Untangling the relationship between degrowth and ICT
This program is tentative and subject to change.
[Background] While degrowth is a socio-economic paradigm still known to relatively few, the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports emphasise its importance in investigating and realising pathways to sustainability. There is increasing evidence that information and communication technology (ICT) plays an important role in sustainability pathways. But research about the relationship between degrowth and ICT is yet scarce. [Aims] We aim at exploring the relationship between degrowth and ICT to identify emerging themes and research implications. [Method] We conduct an exploratory literature review to gather background knowledge and complement it with focus groups, expert interviews, and Reddit discussions to elicit knowledge, reflections, informed opinions and attitudes towards degrowth. [Results] Several themes that require careful consideration emerge in our study, such as the effect of terminology, the reliance on high-tech solutions, and trade-offs that come with decreasing the use of ICT. [Contribution] We also define the concepts degrowth of ICT and degrowth by ICT, and discuss how degrowth and ICT relate to each other. We hope our work enables further research into the role of ICT in degrowth scenarios supporting a shift to strong sustainability.