Special Issue on Sustainable HCI Education published in IX (interactions) magazine
Recently Bonnie Nardi, Bill Tomlinson and I were invited to curate a special issue of Interactions magazine that focussed on teaching sustainable HCI. Interactions will often have a series of articles on a topical theme within a given publication and this month we put it together focussing on education.
Over the past several years, there has been a movement afoot within the academic community to develop new ways to teach Sustainable HCI. These efforts have taken a step away from incremental or individualistic forms of sustainability, which focus on issues such as efficiency, persuasive technologies, and behavior change. Instead, they are addressing societal and systemic forms of sustainability, with an awareness of the need for both the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, global limits, and the idea that the growth characteristic to industrial civilization for several centuries may not be infinite.
The topics included work from Daniel Pargman and Elina Eriksson at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and Sam Mann from Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand. We regularly collaborate with them professionally in different ways and it was great to work together again on this. We also had our own article in the issue.
Taken together, the articles present a new way to think about the relationship between Sustainable HCI and education. As a collection of articles we particularly bring up the troubling point that computing, in its present form, may be too deeply embedded in the sustainability predicament to be a productive leverage point for intervention.
So what is to be done? That is an important question and to try and address it we are also active in building a research community around the topic. The conference is called LIMITS, and it is developing research approaches to addressing the broader sustainability challenge in an interdisciplinary way. ACM LIMITS 2017 is being held in Santa Barbara this year at Westmont College.