Exploring Sustainability Research in Computing: Where we are and where we go next


This paper by Bran Knowles (HighWire), Stuart Walker (ImaginationLancaster) and Lynne Blair (Computing) develops a holistic framework of questions which seem to motivate sustainability research in computing in order to enable new opportunities for critique. Analysis of systematically selected corpora of computing publications demonstrates that several of these question areas are well covered, while others are ripe for further exploration. It also provides insight into which of these questions tend to be addressed by different communities within sustainable computing. The framework itself reveals discursive similarities between other existing environmental discourses, enabling reflection and participation with the broader sustainability debate. It is argued that the current computing discourse on sustainability is reformist and premised in a Triple Bottom Line construction of sustainability. A radical, Quadruple Bottom Line alternative is explored as a new vista for computing research.

Author Keywords

Sustainability, critical reflection, discourse

ACM Classification Keywords

H.5.m. Information Interfaces and Presentation (e.g. HCI): Miscellaneous

Knowles, B. ,Blair, L., Hazas, M., Walker, S. (2013) ‘Exploring Sustainability Research in

Computing: Where we are and where we go next’, UbiComp ’13: The Proceedings of the 2013 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, September 8-12, Zurich, Switzerland.