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Shifting the maturity needle of ICT for Sustainability

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Abstract

The ubiquity of ICT means the potential of ICT4S covers a broad range of sustainability topics and application domains. However, ICT4S research can be ill positioned with regard to the complexity of transforming society in such a way that people and environmental ecologies can coexist in a sustainable system. The danger is that ICT4S becomes partitioned into a small subset of sustainability and using a limited set of the levers at our disposal. Grounded in the Mann-Bates maturity scale for sustainability this paper performs an analysis of the ICT4S conference corpus to measure how mature the research is in our field with regard to sustainability. Based on this analysis we identify areas in which the ICT4S community can begin to shift the maturity of research in order to promote sustainable futures. By applying the Transformation Mindset our article demonstrates through a series of illustrative how ICT4S can apply this mindset to shift ICT4S research towards more sustainable trajectories. This is an essential first step in taking stock, highlighting shortcomings and identifying opportunities in ICT for sustainability.