Friday, September 28, 2012

Lecture 10 - Oct 2 (13-15) - Daniel Pargman

Time and place: Tuesday Oct 2, 13-15 in lecture hall D3

Title: "Rebound effects"
Lecturer: Daniel Pargman, KTH/CSC/MID

Talk: Increased efficiency can despite our best intentions oftentimes have counterintuitive negative indirect effects that decreases or even reverses the hoped-for positive effects. We build better roads (to reduce bottlenecks and queues and to make the trip smoother and save gasoline), but what happens? People settle further away from the city, leading to more traffic and more time lost in queues instead of less. These perverse effects are as devious and difficult-to-fight as the mythical hydra (see picture below) - cut off one head and two new grow out. These are examples of the "rebound effect" that threatens to foil our plans even when we try to do good for the environment.

- Owen, D. (2011). The Conundrum: How scientific innovation, increased efficiency, and good intentions can make our energy and climate problems worse. Various very short chapters.
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Huesemann, M and Huesemann, J. (2011).  Techno-fix: Why technology won't save us or the environment, Chapter 1, "The inherent unavoidability and unpredictability of unintended consequences" and part of chapter 2, "When things bit back: Some unintended consequences of modern technology".
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Hilty, L. (2012).  Why energy efficiency is not sufficient - some remarks on "Green by IT"", In: Arndt, H. K. (ed.): EnviroInfo 2012, Proceedings of the 26th Environmental Informatics Conference, Federal Environment Agency, Dessau, 2012
Note: Available in Bilda.

Extra literature (for your amusement):
- Walker, R. (2011). Replacement Therapy. Atlantic Magazine (September issue)
Comment: A very short text about how "our gadgets can't wear out fast enough" - how we have a "gadget death wish" and wish that our gadgets wear out/die as soon as a newer version (think iPhone, iPad) is released.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Home exam - dates

This is how the home exam will work.

The last week of the course (two weeks from now) looks like this:
- Lecture (panel debate, "images of the future") on Mon Oct 8
- Seminar on Tue Oct 9
- Lecture (summary/wrap-up) on Wed Oct 10

The following week (Mon Oct 15 - Sat Oct 20) is exam period.

The home exam in this course will be "handed out" (possible to download from Bilda) on Tue Oct 9 (in the afternoon, after the seminar) and should be "handed in" (uploaded to Bilda) on Fri Oct 12 at 19.00 at the latest.

That means you will have slightly more than three days to do the exam and you will thus be done with it before your other exams the following week.

I hope this will be a good solutions for all (or most) of you.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Lecture 9 - Sept 26 (15-17) - Jorge Zapico

Time and place: Wednesday September 26, 15-17 in lecture hall E2

Title: "Hacking sustainability: using ICT for sustainability"
By: Jorge Zapico, MID/CESC KTH

Talk: In this lecture we will explore the positive effects of ICT and media technologies in sustainability. The focus is on what we can proactively do as media practitioners, coders, designers, users, to reduce the impact of technology and to exploit the positive effects of information technologies. We will look at the different areas of opportunities such as dematerialization, optimization, communicating sustainability and paradigm changes, and go through examples of projects working in these directions.

Jorge Zapico is a researcher and PhD candidate at KTH at Media technology and interaction design, the Centre for Sustainable Communications, and the department of Industrial Ecology. His research is on the relationship of ICT and sustainability and using data as a tool for sustainability. He is also co-organizer of the Green Hackathon series of events.


- Hilty, L. (2008).  Information Technology and Sustainability: Essays on the relationship between information technology and sustainable development, Chapter 7, "A conceptual framework for ICT effects on sustainability"
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Hilty, L. (2008).  Information Technology and Sustainability: Essays on the relationship between information technology and sustainable development, Chapter 8, "Steps towards a Sustainable Information Society"
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Zapico, J., Brandt, N., Turpeinen, M. (2010) Environmental Metrics: The Main Opportunity from ICT for Industrial Ecology. Journal of Industrial Ecology 14, 703-706. Short paper, download here.

