lördag 18 oktober 2014

Sustainability and Media Technology 2014 line-up

About this time last year I published a blog post with a list of all the (guest) lectures in my course DM2573 "Sustainability and Media Technology". This blog post does the very same for this year's course. The last lecture (wrap-up and course evaluation) was held only yesterday and the only thing now remaining is to grade the exam and to report the results. We have changed the course contents significantly this year so the majority of the lectures below are new for this year.

The course once more ended with a "gripe session" where we got a lot of feedback that will help us improve the course for next year. I hope me and Elina will once more write a paper about the course and submit it to a suitable conference. We have written two papers this far; "'It's not fair!': Making students engage in sustainability" and "ICT4S reaching out: Making sustainability relevant in higher education". I can see four different possible angles for a new paper right now but the fourth requires a somehow more extensive explanation (below):
1) a paper about our use of the GaSuCo board game that we have used in the course,
2) a paper that utilises the (literally hundreds of) seminar questions the students have submitted in the course,
3) a paper focusing on this year's use of social annotations systems in the course.
4) see below

Idea number 4 was inspired by listening to a podcast interview with Chris Martenson (Extranvironmentalist #81, Sept 2014, 81 minutes into the show). Chris said that during the last five years, he has come to realise that he is not in the information-sharing business, but rather in the belief-challenging business. Those two businesses are very different. Beliefs are not changed by information. Changing your own or someone else's beliefs rather has something to do with some sort of "emotional processing". This raises the question of what business we are in when we teach a course about sustainability. We share a lot of information that is potentially very worrisome for the students taking the course, but what are we - as teachers - supposed to do then? Leave them dangling and let them take care of it themselves? Or do we have a responsibility to - in some way - take care of their "emotional needs"? As university teachers we can do seminars, but a course at a technical university is not a "retreat", not an ashram and not a support group. If we tried to turn a course into any of those things, we would quickly land in trouble! I'm a researcher. I can read up and I can share facts and to some extent also my opinions about this-and-that, but, how good am I at meeting my students' emotional needs? 'Not very' I would say. This is something worthy of further reflection, and why not in the shape of a text?

Below is the 2014 line-up for our course (16 lectures + 1 panel).

------------ DM2573 - Sustainability and Media Technology - lectures ------------

Daniel Pargman (Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Media Technology, KTH/MID) and Samuel Mann, Associate Professor at Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand,
"Course introduction"
"Why sustainability is important for you!"

Josefin Wangel, Ph.D., Researcher at KTH/Division of Environmental Strategies Research (FMS),
"Sustainability and Sustainable Development - Defining the concepts"

Elina Eriksson, Ph.D., Researcher at KTH/Media Technology and Interaction Design (MID),
"Climate change and planetary boundaries"

Daniel Pargman, KTH/MID,
"Global resource challenges and implications for ICT and media"

Daniel Pargman, KTH/MID and Christian Remy, PhD Student at the People and Computing Lab at the University of Zürich

Pella Thiel, The Transition Network and Common Cause,

Cecilia Katzeff, adjunct professor at KTH/MID,

Marcus Nyberg, senior researcher at User Experience Lab at Ericsson Research,
"A networked society contributing to positive change"

Jorge Zapico, Post-doctoral researcher at KTH Centre for Sustainable Communications (CESC) and at the Linnaeus University,
"Data for sustainability"

Karin Edvardsson Björnberg, Assistant Professor of environmental philosophy at the KTH/Division of Philosophy and Elisabeth Ekener Petersen, PhD at KTH/FMS,
"Social sustainability and ICT"

Daniel Berg, PhD student in Economic History at Stockholm University,
"From Credit Crunch to Climate Crunch - How the ecology is acknowledged to suffer from overconsumption, and the economy is uniformly said to suffer from underconsumption"

Greger Henriksson, Senior Researcher at KTH/FMS and Björn Hedin, Ph.D., KTH/MID,
"Sustainability and behavioural change"

Daniel Pargman, KTH/MID,
"Rebound effects"

- Concluding panel discussion"Images of the future"
ModeratorDaniel Pargman, KTH/MID. 
Peter Nöu, Senior Program Manager at The Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova)
Ambjörn Næve, Senior Researcher, KTH
Erica Öhlund, PhD student in Environmental Science, Södertörns Högskola

Daniel Pargman (teacher) and Elina Eriksson (assistant teacher)
Wrap-up of the course and gripe session

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