söndag 26 maj 2013

Hacking sustainability

I usually write a blog post whenever I write or submit something to a conference, but for some reason I forgot to do that earlier this spring when me and three colleagues (Jorge Zapico, Hannes Ebner, Elina Eriksson) wrote and submitted a conference position paper, "Hacking sustainability: Broadening participation through Green Hackathons" (abstract below). Do get in touch if you want a copy of the paper - here's the story behind it.

The Fourth International Symposium on End-User Development (EUD) will be held in Copenhagen next month (June 11-13). EUD is all about "non-professional software developers, who create, modify and extend a software artifact". More specifically, it's about "modding, mashing, and tailoring [...] Spreadsheets, databeases, web mash-ups, as well as content management systems and software products like ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning] systems".

Two workshops will be held the day before the conference (June 10), and one of them seemed to fit us neatly; "End-User Development for supporting sustainability in maker communities". This is part of the workshop call for participation:

"There has been a recent proliferation of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) communities that can broadly be included under the maker movement umbrella. Many of these groups are engaged in DIY projects in areas that related to sustainable living, such as urban gardening groups engaged in growing their own food in urban areas, home energy monitoring communities interested in improving their homes to support a more energy efficient living, and textile crafts people who engage in home production, as well as recycling and upcycling of textiles. Spurred by the possibilities of digital fabrication and the Internet, the maker movement has a great potential to support sustainable living by fostering related innovations, fostering their appropriation and propagating their practical use. However, technology-driving maker communities associated with FabLabs or Hackerspaces are often perceived as places for tech-savvy people nad have difficulties to instantiate a sustainable dialogue with the society at large. Hence, attracting wider categories of public, as well as sharing innovations created by users are still seen as challenges."

While the workshop mentions three hot topics; "End-User Development", "sustainability" and "maker communities", I'n not 100% sure exactly how these three all go together. Especially the connection between sustainability and maker communities seem a little hazy to me. Our paper has nothing at all to do with maker communities - which obviously is the focus of the workshop (organizers) - but since the organizers also point out that (broader) participation is a major problem for tech-driven movements, we decided to focus on the issues of sustainability, (green) hackathons and participation and write up a 4-6 pages long paper for the workhsop. Unfortunately we made that decision less than 10 days before the March 14 deadline, but we still managed to whip something together (despite everyone, always, being so damn busy) and submit it in time. Our submission was accepted and we then had lots of time to revise it before submitting the final version in the beginning of May. Our paper clocks in at 8.25 pages and here is the abstract:

Green Hackathon is an international series of coding events with sustainability purpose.  Developers, researchers, environmental practitioners, and anyone else who is interested, work for a limited amount of time to create innovative software solutions for sustainability. These events have explicitly aimed to invite a broad spectrum of expertise besides technical expertise. This article presents the experiences and tensions of including these end users at a mostly technically oriented event, and discusses how end-user development could be used to encourage more reflective practices and as well as broadening the participation and the interdisciplinary collaboration in these events – with higher-quality as a prospective outcome. 

I will probably not go to the workshop (June 10) since I will go to another conference the day after (June 11-13), but my colleague Jorge will go to Copenhagen to participate in the workshop and to present our paper. That is fitting since he is not just the first author of the paper, but also one of the two initiators/organizers of the Green Hackathon events (seven have been organized this far).

While this is a "lessons learned" paper, we have discussed the possibility of planning and doing a "real" study (i.e. collect material). Since there will be a Green Hackathon organized in Stockholm at the end of next summer (2014), we might target that event for a study. A study of something (not-yet-decided).

torsdag 23 maj 2013

Cohero - playing games at work


I got to know Christofer Gradin Franzén earlier this year and found out that he is not only an economist and a psychologist, but also a game designer. He and a friend of his have designed a board game called Cohero (do you get it - co-hero - I didn't at first and thought the name has something to do with "cohere").

Christofer visited KTH yesterday and the sustainability team thus played a board game together for the second time this term (we also played Carbonopoly earlier this term). Our team doesn't do anything but have fun and play games at work! The game itself is played on two levels (or is it three?). 

