Welcome to Computing for Sustainability.
I am interested in the nature of the sustainable perspective – the sustainable lens – that practitioners in all fields bring to their work, and how this can be applied in disciplines with great societal leverage: education and computing (particularly interaction design): hence I am active in Computing Education for Sustainability, and in Interaction for Sustainability.
This blog contains the workings of Samuel Mann. I am Professor at Otago Polytechnic, in Dunedin, New Zealand. I effectively hold two positions – I teach in computing (software engineering, interaction design) and hold the institution’s Education for Sustainability Portfolio.
Here’s the bio:
A Professor with a background in both IT and land management, Sam has developed applied IT for regional government, crown research institutes and large organisations. He has taught computing since 1994, at Otago Polytechnic Information Technology since 1997, including five years as Head of Department. Sam has published over 150 conference and journal papers in the fields of augmented experiences; sustainability; and computer education.
Sam is responsible for the development of Education for Sustainability at Otago Polytechnic where we are committed to
every graduate thinking and acting as a sustainable practitioner
This initiative recently won the ITPNZ Award for Excellence in Education for a Global Role.
Sam is working in computing to develop strategies, practices and resources for computing to contribute positively to a sustainable future. Sam led the development of the draft statement on Education for Sustainability for the ACM, which followed up on the success of New Zealand NACCQ policy and agenda on computing education for sustainability.
Sam is convenor of Sustainability in Tertiary Education in New Zealand (STENZ), a cross sector group with the vision that
In 2014, all NZ tertiary graduates will understand the principles, values, and practices of sustainability.
In 2009 Sam is the Beeby Fellow for his work in Education for Sustainability. The Beeby fellowship is a joint initiative between New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and the NZ Council of Education Research.
In 2009, Sam is one of four NZ delegates to the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development.
Sam teaches Software Engineering (using a hybrid Agile Development Framework) and manages the capstone industry projects. He and his students work on systems that harness the power of technology to help engage people with information: the goal is to make the computer invisible and to instead focus on promoting engaging experiences.
Sam is on the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications.
Sam’s current research, SimPa, works with Mäori communities to retell their stories in 3D game format (teaching Mäori kids programming in the process!).
Sam is on the national executive of the National Advisory Committee of Computing Qualifications, is editor of NZ’s premier computing conference, is chair of the Research and Support Working Group for polytechnic computing and is a Trustee of NZ Centres for Information Technology Research.
Phone: (64) 021 735 493
Full curriculum vitae (pdf)
New here? Here are the posts you should read
1. Sustainability is important
Stage 4 companies “do the right things” so that they are successful businesses. Stage 5 companies are successful businesses so that they can continue to “do the right things.”
2. with a wide definition.
3. Computing has an important role to play
with stories we can tell.
4. and things are going to change
And we need to be careful to avoid greenwash, or as Barne’s argues:
“The great virtue of the single bottom line is that it holds managers to account for something. The triple bottom line does not. It is not so much a license to operate as a license to obfuscate.”
5. There is work to be done:
6. But this needs to go beyond the operational compost
– to challenging business models, Blevis describes the ipod as a:
deliberately unsustainable act intent on driving consumption and with the clear side effect of premature disposal
In other areas, designers are challenging the role of the transparent communicator, and engineers are
recognising the need to recognise that a class of problems exist where there is simply not enough information and there are no objectively right answers
and we can learn from our colleagues.
Some are there: Logan Muller questions “computing’s heart of prostitution“.
7. and incorporate sustainability as part of the underpinning philosophy of computing
8. An every graduate approach to education for sustainability
what is the core learning?
8. Computing should be seen as an enabler of a wider movement
Computing contributes to sustainability through interactivity and awareness.
SimPa is a major project where we are working with Maori communities to retell stories in digital formats. We’re not “capturing” stories, rather building capabilities among the younger people so they can do it themselves.In a related project, we’re working to visualise the entire history of Dunedin.