Information and communication technologies (ICT)

A common sense review of the future shaped by ICT/IT

Over the last few years, information technology's impact on society has become a hot topic. It is clear that in the coming decades information and communication technologies (ICT or IT) will affect and reshape most parts of our society.

It will come to radically influence the global economy, and, to an unknown degree, our culture and the way we perceive the world, our relationship to it, and our actions.

Although ICT will have an enormous effect on tomorrow's society, surprisingly little research has been conducted regarding its future environmental consequences. Most of the work that has been done has reached one of two opposing conclusions: either ICT will bring only good things, from solutions to world hunger, the elimination of all transportation problems and a revitalised democracy.

Or it will bring nothing but problems, accelerating resource consumption, introducing new toxic materials and resulting in greater inequity by introducing a digital divide that will worsen the already unequal distribution of wealth and influence.

Go beyond these polarised perspectives
The first challenge, if we want to tackle the challenges surrounding ICT for the future, is to go beyond these polarised perspectives.

ICT is a tool that constitutes a new infrastructure, changing the way our societies function, while its technical applications will give us totally new opportunities to both preserve the best elements of our society, and develop new and better solutions to our existing problems.

As a whole, ICT is best viewed as a catalyst that can speed up current negative trends, or alternatively contribute to a shift towards sustainable development.

No one knows specifically what role it will play in the future, but we know that it will be significant and that our decisions today will influence the direction in which it will develop tomorrow.

 / ©: Dennis Pamlin
Download the paper "A five-step-plan for a low carbon urban development -Understanding and implementing low carbon ICT/telecom solutions that help economic development while reducing carbon emissions"
© Dennis Pamlin
Web-tool / ©: Dennis Pamlin
Click HERE to try the interactive web-tool and see how much global CO2 we can save by smart use of virtual meetings and telecommuting.
© Dennis Pamlin
 / ©: Dennis Pamlin
Download the first global strategy for CO2 reductions with IT: A billion tonnes of CO2 reductions and beyond through transformative change (SCREEN VERSION LARGE FILE) PDF 9.5MB (PRINT VERSION SMALL FILE) PDF 2.3 MB
© Dennis Pamlin
 / ©: WWF-ETNO
Download the Roadmap Saving the climate at the speed of light PDF 1.42MB
© WWF-ETNO
The report "Sustainability at the Speed of Light" is a contribution from WWF to the discussion about ICT in tomorrow's society.

We asked some of the best experts in the world to contribute with a chapter in which they describe the role of ICT for Sustainable Development in their respective fields.

It is an attempt to bridge the gap between the ICT experts and the policy makers in both politics and business.

It is WWF's firm belief that these groups, together with the rest of society, need to talk more frequently and openly to each other if we want to create a sustainable framework for the ICT-development.
Download the report: 'Sustainability at the speed of light' PDF 2.4MB
  • Climate Care Day logo / ©: Arkadin /WWF

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