ICT and Sustainability: Looking Beyond the Anthropocene

Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 537)


This paper investigates the relation between information and communication technology and sustainability through two frameworks that promote sustainable development: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Doughnut Economics. The instrumentalist technology perspective underlying the SDGs, guiding the perceived universality of ICT, presents ICT as a neutral tool. Doughnut Economics enables a more integrative approach, making the unsustainability of ICT itself visible. What these frameworks have in common is that they are located in the discourse of the Anthropocene. Feminist perspectives on this epoch by Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing focus the attention on different figures, rhythms, and futures made invisible by the centrality of the human species in the debates on the future of our planet. The idea that humans-with-technology will get us out the predicament of the Anthropocene needs urgent refinement and critical investigation.


Doughnut economics Feminist technoscience Planetary boundaries Technological anthropocene Sustainability 



I would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments; Anna Croon for asking about the nonhumans in the doughnut; Dr. Martin Oteng-Ababio, my SMART colleague in Ghana; and my fellow travelers to Ghana, Hanne Cecilie Geirbo and Alice Frantz Schneider. This paper is written as part of SMART, a Horizon2020-financed research project (grant agreement no. 693642).


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© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OsloOsloNorway

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