ICT as an enabler of sustainability

The ICT sector has a huge potential to disrupt the status quo, create new paths to sustainable living and enable transformation, according to the report “ Connect, Collaborate, Change ”. ...

14/06/2012

Redacción

Redacción

The ICT sector has a huge potential to disrupt the status quo, create new paths to sustainable living and enable transformation, according to the report “Connect, Collaborate, Change”.

 

Forum for the Future (FFF) was commissioned by Telefónica UK to review current thinking around ICT as an enabler of sustainability, critiquing existing research and mapping the sustainability opportunities, in order to design its Think Big Blueprint sustainability strategy.

 

The report shows that ICT (Information and Communication Technology) can provide people with platforms to connect and take good ideas to scale to fundamentally alter the way we live, by enabling people to do things completely differently, using the ingenuity of the connected millions to create change together and encouraging systemic shifts in the way society operates.

 

Mobile technology is central to this shift as it is changing the way people access digital services. ICT is already demonstrating that, with more information and connectivity, people can start to do things differently. A recent report by Gartner Group estimates that the peer-to-peer financial-lending market will reach $5 billion by 2013: this is consistent with the point of view of Rachel Botsman who has estimated that the consumer peer-to-peer rental market will become a $26 billion sector. This shows that the trends have been driven by developments in ICT.

 

In addition to ICT’s direct and indirect impacts, FFF believe that the opportunity lies in systemic change, which can occur when technologies are taken to such a scale they transform social systems. Systemic change can also occur when a technology facilitates a change that was not its primary purpose.

 

Some examples about the difference between indirect and systemic impacts on our normal live like health and transport systems.

 

 

The report is part of Telefónica UK’s ambition in the UK to generate debate around sustainability and the role that ICT can play. Given today’s critical sustainability challenges, we must urgently look for disruptive ideas and solutions and inspire people to do things differently. We welcome your views.

 

Click here for the full report

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