1) The most basic challenge is to get away from the deserted island we are stuck on (see the map above). It's really only possible to succeed and get off the island if all players pitch in and work together, despite the fact that there can also be tensions between the individual and the collective rationality (e.g. between what's best for us and what's best for me in the game). Still, on the basic level, it's us, together, against the rest of the world. The game was in fact really tough and halfway through the game (and after some initial setbacks), I was sure we were utterly and totally screwed and would die on the island.

Picture. The dice will decide if you find water, tools, shelter or building materials for the raft that will save you and take you away from the island. It's actually nerve-wracking to throw the dice since the results of your dice throw is soo important.

2) On the second level it gets more complicated as we were also randomly assigned one out of four different roles. I was assigned the role of "supporter" - the social glue of the group, and a colleague of mine was assigned the role of "analyst" - the group's problem-solver. If a certain condition was fulfilled (as a social and extrovert "supporter" personality, I wanted to have two other players around me at the start of my turn), my mood would rise, and if not, my mood would be at a standstill (only one person around) or sink (no-one around). When my mood was on top, I gained a "special ability" that was useful for the whole team, but if my mood bottomed out, I gained a "negative special ability" that would impede the whole team. The problem was that it was impossible to satisfy the mood-rising conditions of all players/roles at the same time and especially so if we wanted to get something accomplished in the game (that would work towards getting us off the island). This dynamic created a basic tension between fulfilling my needs (e.g. the needs of my role), fulfilling other players' needs, and working successfully towards getting off the island. These tensions are very interesting to Christofer since he is a psychologist and he uses this game to "examine" and help work teams in companies too "see" each others' needs so as to work better together. The game requires the help of a full-time "mediator" (Christofer or someone else who has had "proper training").

I would however argue that it is possible to construe a third 3) level and that is the level of managing my relationships with my co-players/co-workers. I can't be a total egotistical asshole when we play Cohero (and I hope I wasn't :-), since that might have repercussions in my job and in my social relations with my colleagues. Even when we are playing a game like Cohero - as well as in all other work situations - I'm not just working on tasks and solving problems, but I'm also incessantly working at "impression management" (Goffman's term) to make other people like me, admire me, be impressed, seduced, corrupted, persuaded and in general managing/manipulating other people's perception of me. According to Goffman, everybody does this all of the time. As to Cohero, this is what is stated on the homepage ("What is Cohero?") regarding the purpose of the game:

"Cohero is a game that has been designed to help teams work better together. It's about the possibilities and challenges of cooperation and the possibilities for a group to solve problems of greater complexity than individuals can handle."

Christofer uses the game as a Rorschach test of sorts and stops the game to discuss feelings, processes and relationships between people through the events that happen in the game. It didn't feel hurried, but we apparently hurried through these parts of the game as we "only" had three hours to play. That was a pity. It was patently obvious that a lot of thinking had gone into the game and I do believe that we could have had really long academic/gameplay-related discussions with Christofer about collective intelligence, personality types, problem-solving, psychological needs, team performance etc.

Something that might have complicated the picture (from Christofer's psychologist's point of view) was that I had also invited two non-team board-game-geeks from the department to participate and play. Counting myself to that group, three out of five players were thus "gamers". I believe that means the majority of the players made decisions based less on their "feelings", and more based on an "objective" analysis of the game mechanics. I believe we gamers partially or wholly subsumed some of the things Christofer is interested in and to (perhaps a much higher extent than other players) reasoned based on what is "rational" to do in the game in order to try to overcome the challenges thrown at us and win the game. In this particular game you win by working together, in other games you win by backstabbing your ally one step ahead of him backstabbing you... To summarize; you do what you have to do (e.g. what the game demands of you). It's not about playing nice or taking a hit for the team, it's about what is rational in the context of the game. Overcoming the challenges thrown at us and winning the game is goal. Cooperating with others is the means to accomplish that goal. I don't know what that says about me psychologically except that I like to play board games and I play to win. '

In the post-game discussion, Christofer mentioned several cases when "interesting" things had happened, for example when the board of directors at a company played and everyone was very competitive. It went straight to hell since the game requires you to cooperate - including now and then subsuming your own goals to that of other persons/roles and that of the group as a whole. Another time, the people who played worked at an environmental or some other do-good organization. To them, it was extremely important that the game progressed in a "fair" way and that everyone was equally far away from death (the penalty if you fail your task - it is possible for one or more persons to die in the game and for the rest to make it off the island). Fairness is good, but here it became the overarching goal and stood in the way of accomplishing task and doing what had to be done (taking a hit in "health" for the team) to get off the island. So I'm thinking it would have been very very frustrating for me to play in any of these two groups or with other kinds of "irrational" (non-goal-oriented, non-gamer) players. In such a situation, the sheer frustration would probably have led a perceptive game mediator to learn a lot about what makes me tick. Last but not least, I do have to say it was really fun to play Cohero!

