Beyond Business as Usual

The perception that digitalisation‘s current design is not sustainable in a social, ecological, or economic sense is consensus within the Bits & Bäume movement. What drives us is the will to do better: A digitalisation that is aligned with social and ecological goals. We are aware that this change demands a systemic and political transformation. However, there are already many examples today where digital technology is really contributing to greater sustainability or technology design itself is guided by sustainability criteria. These lived alternatives are models for a practice that translates the desired values into action. They show that, despite adverse legal, bureaucratic or economic conditions, it is already possible to do business, to learn, or to care differently. The articles in this chapter showcase such practices and aim to inspire imitation. The article by Eickstädt et al. uses the Computer Science for Future programme to show how (future) developers can be sensitised to issues relevant to sustainability as part of their education. Aretz and Jungblut argue that the energy transition can only succeed if everyone is involved – and what role digital technology plays in this process. Community Supported Agriculture, in turn, is a niche practice from the agricultural sector whose upscaling requires dedicated political support for such technologies and alternative ways of producing, distributing, and consuming food, as Prause and Egger explain. Moreover, participants from a Haecksen workshop at the Bits & Bäume conference, which is presented here, emphasise that digital technology in the sense of a socio-ecological transformation must be needs-oriented and intersectional.

Anja Höfner
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