the moderator Birgit Penzenstadler, but still we need your ok for this. We might also ask to do a “group picture” at the end of the workshop.

The registration has been closed.


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