Create and Deploy Technology
for Social Innovation
• Research into Technology, Behaviour and Culture
• Developing Pilots and Prototypes
• Staging Public Interventions and Presentations
• Facilitate Incubation and Spin-off Products
- Artists & Scientists
Publish or Perish => Demo or Die
Definition by Brundtland Commission
“Sustainable development is development that meets
the need for the present without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
(Almost) anyone agrees that we need radical changes
to foster sustainable development, but at the moment
only small changes are feasible thanks to the political
landscape (thank God :).
Therefore we need to:
• Activate and facilitate individuals
• Expose and explain consequences of behaviour
• Accomodate differences
• Help people to discover their own relationship to the
environment, as is fit to individual life styles
Change itself needs to be sustainable.
How do we live in a technological culture
towards a sustainable future?
What should a Media Lab do?
SOCIETAL / TECHNOLOGICAL
Computers are getting smaller and ubiquitous
Use of WebX.0 tools & communities
Renaissance of the Generalist and the Craftsman
World-wide cheap infrastructures
Open Source, Open Content, Open Hardware
RFID, GPS, small and cheap Sensors
New materials: smart & bio (self healing, biometering)
New ways of energy production
Self organisation, self help, agency of groups
WHAT DO WE NEED?
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
HEALTH AND SAFETY
MEANING AND FUN
CONNECTIONS AND BELONGING
EFFICIENCY AND MONEY
How can technology help to make people aware of
the consequences of their energy use and pollution?
How to use technology to connect people, motivate
and facilitate them to act or change behaviour?
Can we use technology itself to reduce pollution levels?
Can we help people to determine their actual footprint
and attain a footprint that they feel is reasonable?
What are the drivers of change? How can a small
change lead to actual transformation?
• Level UP
• PICNIC Green Challenge
• Clean Air Challenge
• FABLAB & Green City Lab
• Power Mapping
• Personal Travel Assistant
• Free Geek (Canada)
GREEN CHALLENGE WINNER OF 2007
Fab labs are a global network of local labs, enabling
invention by providing access for individuals to tools for
You can use the Fab lab to make almost anything (that
doesn't hurt anyone); you must learn to do it yourself, and
you must share use of the lab with other uses and users.
Training in the fab lab is based on doing projects and
learning from peers; you're expected to contribute to
documentation and instruction.
Green City Lab
Julian Priest lighting his ASCI CAKE in BANFF,
Thanks to Green Citizen
Courtesy of Basel Action Network
Courtesy of Free Geek
The CleanAirChallenge helps cities improve their
air quality, by involving their inhabitants and
local businesses in the process.
Environmental actions need to be informed
Citizen measurements increase sense of control
Citizen measurements increase sense of urgency
Extra data can enhance existing data sets
Data is localized and tailored to individuals
Enhancing transparency of data use and re-use
Enhancing trust in measurements
Introducing local feedback loops
Ideal hook-ups for local and regional events
OPEN SOURCE / OPEN DATA
The sensor network targets the three parties that
can make a change to the local air quality:
citizens, businesses and local government.
These parties will be able to:
• View the air quality of their city
• View changes in the local air quality
• Use, combine and analyse the raw data
• Integrate data in other websites
• Share best practices and great ideas
• Discuss related issues
• Open Source service for integration, sharing and
visualising environmental data of any kind, e.g.
– CO2, NOx, Ozon
– Particles and dust
• Campaigns and events to involve the public
• Cross-media, on-line and mobile visualisation tools
• Low-budget sensors that can be easily set-up and
• Existing organisations
defending their positions
– Health Care Organisations
– Commercial interests
• Apparent lack of alternatives for
civilians: what to do?
• Measurement problems
• Cost and quality of sensors
• Ownership and maintenance
EXTREMELY SHORT SUMMARY
• Increase awareness and alternatives ways of conduct
• Tap into personal motivations and the rules of
• Create platforms, not one-offs
• No need to wait
• Try to team up with others to implement successful