Picture. From left to right: Sanna, Daniel, Elina, Christofer (mediator) and Marcus. Åke took the picture.

söndag 19 maj 2013

On the challenges of teaching sustainability

Back in January - exactly four months ago - I wrote a blog post about just having submitted an abstract for an upcoming conference, Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (to be held in Cambridge at the end of September. The conference theme is "Rethinking the engineer" and I wrote a paper together with my colleague Elina Eriksson called "'It's not fair!' - Making students engage in sustainability" and .

The abstract was accepted and we just finished writing the 10-page long paper. In fact, I submitted the paper on Friday and it was huge relief to be finished with it and send it away before the weekend. It's just one of those things that can make you feel that you can actually (and not just nominally) can take the weekend off!

Perhaps most fun in the paper was to write about the tension between teaching "'vanilla' sustainability (every challenge we face constitutes a problem that can be solved) versus 'doomsday' sustainabiliyt (we face predicaments that cannot be solved)". From the paper:

Doomsday sustainability has no “happy chapter” and runs the risk of shocking, depressing or even paralyzing students (see further below), but can however paradoxically also be liberating, since it takes students’ worries seriously instead of glossing over fundamental problems. This perspective could also work as a call to more fundamental rather than superficial action. 
One student stated after having taken our course that:

“I was interested in marketing and stuff like that before the course, but now I feel like doing something that is more beneficial to humanity.”

Below is the paper abstract - do get in touch if you want a copy of the whole paper!


In this paper, we address the issue of teaching a subject, sustainability, that ideally should permeate the whole engineering education, but at the moment often plays a minor role in the curricula. Here we discuss the tactics of planning and conducting a sustainability course with the explicit goal of truly engaging the students and making an impact on their thinking. Furthermore, we here present a framework that can be used in course planning and analysis. Finally, we discuss how this framework was used in our sustainability course for Media Technology engineering students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and the engagement and resulting change in students perception of sustainability. Moreover, we argue that beyond rethinking the engineer and the engineering education, we also need to rethink our roles as university teachers.

torsdag 16 maj 2013

Books I've read recently

"Books I've read lately" is a recurring topic and here is the previous blog post (same topic, different books). The books below as well as the books in my next blog post are all part of a package of books that in one way or another relates to "community" (and thus partly or fully to sociology). Although not at the center of my research interests any longer, community was after all the topic of my ph.d. thesis ("Code begets community"). I read the three books below approximately between January 10 and February 20.

I've wanted to read Theodore Roszak's "The cult of information" (1986) for a long time, but that hasn't happened. My interest in Roszak did not decrease when I heard that he traveled around during the 90's giving techo-critical talks that ended with him smashing a computer to pieces with a sledgehammer. Besides techno-criticism, I have several other long-time interests including the connections between the 60's and 70's counterculture and the 60's and 70's emerging computer/hacker culture (in my opinion best captured in Stone's (1995) book "The war of desire and technology at the close of the mechanical age"). I thus chose to read Roszak's "breakthrough" book, "The making of a counter culture: Reflections on the technocratic society and its youthful opposition" (1969). Unfortunately I cannot recommend it. It was written during, rather than after the fact, and thus documents the 60's counterculture movement and values from within, while it was happening. I guess that is illuminating to some extent, but it also makes the book caught up in things that were important right there and then, but that isn't really any longer. On the whole, the book thus felt dated. The chapters are written as independent essays and although I found some interesting, most weren't particularly interesting to me (who is Paul Goodman? I have never hear of him before. Why would I particularly care about his "visionary sociology" (all but forgotten now) and want to read a 25 pages long chapter about it?). Roszak is on the other hand credited for coining the term "counterculture"!

