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Digital Stewardship

Digital Stewardship: Infrastructuring Waste Management Through Digital Platforms

This project will study, design and develop the integration of digital platforms and sensor technologies to support people to collectively act to care for the environment. We call this collective work ‘Digital Stewardship’.

Photo - Paweł Czerwiński - Unsplash

The need to promote sustainable interactions with our environment to reduce our impact is ever pressing, and the reduction of waste generation – through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse – is among the UN sustainable development goals. Research has started to explore the role digital technology can play, for instance, in persuading people to save energy or other scarce resources. This research has mainly focused on changing single individuals’ behaviors by merely measuring them. However, as sustainable behaviors are tied up in established socio-cultural practices, values, available infrastructures and regulations there is a need to expand the focus of study to a more collective and social dimensions of sustainable actions, and to the role that both individuals and organizations can play. It is time to base the design of interactive technologies on a more holistic understanding of how care for the environment is collectively achieved by the many people involved: e.g. private citizens along with local organizations and municipalities. This entails an understanding of how these different stakeholders act in relation to available means, values, motivations, as well as local laws and regulations.

This project will study, design and develop the integration of digital platforms and sensor technologies to support people to collectively act to care for the environment. We call this collective work ‘Digital Stewardship’. We will develop a framework that will guide technology, service designers and interested stakeholders to deliver socio-technical innovation that reduces the environmental problems of waste management within multi-apartment buildings in Sweden. This focus includes both the concerns and roles of single households and the housing cooperative running the building. By focusing on the specific environmental concern of waste management1 within multi-apartment buildings, this project addresses the problem of how care for the environment is collectively achieved, and how it can be structured and sustained through two demonstrators that integrate digital platforms and sensor technology.

Team Members

Funding

Familjen Kamprads stiftelse

Project Duration

2020 - 2023