Extra literature on these topics:
- The climate group and Gesi (2008) “Smart 2020”  Download.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Instructions for seminar 5

You have now learned more about sustainability, the challenges we are facing and the relationship between computers, IT and sustainability and we started exploring more proactive uses and what can be done for ICT to have a positive impact. At seminar 5 (Thursday Sept 27) we will get more hands-on and we will have a mini Green Hackathon* brainstorm.

1. Everyone will write down an idea that:
- Uses ICT for sustainability: efficiency, dematerialization, visualization, lifestyle changes... (See literature for Lecture 9)
- Reduces the impact of ICT: green IT, optimization, new ways of using IT, reduction...
The idea can describe a new application or service, improvements to existing things, remixes, initiatives...
The description should be comprehensive, around 250-400 words and include some background information about the problem to be solved and background research on similar ideas and attempts to solve it.
The idea has to be somewhat original, meaning that if the idea is something like using smart meters to visualize electricity which it has already been explored by other projects, it has to be more concrete: exploring an specific aspect or idea of implementation.
The deadline is Wednesday the 25th at midnight.

3. During the seminar we will discuss the different ideas and improve them in an iterative process. Each idea will be presented and we will use different "lenses" to explore problems and possibilities of each idea:
- Environmental lens: how does it affect the environment, direct/indirect, planned/unplanned effects?
- Simplicity lens: do we really need this? can it be done with less technology? must it be done at all?
- Social lens: how does this affect people? communities? Does it make their life more complicated? Can it have unexpected consequences?
- Feasibility lens: how can it be implemented? Does it have an economic model? Technical challenges?
Each seminar group (A-D) has been divided into three smaller groups (4-5 persons/group), see the previous blog post. Lenses will be assigned using those groups.
Remember that the goal is no just to criticize but to improve, refine the idea.

4. In the end we will have a selection process to choose the best ideas.
Do note again that not preparing adequately for the seminar entails the risk of not receiving top points (2 p) for the seminar (which might naturally have adverse effects on your grades).

* Green Hackathon is a series of events we started at KTH where developers meet to create applications and prototypes with a sustainability purpose. You can see more information and look at the hacks created at:
The latest Green Hackathon event is taking place this week at the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki.

Lecture 8 - Sept 24 (10-12) - Baki Cakici

Time and place: Monday September 24, 10-12 in lecture hall H1.

Title: "Designing ICT for future generations: The case of the Stockholm Royal Seaport"
Guest: Baki Cakici, Researcher at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS).

Talk: Stockholm Royal Seaport [Norra Djurgårdsstaden] is a future urban district under development in Stockholm. Its designers aim to create a residential area with zero fossil fuel emissions by the year 2030. Using examples from systems proposed for implementation within the district, I will present the potential benefits of ICT in meeting sustainability goals, and discuss some lingering issues that arise when designing technological systems to materialize grand visions.

About: Baki Cakici is a researcher at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS), Software and Systems Engineering Laboratory. He is also a PhD candidate at Stockholm University, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences. He has previously worked at the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet) on the design and developemnt of CASE, a computer supported outbreak detection system. He is currently interested in surveillance studies and the critical analysis of information and communication technologies.

- Darby, Sarah. (2010). Smart metering: what potential for householder engagement?. Building Research & Information, Vol.38, No.5, pp.442-457. 
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Suchman, Lucy. (2003). Practice-based design of information systems: Notes from the hyperdeveloped world. The Information Society, Vol.18, No.2, pp.139-144. 
Note: Available in Bilda.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lecture 7 - Sept 18 (13-15) - Picha and Umair

Time and place: Wednesday September 12, 13-15 in lecture hall B2. Note: our Tuesday lecture will be shared between two different guests

Title: "Printed and digital media and their environmental impacts:"
Guest: Malin Picha, Doctoral student in Media Technology at KTH.