"Postville: A clash of cultures in heartland America" (2000) by Stephen Bloom is a very different kind of book, an eye-wittness account of how two strong, incompatible cultures ("communities") collides at a certain time and place (Iowa in the 90's, see the picture on the book cover above). Bloom, a journalist-cum-journalist professor, writes engagingly about a matter that is close to his heart and based on his personal experiences. It is a joy to read the book from a stylistic point of view. Although I've never been to Iowa, and although I've never know any ultra-orthodox Hasidic Lubavitcher jews, I can still see the scenes with my inner eye and emphatically understand the (incompatible) values expressed by the two cohesive "camps", as well as laugh out loud at Bloom's witticisms and his sharp pen.

"Here was a kind of experiment in the limits of diversity and community, the nature of community, the meaning of prejudice, even what it means to be an American. Postville seemed like a social laboratory, perhaps a metaphor for America."

Since Postville isn't an academic book, Bloom does (unfortunately) not interpret or theorize the events he describes to any deeper extent, but that also makes for an easy read and I can very much recommend the book to anyone who is interested in these topics (community, diversity, (in)tolerance, America, Hasidic jews, rural folks etc.).

Historians Henrik Berggren and Lars Trädgård have written a book about "the Swedish character"; "Är svensken människa: Gemenskap och oberoende i det moderna Sverige" (2006) [Is the Swede a human being?: Community and independence in modern Sweden]. I thought they have done a very good job of describing "what Swedes are like" and why we are the way we are - although the book is uneven, with some parts being much more interesting than others.

I very much liked the discussions about the relationships between the state, the family and the individual in Sweden and with comparisons to Germany and the United States. Swedes have, for historical and other reasons, entered into an "alliance" between the individual and the state "against", or at least at the detriment of, the family. Germans have instead chosen to form an alliance between the family and the state to the detriment of the individual, while Americans have chosen to form an alliance between the individual and the family to the detriment of the state. Both Sweden and Germany have built up welfare societies, but the Swedish welfare systems are geared towards the individual citizen, where the German systems to a higher extent is geared towards families. Husbands and wives are for example taxed as individuals in Sweden while they are taxed based on the family income in Germany.

The implications are widespread and are the result of historical and other developments and sometimes (for example in the case of marriage patterns), based on prehistories dating back to the 15th century if not longer. One part of the book treats Swedes view of love (and marriage, family life and the upbringing of children) and my wife, not being from Sweden originally, very much appreciated this part of the book and felt that it explained and answered many questions she had had about Swedes for 10 years and more. Swedes bring up their children to be independent and form their own opinions early, and this is (based on me and her comparing our experiences) apparent already in the socialization of our children in kindergarden. My wife in short felt that the book explained many things she herself had wondered about for years and years, and I guess that is as good a judgement as anything I could write here.

söndag 12 maj 2013

Articles I've read lately (Jan)

As I wrote recently, I've been pretty good at keeping my new year's promise of reading academic articles. My goal is to pick 200 pages of mixed academic texts every month and read them all. More specifically, I pick and put the articles in four folders and the goal is to read a folder (= 50 pages) every week. Despite not managing to read all four folders every months - sometimes rather landing at finishing off "only" three folder (=150 pages) - I'm pretty happy with the outcome this far. I haven't been equally good at writing monthly summaries of articles I've read "lately" though. I hope I can catch up before the summer.

Instead of listing the articles alphabetically, I list them folder-wise and say a few words about each (oftentimes topical) folder. During January, I "only" managed to read three folders and the fourth folder was instead pushed/postponed until February. Below are the articles I read in January.

ICT and sustainability from a (mostly) human-computer interaction perspective
Comment: There has been a lot of work on sustainability in the HCI community during the last five years. I only found out about it "recently" (a year ago) and I'm reading up on the topic.

