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Is the use of technology in HE more 'efficiently unsustainable'? (Workshop 0008)


09:00 - 10:00 on Thursday, 9 September 2010 in Room B63


8 Is the use of technology in HE more 'efficiently unsustainable'?
Richard Hall, Joss Winn


8 Is the use of technology in HE more 'efficiently unsustainable'?
Richard Hall, Joss Winn
When we speak of 'sustainability', what is it that we wish to sustain? In a future of climate change, energy depletion and low or no economic growth, what will Higher Education look like? Will our institutions and the current form of educational provision survive? This workshop will encourage participants to imagine and work towards a more ‘resilient education’. This session will provide an opportunity for both non-academic and academic staff to discuss Higher Education, its institutions, curricula and pedagogies, in the light of two external impacting factors: Climate Change and fossil fuel depletion. HEIs are significant energy consumers. Increasingly both pedagogy and the curriculum are aided and delivered through the use of ICT. University floor space is increasing to accommodate growing numbers of students. In a near-future scenario of energy scarcity, which impacts both the reliability and availability of affordable energy, as well as the need to radically shift to the use of renewable energy and extreme efficiencies, we ask: “How resilient are our educational institutions?” The workshop facilitators (Joss Winn and Dr. Richard Hall) will explain a near-future scenario in which the impacts of climate change and energy depletion on Higher Education are apparent. After a Q & A session, clarifying the scenario for participants, small groups will be challenged to ‘think the unthinkable’ and develop responses relating to the business continuity of their institutions and the continued provision of quality research, teaching and learning in an environment where absolute emissions are reduced by 80%. Participants will be encouraged to consider the most radical solutions including massive reform of curricula and the disestablishment of the national institutional model. ”It is not an exaggeration to claim that the future of human prosperity depends on how successfully we tackle the two central energy challenges facing us today: securing the supply of reliable and affordable energy; and effecting a rapid transformation to a low-carbon, efficient and environmentally benign system of energy supply. What is needed is nothing short of an energy revolution.” (IEA World Energy Outlook 2008 http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/)