Talk: The media landscape, both in Sweden and abroad, is rapidly changing. The circulation of printed newspapers is going down, and the use of digital media is increasing. These changes naturally have serious implications for the media industry as well as for the consumers. But what are the implications of these developments for the environment? Where are the major sources for climate change in this new media landscape? What can be done by the media companies and the media consumers in order to minimize the climate effects from producing and consuming media and what is being done today?

About: Malin Picha is a doctoral student in Media Technology at KTH and has a background in journalism. Malin has worked as an editor at various Swedish newspapers and a magazine and at the information office at Linköping University. She worked as a project manager at the Swedish Media Publishers' Association (Tidningsutgivarna, TU) between 2006 and 2012 - an organization that has cooperated extensively with the KTH Center for Sustainable Communications (CESC). For the past two years, Malin has been part of a research project that, with a focus on sustainability, has been looking at structures and processes at media companies.

Literature to read before the lecture:

- Picha, M and Moberg, Å (2011). Local Newspaper Publishing: Editorial Structure and Environmental Impact - a Case Study. IARIGAI conferene proceedings, 38th International Resarch Conference in Advances in Priting and Media Technology. September 11-14, 2011, Budapest, Hungary.
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Picha, M, Achachlouei, M.A. and Moberg, Åsa (2012). Magazine Publishing: Editorial Structure and Environmental Impacts - a Case Study. TAGA conferene proceedings, 64th Annaul Technical Conference. March 18-21, 2012, Jacksonville, FL, USA.
Note: Available in Bilda.


Title: "Information Recycling of Electronic Waste in Pakistan:"
Guest: Shakila Umair, Guest researcher at CESC/FMS, KTH.

Talk: Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been connecting people over the years. Today more and more people have access to these ICTs and they want the best. Producers are coming up with the latest technologies every day and with every new technology reaching the market, something older becomes obsolete. Obsolete electronic equipment, "e-waste", is the fastest growing waste stream today. Every year, 20-50 tons of e-waste is produced. Only 20% is recycled formally and the rest is dumped in developing countries where it is recycled informally. Pakistan is one of the countries at the receiving end of this waste stream and is one of the largest importers of e-waste. E-waste in Pakistan is recycled by crude processes which includes manual dismantling, open burning and acid processing of motherboards for the extraction of precious metals. These processes have impacts not just on the environment and on the people involved in this business, but also on the communities living in the vicinity of these sites. This lecture highlights the processes and the impacts of informal e-waste recycling in Pakistan.

About: Shakila Umair is working as a Guest Researchers at the Center for Sustainable Communications/FMS at KTH and worked at Lund University Centre for Sustainable Studies (LUCSUS) before that. She has been working with informal recycling of e-waste in Pakistan for about two year. She has a Masters in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure with a major in Environmental Strategies from KTH. She has worked with the United Nations Development Programme and the World Wide Fund for Nature Conservation (WWF) in Pakistan.

Literature to read before the lecture:

- Umair, S. and Anderberg, S. (2011). Ewaste Imports and Informal Recycling in Pakistan - A Multidimensional Governance Challenge. Available as pdf.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Instructions for seminar 4

First, I have to apologize for the (relative) lateness of these instructions in relationship to the seminar deadline - you will only have a few days to prepare for the seminar so please start as soon as possible. Also note that another complication is that the whole schedule for next week has been "squeezed together" - everything will happen on Monday and Tuesday due to the fact that I will go to a conference during the rest of the week.

Seminar 4 will be held on Tuesday September 18 (8-10 for groups C/D and 10-12 for groups A/B).


You have seen films, read texts and heard lectures about energy and resource challenges (I am more specifically referring to lecture 4 (Pargman) and the literature for the upcoming lecture 6 (Hagens). You should prepare for seminar 4 by watching an additional movie (a 16 minute TED talk), reading a text and thinking about the seminar question:

The movie (TED talk) you should see is:
- Hopkins, Rob, Transition to a world without oil (2009).
Optional: if you want to, you can also have a look at the 16 minutes long TED talk counterargument by Peter Diamandis, Abundance is our future (2012).