- Laurel, B. (2011). Gaian IxDinteractions18(5), 38–46. */ Laurel is obviously an old hippie (the article prominently features pictures of her hugging trees) and the melding of sustainability and "Gaian awareness" goes a little bit too far for me to fully appreciate. "Gaian IxD [interaction design] may enhance Gaian awareness - awareness of our belongingness to the complex dynamic system we call Earth". /*
- Liu, T., Ding, X., Lu, T., & Gu, N (submitted). "From awareness to management practice: An electricity feedback system in a university dormitory in China". Submitted to the CHI conference but rejected (acceptance rate = 20%). Resubmitted elsewhere - I might update this reference later. */ "HCI's approach towards eco-feedback has largely focused on system design rather than studying adoption and effects in the field. [...] We draw upon our involvement in a long-term project to develop and deploy and energy-monitoring platform at a university campus in Shanghai." /*   **// A reworked version of the paper added another co-author and was accepted to the UbiComp'13 conference. The paper is now called "The collective infrastructural work of electricity: Exploring feedback in a prepaid university dorm in China". //**
- Mankoff, J. C., Blevis, E., Borning, A., Friedman, B., Fussell, S. R., Hasbrouck, J., Woodruff, A., et al. (2007). Environmental sustainability and interactionCHI’07 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 2121–2124). ACM. */ Three-page prep that sets the scene for a Special Interest Group meeting at the huge CHI conference. "sustainability can and should be a central focus of the field of human computer interaction". /*
- Tomlinson, B., Patterson, D. J., Pan, Y., Blevis, E., Nardi, B., Norton, J., & LaViola Jr, J. J. (2012). What if sustainability doesn’t work out? interactions19(6), 50–55. */ The same reasoning that was behind the very much recommended "Collapse informatics" paper but now rebranded ("adaptation informatics") and repackaged to a new, larger audience. "Adaptation informatics entail the study, design, and development of sociotechnical systems for use in a future characterized by global change". /*
- Woodruff, A., Hasbrouck, J., & Augustin, S. (2008). A bright green perspective on sustainable choicesProceeding of the twenty-sixth annual SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 313–322). ACM. */ "We present a qualitative study of 35 United States households whose occupants have made significant accommodations to their homes and behaviors in order to be more environmentally responsible". They are interested in motivations, practice, experiences and the use (or non-use) of technology in informants' efforts. /*
- Zapico, J. L., Turpeinen, M., & Brandt, N. (2009). Climate persuasive services: changing behavior towards low-carbon lifestylesProceedings of the 4th International Conference on Persuasive Technology (p. 14). ACM. */ I re-read this paper as part of preparing to be the discussant/opponent at Jorge Zapico's draft ph.d. thesis. Climate persuasive services are "ICT applications that change personal attitudes regarding climate change and/or change behavior towards reducing greenhouse gases emissions."/*

ICT and sustainability from a (mostly) ICT for sustainability perspective.
I read these articles partly to get a better feeling for what my colleagues at CESC might read, i.e. non-HCI perspectives on ICT and sustainability 

- Dobernig, K., Røpke, I., Grubbe, M., & Blum, M. (2009). Green ICT for Growth and Sustainability. Background paper, 1st Multinational knowledge brokerage event, Vienna University of Economics and Business, 30 May - 1 June 2012. */ This was a "background report" for a great workshop I attended a year ago and it only took me half a year to read it... "The main objectives are to help improve the management of potential political, social and economic contradictions of sustainable consumption with economic growth, bridge the gap between science and policy, and foster mutual understanding between the "pro-growth community" and the "beyond-growth community". /*
- Ellis, M., & Jollands, N. (2009). Gadgets and Gigawatts: Policies for Energy Efficient Electronics. OECD/IEA. */ A 400 pages long IEA (International Energy Agency†) report about consumer electronics from an energy usage/energy savings perspective. I read only the foreword and the executive summary. The implicit view purported in the report is very top-down; 1) collect information, 2) make decision and 3) convince consumers". As electronic devices have become more affordable, numbers have increased dramataically and "electronic devices have made a major contribution to the recent growth in total residential electricity use and will become one of the largest end-use categories in years to come." /*
- Malmodin, J., Moberg, Å., Lundén, D., Finnveden, G., & Lövehagen, N. (2010). Greenhouse gas emissions and operational electricity use in the ICT and entertainment & media sectorsJournal of Industrial Ecology14(5), 770–790. */ An LCA study of the global footprint of the ICT and media sectors - written by CESC colleagues of mine. Still, while the final figure (The Footprint) is both interesting and important, LCA studies are far from exiting to read. Lots of text about methodology and of (partly arbitrary) delimitations and decision taken and lots of tables (e.g. "Operational electricity (TWh) and total CO2-eq emissions (Mt) relating to ICT and its subsectors in 2007")  /*
- Seetharam, A., Somasundaram, M., Towsley, D., Kurose, J., & Shenoy, P. (2010). Shipping to streaming: is this shift green? Proceedings of the first ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Green networking (pp. 61–68). ACM. */ "we investigate the environmental- and energy-related impacts of [shipping vs streaming] of movie content delivery." Streaming a movie consumes 80% of the energy needed to ship a DVD disc, "but has a carbon footprint that is approximately 100% higher". These figures can be reduced significantly, but movies can easily balloon in size (Blu-Ray & 3D = "we can imagine future movie sizes of 150 GB"). Moreover, "Some customers might want to watch movies multiple times" - incurring no additional environmental costs in the shipping scenario but multiplying the costs in the streaming scenario. /*
- Williams, E. (2001). Environmental effects of information and communication technologiesNature479 (Nov 17, 2011), 354-358. */ Short but extremely compact text summing up the environmental effects of ICT on different levels; 1)physical level, 2) ICT applications, 3) economic growth and consumption patterns and 4) industry, technology convergence and society. "Society's response to the energy used by ICTs has focused mainly on improving the efficiency of the operational phase of devices" /*

