Advance ICT Keynote on IoT and Sustainability

Delighted to be able to participate with my keynote talk in the SFI Centre for Research Training in Advanced Networks for Sustainable Societies (ADVANCE CRT) annual event.  Where I talked about the role of ICT and IoT in achieving a more sustainable future, and why many existing ‘efficiency’ narratives are simply too limited and just contribute to a discourse of delay.  Slides are now available on slideshare.

Digital detox – rethinking data centre design (podcast)

Delighted to see our podcast interview with Hoare Lee published yesterday, drawing on our Patterns article and the Royal Society DTAP report.  Kelly and I talking about the energy and carbon impacts of ICT, and reflecting on how we might start to think about accounting and governing this.  We definitely namecheck Kelly’s new project (Paris-DE) focusing on ‘Paris compliant computing’ (read more).

Podcast context: “A digital detox is a common new year’s resolution, and the planet needs one on an industrial scale – our everyday internet actions contributing considerably to the climate emergency.”

The real climate and transformative impact of ICT

As part of a research project involving Adrian and I, we recently published a paper at Patterns on ‘The real climate and transformative impact of ICT: A critique of estimates, trends, and regulations’. 

In this paper, we find that ICT forms somewhere between 2.1-3.9% of global greenhouse gas emissions when ICT’s full supply chains and environmental impacts are considered. We also uncover the assumptions that underpin experts’ estimates of ICT’s environmental impact, explore ICT trends which could increase the sector’s emissions, and find that sector-wide compliance is required to ensure ICT aligns with the Paris Agreement.

Read the full paper here. This work was also picked up by major news outlets including the Telegraph, the Times, Yahoo News,, the Daily Mail UK, MSN and BBC Radio 4!

Talk on impacts of ICT to ISMB special session on ‘Computational Biology going Green’

Really enjoyed my talk and panel discussion at ISMB on considering impacts of both AI on energy footprint, but also the wider impacts of academic practice including conferences. [Talk slides].  I followed excellent and thought provoking talks by Roy Schwartz stressing increased need for reporting of computational budgets, and making efficiency an evaluation criterion for research alongside accuracy and related measures (toward ‘Green AI’); and Loïc Lannelongue on their ‘green algorithms’ project (link) – which estimates the energy/carbon intensity of AI on GPU clusters given a set of parameters.

PDRA advertised work with us! Closes 14th Feb

We’re looking for a Research Associate to work on the development of novel software tools to help businesses analyse multi-dimensional energy and contextual data within the recently awarded, £1.6M EPSRC “Reducing end use Energy Demand in Commercial Settings Through Digital Innovation” programme, together with a number of major UK industrial partners. Closes 14th Feb. Find out more.

Call for participants for ‘ICT Prioritisation’ project

In the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, we are conducting a study into how ICT (Information Communication Technology) researchers and technologists prioritise and negotiate ICT innovation for sustainable future.

If you are a researcher or technologist in the ICT sector, please consider participating.

The study consists of a short demographic survey and an online group interview with other researchers/technologists via Teams. The group interview will last no longer than an hour, will be scheduled at a time to suit you and the other participants, and will involve:

– reflecting on your experiences of working in ICT,

– discussing what innovation topics you and other participants think the ICT sector should prioritise, including a ‘prioritisation exercise’ to help you negotiate and make these decisions collectively as a group,

– and your feedback on the ‘prioritisation exercise’.

As a thank you for your time, a £10 Amazon voucher will be given to you.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the primary researcher:

Kelly Widdicks