The text you should read is:
- Tomlinson, Silberman, Patterson, Pan & Blevis (2012), "Collapse informatics: Augmenting the sustainability and ICT4D discource in HCI" (pdf file here). The paper was presented at the CHI conference earlier this year (the largest and most prestigious conference in the field of Human-Computer Interaction).

The question you should think about is:
Is it prudent (wise) for individuals, companies and/or societies to prepare for a future of materials and energy scarcity and/or negative economic growth - or is it just plain stupid? Why? Furthermore, if these are issues that we should care and think about, do you have any suggestions for possible implications for ICT and media (production, distribution, use, disposal)?
Although it can be difficult, you might also consider what (if any) the implications are for you in the future that you personally think we are most likely to face.

Perhaps the question above is too direct and too big? Then here is an alternative, slightly more analytical and roundabout way of thinking about the same issues:
- Try to identify the Pargman-Hagens "discourse" (the set of interlinking ideas and underlying assumptions). Use the questions below (taken from Wangel's lecture that partly covered the topic of discourses - slides available in Bilda) as a starting point:
- What, according to this discourse, is to be considered a problem?
- What is to be considered a feasible conclusion?
- What is to be prioritized?
- What are your personal opinions as to these matters?

It is assumed that you will be adequately prepared for the seminar. It is not primarily up to the teachers to in detail query and make sure that you have prepared - it is your job to convince us that you have. In relation to seminar 4, that more specifically means:

1 Read/watch the materials for the seminar (above) as well as those connected to lecture 4 and lecture 6.
2 Write a short "position paper" (around 1 page or 400 words - where you take a position on these issues) based on the questions above. Please make sure that you in some way(s) refer to and make use of course materials in your paper. You should in your paper also propose a question that you would like to discuss at the seminar. Please either use of seminar assignment template available in Bilda (/Documents) or otherwise look at the template and make sure you include the same information in your own position paper.
3 Upload your position paper to Google docs (or write your position paper directly as a Google document).The deadline for finishing your paper is Monday Sept 17 at 15.00. Post the link to your position paper in Bilda so other group members can find it. Finally, read the other group members' mini-papers and comment on them! IMPORTANT: watch this instruction video to learn how to do these things.

Each seminar group (A-D) has been divided into three smaller groups (4-5 persons/group), see the previous blog post. You should thus only read and comment on 3-4 other person's position papers.

Do note that not preparing adequately for the seminar entails the risk of not receiving top points (2 p) for the seminar (which might naturally have adverse effects on your grades).

Seminar subgroup members

I have updated the class lists; added as well as taken away people who does not seem to take the course.

We need to divide the seminar groups into smaller groups for upcoming seminar tasks. Here are the seminar subgroups:

Seminar group A1:
- Philip A
- Joel F
- Veronika J
- Miguel R C

Seminar group A2:
- Sanna C
- Pedro F H B
- Andrew L
- Andreas R

Seminar group A3:
- Po-Yu C
- Connie H M
- Lidija M
- Mattias Ö

Seminar group B1:
- Jacob C
- Emma F
- Johannes H N
- Jonas J
- Simon R

Seminar group B2:

- Daniel E
- Niklas F
- Beatrice J
- Simon K

Seminar group B3:
- Susanne F
- Lars G
- Mikael J
- Terese N

Seminar group C1:

- Sabina A
- Maksym F
- Håkan F
- Carl O S

Seminar group C2:
- Clas E
- Alexander H
- Antonio L
- Huai W
- Lydia W

Seminar group C3:
- Bobby F
- Eleftheria E P
- Gustav R
- Chen W
- Markus W

Seminar group D1:
- Andreas A
- Viktor H
- Manuel M V
- Anne S
- Viktor W

Seminar group D2:

- Henrik B
- Donna H
- Javier M V
- Jussi S
- Severin P W

Seminar group D3:

- Sara G
- Richard L
- Baptiste O
- Simon W

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lecture 6 - Sept 17 (17-19) - Nate Hagens

Time and place: Monday September 17 at 17-19 in lecture hall H1. Do note that our guest will participate remotely (from the US). He will be present by distance through use of the modern wonders of ICT/Media Technologies.

