ICT and the UN Sustainable Development Goals


Guest Editors


• Daniel Pargman (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
• Neha Kumar (Georgia Tech, USA)
• Mikael Anneroth (Ericsson Research, Sweden)
• Elina Eriksson (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)


Important dates


• Deadline: June 30, 2017 -> July 24, 2017 (extended)

• Notification to the authors: September 30, 2017

• Camera ready paper: October 31, 2017

• Publication of the special issue: end of November, 2017




Sustainability is the most important global challenge for the 21st century. While interest in sustainability is increasing within computing, it is not particularly difficult to claim that we currently do too little, and perhaps at times also the wrong things. It can be daunting for researchers to tackle global problems such as climate change, famine and biodiversity loss (Steffen et. al. 2015, Raworth 2012), to name just a few of the large issues the world is and will continue to grapple with during the remainder of this century. Still, developing a sustainable society does not refer only to “other” (non-computing) areas such as transportation, heating and food, but also to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) since ICT has become an integral part of all areas in society. But how does ICT contribute to a sustainable society, and, what are we aiming for?
In September 2015, the UN formally adopted a set of global goals the succeeded the  Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015). The new Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs, see further https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) consist of 17 overarching goals, aiming at accomplishing sustainable development for people and the planet by 2030. The SDGs thus address ecological as well as social and economic sustainability and they are to a higher extent also applicable to the whole world rather than just to the developing countries in the global south. Since the Sustainable Development Goals are more ambitious and broader than the Millennium Development Goals it however also becomes more difficult to measure and track progress.
In this IxD&A focus session, we want to engage everyone who is interested in working towards a sustainable future in terms and using the UN SDGs as a starting point. How can ICT be inspired by, and contribute to these goals? What should we do more of, and, are we doing the right things (Brynjarsdottir 2012, Silberman 2014, Knowles 2014)? In what areas should we form partnerships in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and with whom should we form these partnerships? This IxD&A focus session builds upon a workshop that was held at the NordiCHI 2016 conference (Eriksson et. al. 2016).



• Brynjarsdottir, H., Håkansson, M., Pierce, J., Baumer, E., DiSalvo, C., & Sengers, P. (2012). Sustainably unpersuaded: how persuasion narrows our vision of sustainability. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 947-956). ACM.

• Eriksson, E., Pargman, D., Bates, O., Normark, M., Gulliksen, J., Anneroth, M., & Berndtsson, J. (2016). HCI and UN's Sustainable Development Goals: Responsibilities, Barriers and Opportunities. In Proceedings of the 9th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (p. 140). ACM.

• Knowles, B., Blair, L., Walker, S., Coulton, P., Thomas, L., & Mullagh, L. (2014). Patterns of persuasion for sustainability. In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Designing interactive systems (pp. 1035-1044). ACM.

• Raworth, K. (2012). A safe and just space for humanity: can we live within the doughnut. Oxfam Policy and Practice: Climate Change and Resilience, 8(1), 1-26.

• Silberman, M., Nathan, L., Knowles, B., Bendor, R., Clear, A., Håkansson, M., Dillahunt, T. & Mankoff, J. (2014). Next steps for sustainable HCI. interactions, 21(5), 66-69.

• Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S.E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E.M., Biggs, R., Carpenter, S.R., de Vries, W., and de Wit, C.A., et. al. (2015). Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347(6223), 1259855.







Topics of Interest


We particularly welcome contributions that not only describe a particular study and relates it to the SDGs but that also critically engages with the relationship between ICT and the SDGs. We welcome contributions from (but not limited to) HCI, interaction design, design, STS and ICTD. For further questions, please contact the editors.


Topics may include but are not limited to:

• ICT solutions that engages one or more SDGs

• Work that critically discusses important topics not covered by the SDGs

• The Interconnectedness of the SDGs in relation to ICT

• Bridging global goals (SDGs) in terms of scaling and operationalizing them to make them possible/easier to address

• The challenge of working with long-term goal in the context of ICT which emphasizes speed and results

• On possible tension and contradiction between different SDGs

• The connection between socio-technical systems and the SDGs

• Methods for monitoring progress in reaching the SDGs (for example utilising Big Data)


Submission procedure 


All submitted manuscripts must be original and should not be under review by another publication.

The manuscripts should be submitted anonymized either in .doc or in .rtf format. 
All papers will be blindly peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Perspective participants are invited to submit one file where page one is a cover page (with title, list of authors and contact information) and page two has the title of the paper but no other identifying information. The lenght of the fully anonymized paper should be between 8 and 20 pages paper all included (e.g. title, abstract, all tables, figures, references, etc.). 

The paper should be written according to the IxD&A authors' guidelines .

Submission page -> link
(when submitting the paper please choose Domain Subjects under: 'IxD&A special issue on: ICT and the SDGs')

For scientific advices and for any query please contact the guest-editors:


• pargman [at] kth [dot] se
• neha [dot] kumar [at] cc [dot] gatech [dot] edu
• mikael [dot] anneroth [at] ericsson [dot] com
• elina [at] kth [dot] se

marking the subject as: “IxD&A focus session: ICT and the SDGs”.