ICT and sustainability in relation to teaching and to ICT for development (ICT4D)
Comment: a few papers I read to understand the relationship between ICT4S and ICT4D and some paper "summing things up".

- Ali, M., & Bailur, S. (2007). The challenge of “sustainability” in ICT4D–Is Bricolage the answer?Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries, São Paulo, Brazil (May 2007)*/ "We argue that sustainability is an unrealistic concept, which is difficult to operationalize". Although defining sustainability is a drag, the authors quickly set out to argue that sustainability is "contradictory to the life cycle itself, where nothing can be perpetual". After having set up this straw man, the authors slaughter it and argue that "bricolage" is the way to go. I found the thinking in this paper confused and didn't agree with the authors. /*
- Brewer, E., Demmer, M., Du, B., Ho, M., Kam, M., Nedevschi, S., Pal, J., et al. (2005). The case for technology in developing regionsComputer38(6), 25–38. */ Overview of the area ICT for development (ICT4D). "Alongside good governance, technology is considered among the greatest enablers for improved quality of life. However, the majority of its benefits have been concentrated in industrialized nations and therefor limited to a fraction of the world's population. [...] there has been little work on how technology needs in developing regions differ from those of industrialized nations." Great article. /*
- Jabareen, Y. (2011). Teaching sustainability: A multidisciplinary approachCreative Education2(4), 388–392. */ "this paper suggest a new conceptual framework for teaching sustainability that assumes the multidisciplinary nature of sustainability". I don't know where I got this article from, but I have a really bad feeling about the open-access journal where it was published. Creative Education has an "Article Processing Charge" of 800 USD for a paper of 10 pages ("You can make payment via Bank Transfer, Paypal or Western Union"). Authors in 3rd world countries ("group one countries") are not charged a fee and authors in 2nd world countries ("group two countries") are granted 50% discount. /*
- Mann, S., Smith, L., & McGregor, G. (2011). A research framework for sustainable software. Presented at the 2nd annual conference of Computing and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand (CITRENZ 2011). */ "This paper proposes a conceptual Sustainability Lens as an underlying metaphor for a research agenda in development of a sustainable approach to software development. [...] Imagine you had a pair of glasses that [...] looked at the world through a "sustainable lens". What would you see?" Implicit message: unsustainability is just an issue of not having enough information. /*
- Mann, S., Muller, L., Davis, J., Roda, C., & Young, A. (2010). Computing and sustainability: evaluating resources for educatorsACM SIGCSE Bulletin41(4), 144–155. */ "This paper aims to address a barrier to the integration of sustainability into computing teaching - that of a perceived paucity of resources. [...] This paper describes the development of a "framework" Computing Education for Sustainability (CE4S)". This is stringent study of how to analyze (ICT4S) issues, evaluate (ICT4S) resources and match (ICT4S) needs. Good article of potential practical use for educators. /*

† There's a short blurb about The International Energy Agency in the beginning of the report. IEA was established in 1974 (i.e. directly after the 1973 oil crisis) and first among its seven "basic aims" are "To maintain and improve systems for coping with oil supply disruptions". I predict they will have a tougher time living up to that aim during the next decade than they've had during the previous four decades since their founding.