Title: "Human behavior meets limits to growth: Constraints and opportunities"
Guest: Nate Hagens, Ph.D., US Director of the Institute for Integrated Economic Research (IIER)

Talk: When discussing resource limits most attention goes to the supply side; energy limits and environmental sink capacity. Less attention is given to the human biological drivers of our predicament, why we are slow to act on it, and what can be done about it. In this lecture we will have an overview of evolved human behavioral traits that contribute to continued overconsumption of resources on a full planet, how our current stimuli laden culture "hijacks" our brains into using more resources, and why the problems facing humanity are in many ways psychological and social as opposed to physical.

About: Nate has a Masters in Finance from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. He is currently the US Director of the Institute for Integrated Economic Research where models are developed integrating energy, resources, finance, economics, trade and human behavior in an attempt to aid policy in what is likely the end of the global economic growth era. Without knowing the larger picture, a focus on smaller pieces end up being ineffective. Nate used to manage a small hedge fund on Wall Street and has worked at investment banks Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers.

Literature to read before the lecture:
- Hagens, Nate (2011). The psychological roots of resource overconsumption, in "Fleeing Vesuvius: Overcoming the risks of economic and environmental collapse", edited by Richard Douthwaite and Gillian Fallon (pp. 336-355). New Society Publishers.
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Hages, Nate (2007). Peak Oil - Believe it or not? (14 pages, available online). Published online in the discussion forum The Oil Drum.

- Hagens, Nate (2007). Climate change, Saber tooth tigers and devaluing the future (10 pages, available online) Published online in the discussion forum The Oil Drum.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Instructions for seminar 3 (Thu + Fri this week)

From Greger:

Sustainable development is not only about environmental sustainability, the two other "legs" of sustainability are economic and social sustainability. This course has for the most part dealt with environmental sustainability this far, but has also touched upon social aspects of sustainability (see literature, slides and your own notes from lectures by Brandt and Finnveden).

Mini Paper:
Your task is to write one page (roughly 500 words) about how social and economic sustainability is linked (or not) to environmental sustainability. Please make some explicit reference to lectures and literature in the course. Also feel welcome to contribute own reflections and references to sources outside of the course.

Your texts will constitute the basis for the discussions at the seminar so please be sure to bring them to the seminar! You will hand in your texts to the teachers at the end of the seminar - it is part of the requirements of passing the "sustainability basics" part of the course.

As a starting point, look at Greger's text about social sustainability below as well as the three pages from a book by Jeffrey Sachs (available in Bilda/Documents/Literature).

Aspects of the social dimension of sustainability, as interpreted by Greger

Social sustainability goals usually relate to the health (care), education, economic and social security, and social participation (see e.g. the UN Millennium Development Goals). In a sustainable society all people live and work in healthy environments, have access to health care and education, and exercise their influence in society under democratic forms.

These various aspects may be defined in terms of minimum levels for e.g. economic security (wages and benefits), education or health care. Concerning health, for example, people should at least have access to basic health care and also not risk getting ill from being exposed to serious health risks or injuries.

Even for social participation minimum levels could be defined, that have to do with civil rights as voting rights, freedom of expression, the right to organize trade unions, etc.

But sustainability is not just about minimum levels, it is also about the fair distribution of access to the above utilities. If there is a certain amount of, for example, health care or education available, this amount should be distributed in an equitable manner. This makes it specifically interesting to look at groups that are already ‘low’ in relation to one good or several of them. Which option means an increased equity in the distribution of these?

Fair procedures is a further aspect, since it is not only the current or final goal fulfillment that determines the degree of sustainability in a community. Also the political (democratic) and social procedures are important. Who can join and make their voices heard when decisions on important conditions in the local and national community, and in e.g. schools or workplaces, are made?


