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COMPUTING OUR WAY TO PARADISE? CHAPTER 9 Redefining Reality, Transforming Values Ekaterina Pulatova.

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Presentation on theme: "COMPUTING OUR WAY TO PARADISE? CHAPTER 9 Redefining Reality, Transforming Values Ekaterina Pulatova."— Presentation transcript:

1 COMPUTING OUR WAY TO PARADISE? CHAPTER 9 Redefining Reality, Transforming Values Ekaterina Pulatova

2 If efforts to protect the planet and its peoples from environmental harm are to be effective, they will have to follow that shift in power... downstream to the ideologies, symbols, relationships and practices that drive consumption. (Conca, 2001, 55)

3 ICTs might just offer the model and opportunity to realize this goal Here’s the opportunity: if ICTs can be used as a tool to shape unsustainable behavior, why could they not be used just as effectively as a tool to shape more sustainable behavior?

4 FORGING AHEAD Problem of the large centrally controlled and managed energy and electrical grids: Vulnerability Solution: Distributed electrical networks

5 FORGING AHEAD Better situation analysis – understanding the big picture The importance of a distributed structure and the role ICT’s can perform in such structure for providing a more sustainable future

6 FORGING AHEAD A distributed democratic organic structure would nurture: Superior resiliency Flexibility Security Equality and long-term sustainability Balancing demand and supply right down to the smallest devices

7 FORGING AHEAD Using ICTs, such a network could function autonomously smoothing and lowering peaks across regions and throughout the day shifting power matching supply and demand shutting off and turning on power where and when necessary distributing production constantly reevaluating and assessing system states and trends automatically reorienting the system as required

8 FORGING AHEAD Jeremy Rifkin believes the confluence of new energy and communications frameworks have been accompanied by decisive transformations in human history. First industrial revolution Merging of steam power with printing, leading to increased literacy Second industrial revolution The result of merging oil and the telegraph, started the economic powers, that have generated incredible global wealth and distribution networks

9 FORGING AHEAD The third industrial revolution Using the distributional democratic potential of the Internet as an analogy, Rifkin and others envision a distributed, democratic energy grid. ICT only offer a potential to democratically redistribute social wealth and restructure society

10 THE FOUNDATION The shift to sustainability will come when the current conceptualizations of the smart grid allegiance shift from growth to degrowth—toward more sustainable consumption Frederick Soddy suggested five important policy prescriptions: abandon the gold standard let international exchange rates float use federal surpluses and deficits as macroeconomic policy tools that could counter cyclical trends establish bureaus of economic statistics (including a consumer price index) in order to facilitate this effort money cannot be created by private institutions at will in an exponential and continuously expanding manner

11 THE FOUNDATION ENERGY BECOMES NEW CURRENCY Our well-being and social framework will be linked with the real world—no longer guided by bits and bytes that represent mere numbers on a globally connected network of abstract money-creating systems. Our economy will be linked to the fundamental needs of the planet and the social structures that we nurture and create.

12 TRANSFORMATIONS Our challenge: We have been attempting to splice a new merging phenomenon, the significance of which nobody can yet fully appreciate or begin to understand its full implications onto an old, industrial-era set of instructions, structures, processes, expectations, lifestyles, and values.

13 What we need to do for sustainable consumption? We have to stop thinking about ICTs and globalization as new tools to be applied in the old way, for global economic growth. We must now open up our minds and be the future we can be, the emergent global phenomenon that unites humans everywhere with their environment and each other in a global currency compatible with ecological and social systems to propel our species toward sustainable consumption.

14 What we need to do for sustainable consumption? we must transform the social framework upon which society is constructed to one of degrowth from one of growth Using ICTs, continental electrical grids could share electricity as simply as ICTs share information over the Internet today We need not only create sustainable consumption, we also need to hold it

15 Reality New currency – energy New currency is electronic currency For example PayPal, digital cash and currency, e-wallets We now need a new social contract to replace the old, disintegrating past ICTs are an available and critical tool that can now forge the foundation to enable, construct, and align values with ecological and social realities

16 Reality It is essential to stop thinking of ICTs as an extension of the twentieth century industrial era to be grafted onto the old global growth economy. The power of ICTs in the anachronistic structures we have are rapidly catching up to us in surprising and unintended ways. The emerging supra-organism we have created through ICTs must be recognized for the culturally disruptive and marvelously empowering opportunity it is. We need to take those sparks and forge a new reality that accommodates the physical realities of our world and the ecosystems that enable life to exist on this planet.

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