Green IT @ IR 11.0

This year’s Internet Research conference in Göteborg / Sweden has a special focus on sustain

ability, thus one of the key note speeches is dealing with Green IT.

Peter Arnfalk from the International Institute for Industrial Environmental

Economics at Lund University presents the concept of how we might ensure sustainable development by ‘greening’ of and greening through IT. This includes all three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic interests.

As the electric energy used for IT will double within next 5 years and we are already producing millions of tons of e-waste a year, some of those valuable, some hazardous, some both, it is absolutely time to make our IT related patterns more efficient. There are several concepts concerning Green IT, reaching from greening IT products, over de-materialization (e.g.: ‘paper-free office’), to new functional solutions in society (e-banking, e-care, teleworking, online meetings,…) and environmental applications of IT (measuring air/water quality,…). These concepts partially are picked out and instrumentalized on various political levels: supranational (OECD), international (EU) and national (in Arnfalk’s example: Sweden). But there hasn’t been enough research on Green IT (partially due to a lack of funding and related funding policies) so it is not always sure that such environmental policies really improve our usage patterns… or did you know that the total CO2 emissions from e-mail are 7-20 times higher than postal mail?

There is another issue Arnfalk singles out as major challenge of the Green IT idea: What happens after we rationalized our processes, made our energy usage perfectly efficient and are able to save a decent amount of resources? It is obvious that we would use these resources to produce more goods and increase consumption… So in parallel our consumption patterns should be adapted to be sustainable as well!

Links:

IR 11.0

Keynotes @ IR 11.0 ||  The presentation slides will be put online soon!

Peter Arnfalk @ IIIEE at Lund University

The Green IT Report ||  Related blog

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Green IT @ IR 11.0
was published on 22.10.2010 by Isabella Wagner. It files under global
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Pioneers of Change

Just recently, via Thomas Strasser, I found out about Pioneers of Change – a coaching program for young Austrians with a vision to change the world, organized by Plenum.

It’s all about sustainability, ecology, positive change and such things. They have a great network with other organizations such as SocialBusinessDay, Weisssee – Sustainability meets Entrepreneurship, The Hub and many more. They offer a program with interesting lecturers, teaching the participants about project design and management, fund raising and public relations.

I applied with ICT4D.at as my project and was taken! I’m really looking forward now to the eight modules – first one already starting next week. I expect from the program to learn to manage ICT4D.at even better and get some projects in the ICT4D context going. Also I am certain that this will initiate a diverse networks of people with sustainable initiatives working for a better world – social entrepreneurs if you will.

Thomas was also taken – same as Georg Urschitz who together with Thomas built up the IT course at Don Bosco School Sunyani.

So – great opportunity, great company, looking forward to it and I’ll keep you updated on my advances.

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Pioneers of Change
was published on 25.02.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Don Bosco School Sunyani

It’s now already a week that I arrived here in Kumasi for my internship at Kwame Nkrumah University and after some travelling and getting used to this environment I go on blogging here.

One of the things I did last week was to visit some fellow Austrians employed at a project in Sunyani – Don Bosco Vocational Technical Institute. It’s a school project by the Salesians with support of the Austrian organization Jugend eine Welt sending national servants (Zivildiener) there.

Initially the school focused on traditional education for financially disadvantaged students, but two years ago a computer class was started which turned out to be quite a success story.

In the first year the students are taught basic skills such as disassembling and assembling computers, installing Windows and Microsoft Office. Finally they have to do an exam and are awarded the ICDL certificate. In the second year they learn how to set up their own network.

These skills enable many of the graduates to get a job or start an own business. One example is Martin Kwarteng (here with pastor Paolo), who is still working for the school as system adminstrator after he finished the course last year. He orders parts of computers in Accra and sells the assembled ones.

Also some of the students work now as teachers at the school. One of them is Isaac Fokou who would be eager to get more in-depth education in ICTs, but one big problem for him and the other students is that although they are highly skilled, they only have the school certificate which proves what they are capable of. International certificates which are often demanded by employers – such as a CISCO Network Certificate – are much too expensive.

What’s also interesting about the project is that there are also classes on handicraft and the students and workers at the school start now to create school buildings themselves and provide services to surrounding villages. The workers dig clay and form bricks, there is a carpentry and a workshop for metal works – especiall wielding. Also the students learn how to grow and harvest crops, there are also grainfields on the area.

I like the project, it focuses on sustainability and creates employment possiblities for the students. The school tries to be as self-sufficient as possible all the teachers except in the IT-class are Ghanaians. With their workshop facilities they could also provide assistance to small industrial activities in the area.

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Don Bosco School Sunyani
was published on 23.07.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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BoingBoing TV – Green tech and internet in Benin

The BBtv WORLD series layed its focus this time on Benin

to visit the Songhaï Center, a green tech project designed to develop a new generation of “agricultural entrepreneurs,” and foster economic sustainability. [from here]

It’s fascinating to see how African entrepreneurs have a fully sustainable farm, producing goods for worldwide markets and even running an internet cafe.

Everything is produced in a “green” way, one areas waste becomes another areas fuel input. The idea is such a big success that there are more of these centers opening, even in neighbour country Nigeria.

Xeni Jardin from BoingBoing has made a short documentation about it – great video, check it out!

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BoingBoing TV – Green tech and internet in Benin
was published on 25.09.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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