Friday, September 7, 2012

Seminar 2 feedback (from Greger) - groups C/D

Dear students,

about 21 of you joined the seminar groups C and D today, Friday. We (Greger and Miriam) were happy to see you and also think that you did a good job during the seminar both regarding you bringing interesting discussion topics to the seminar as well as reflecting upon them in the smaller discussion groups. It is also very nice to get to know you a bit better than is possible during the lectures. I (Greger) hope (and require) that you will all come to the following seminar(s), that you are open, express your views and ask questions.

At the very end of the seminar today you filled out a quiz (a very light exam) concerning concepts from the 3 lectures by Brandt, Wangel and Finnveden. We checked your quizzes and are happy to say that nearly all of you passed with flying colours! In the cases of you missing a bit too much, we will contact you and ask you to complete an additional task.

Greger Henriksson and Miriam Börjesson Rivera

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lecture 5 - Sept 12 (13-15) - Sabine Höhler

Time and place: Wednesday September 12, 13-15 in lecture hall B2.

Title: "Spaceship Earth: Sufficiency and Efficiency Ideals in the Environmental Age"
Guest: Sabine Höhler, Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH

Talk: At the time of rising environmental consciousness in the 1960's, "Spaceship Earth" became a metaphor to denote the earth's fragility as well as a model for a sustainable future. The spaceship reconciled sufficiency and efficiency ideals. While a spaceship like the ark held the hope of preserving life and nature, systems ecology and biosphere technology used it as a model for efficient environmental management on Earth and beyond. I will discuss how, between 1960 and 1990, Earth's biosphere was  seen and replicated as a complex self-contained and self-sustained life-support system.

About: Sabine Höhler is Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at KTH. Originally trained as a physicist, her research centers on the history of modern science and technology, particularly the history of the earth sciences in the 19th and the 20th century. Among her fields of interest are new global history, environmental history and the history of ecology. Presently she explores the intersections of ecology and economy in the view of ecosystems as service providers.

Literature to read before the lecture:

- Boulding, Kenneth (1966). The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth, in "Environmental Quality in a Growing Economy", Essays from the Sixth RFF Forum on Environmental Quality, edited by Henry Jarrett (pp. 3-14). Baltimore, John Hopkins Press.
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Fuller, Richard Buckminister (1969). Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press. Extract from chapter 4, "Spaceship Earth" (5 pages).
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Höhler, Sabine (2010). The Environment as a Life Support System: The Case of Biosphere 2". History and Technology, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 39-58. NoteAvailable in Bilda

Seminar 2 feedback (from Greger) - groups A/B


About 23 of you joined the seminar groups A and B today. We were two teachers, Mohammad (A) and Greger (B). We think you did a nice job in bringing discussion topics with you to the seminar and reflecting upon them in the smaller groups.

We were also pleased to get a better personal contact with you than what is possible during the lectures. I (Greger) hope (and require) that you will all come to the following seminar(s), be open, express your views and ask questions.

At the very end of the seminar today you filled out a quiz (a very light exam) concerning concepts that have been covered during the lectures by Brandt, Wangel and Finnveden. I checked all of the 23 handed in quizzes with the aim of finding out if your answers were 'more right than wrong'. I actually did find that all of you were more in the right than in the wrong for at least 2 of the 3 questions! As far as I can see, that means that you were all good enough.

However, there are always things to discuss, both in terms of formulating questions and in answering them. Therefore I suggest that when you come to the next seminar (with me and a colleague of mine), you should have looked up appropriate answers for those questions you felt uncertain about today. OK?

Greger Henriksson

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lecture 4 - Sept 11 (13-15) - Daniel Pargman


Time and place: Tuesday September 11, 13-15 in lecture hall B2.

Title: "Global resource challenges and implications for ICT and media"
Guest: Daniel Pargman, Assistant Professor in Media Technology at the School for Computer Science and Communication, KTH

Talk: You have by now heard several lectures focusing on the meaning of sustainability and the challenges regarding climate change (CO2 emissions, global environmental challenges etc.). I will try to convince you that resource challenges and a global "energy crunch" will pose a more immediate concern than the (possibly more serious, but also acting on a longer time horizon) challenge of climate change - even though these two issues are tightly linked.

The first part of the lecture will concern resource and energy issues (especially "peak oil") and the second part will discuss implications for ICT and media technologies. Note: the first part of the lecture will use an "unorthodox" lecture format (see the instructions below).

About: DanielPargman is Assistant Professor in Media Technology at the School of ComputerScience and Communication, KTH. His research interests concerns social media,virtual communities, Internet culture, sustainability and resource challenges.He is a member of the steering committee for the VINN ExcellenceCenter for Sustainable Communications (CESC) at KTH and is tasked with startingup a research group, “ICT in a sustainable future” at the Department on MediaTechnology & Interaction Design at KTH. Daniel has written and taught about the connections between Internet values and grassroot practices in the computer hacker culture, on the Internet and in the open source movement.

Instructions and literature to read before the lecture:

1) Start by looking at this 35 minutes long film with the not-so-uplifting name "There's no tomorrow". Please do not look at it on your smartphone while you're on the move. The film is packed with information, so treat it the same way you would treat a complex text (or a math problem). Concentrate on the movie and keep paper and a pencil at hand in order to write down any questions or thoughts that the film raises (and it should raise many questions). The first part of the lecture will primarily be based on the questions you bring with you to class. The movie is "backed up" by two texts that you should also read (see below).

2) Rubin, Jeff (2009), "Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller: Oil and the end of globalization". Chapter 1, "Redefining recovery". Note: available in Bilda.

3) Heinberg, Richard (2003), "The party's over: Oil, war and the fate of industrial societies". Parts of chapter 1 ("Energy, nature and society") and chapter 2 ("Party time: The historic interval of cheap, abundant energy". Note: available in Bilda.

Monday, September 3, 2012


If you read the course PM (see previous blog post), you will notice that attendance is pretty important in this course.

I have created a Google document where you can check out your attendance this far. The goal is to update the document at least once per week. This document is not "published on the web" (should thus not be found in web searches), but it is available to anyone who has the link (

Do check the document out now and then and do get in touch with me if you think the information in the document is not correct.

Course PM available in Bilda

A course PM of kinds, focusing on course requirements, examination and grading, is now available in Bilda (Documents/Course examination and grading.pdf).

This is of interest to everyone who takes the course, but especially those who did not attend the course introduction last Tuesday where much of what is in the document was presented.

Instructions for seminar 2 (Wed + Fri this week)

Forwarded from Greger Henrisson at the Division for Environmental Strategies Research (FMS):


In this seminar we will discuss the readings for the seminar with issues highlighted by you as our point of departure. You therefore have to bring discussion topics, printed on a sheet of paper, to the lecture. Don't forget to sign/print your name on the paper = proof of attendance at the seminar.

‘Discussion topics’ means a couple of questions or reflections in relation to ideas, messages or statements from at least two of the texts. You should write about 100-200 words (1/4 - 1/2 page of text). Your reflections and questions will be discussed during the seminar. And remember, don’t write a review – highlight issues you find intriguing.

The last 10 minutes of the seminar will be reserved for a ‘mini quiz’ regarding the readings for the previous lectures. This quiz will help us teachers see that all students can get a ‘pass’ on this part of course. The questions in the quiz will be based on those concepts in the readings that were highlighted by the lecturers.

Readings for the seminar:

Heinberg, Richard (2010) What Is Sustainability? Published in Heinberg & Lerch (eds.), "The post-carbon reader: Managing the 21st century's sustainability crisis. Note: Available online and as a pdf in Bilda.

David J.C. MacKay (2009). 10-page synposis of his book, "Sustainable energy: Without the hot air". Note: Available online and as a pdf in Bilda.

Brown, Lester (2009). "Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization". Read chapter 8, "Restoring the Earth", pages 192-215. Note: available online.