IT and Green Transitions, MSc
The course aims at giving the students an
introduction to the complexities of determining how processes of digitalisation and green transitions are entangled.
The world is facing severe social, economic and ecological challenges in relation to climate change. This situation has called for mitigation activities to be rolled out across numerous spheres of society. At the same time, digitalization appears to be rapidly increasing in many parts of the world, which means that the mitigation of climate change is difficult to imagine without digital technologies. The big question, then, is how digitalization can play an important and constructive role in creating the desired and necessary green transitions.
In this course, students will be introduced to the work of a number of researchers affiliated with the ITU’s new Center for Climate IT. The different researchers will present various perspectives on the grand challenges of connecting IT to green transitions. Researchers in the Dept. of Computer Science may for example address urban planning and energy-efficient data science. Researchers within the Dept. of Digital Design may focus on designing ’green IT’ and influencing consumer behaviour and choices toward more climate-conscious ways of living (artefacts with climate biographies, responsible infrastructures, play, and AI). Researchers within the Dept. of Business IT may focus on the conceptual, organizational, infrastructural and managerial opportunities and challenges of digital technologies in relation to climate change mitigation as both a ’business problem’ and a societal problem.
Bringing these different approaches and perspectives to bear in an interdisciplinary and cross-departmental setting affords the possibility of enriching our understanding of climate related problems and potential ways of addressing them.
The course urges students to experiment with different approaches to the relations between digitalisation and green transitions, and to think of their entanglement as a mix of mono- and interdisciplinary challenges that require new and inventive methods, tools and theories.
Students who have previously passed the bachelor course in Managing Sustainability cannot take this course
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- Describe and discuss some of the challenges that are located at the intersection of digitalization and green transitions.
- Describe and reflect upon the challenges and opportunities of different IT-based approaches to green transitions presented in the course.
- Compare the different perspectives and approaches presented in the course through an empirical climate problem or case.
- Critically reflect upon the interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities of different IT-based approaches to green transitions presented in the course.
The course is structured as a series of 12 lectures given by researchers from all three research departments at the ITU: Business IT, Computer Science and Digital Design. Each lecture will focus on a specific topic involving the challenge of how to deploy IT in relation to green transitions, and each lecture will also provide an angle for how the topic and challenge can be addressed.
The lectures are framed by an introduction (session 1) and a concluding class session (session 14), which will present and discuss conceptual tools that the students can use to connect the different lecture topics.
Each lecture is followed by exercises.
Course literature will be made available via LearnIT. As a preparation for the course we urge students to follow Climate IT news from ITU researchers and to familiarise themselves more generally with existing climate initiatives and climate research at the ITU.
Student Activity BudgetEstimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
- Preparation for lectures and exercises: 45%
- Lectures: 20%
- Exercises: 20%
- Exam with preparation: 15%
Ordinary examExam type:
C: Submission of written work, Internal (Pass / Fail)
C1G: Submission of written work for groups
Both individual and group exams are permitted (max. 3 students per group). NB – groups cannot be formed across BSc and MSc programmes but otherwise we encourage groups that are interdisciplinary.
Exam papers must be min. 8 and max. 10 pages long with +4 pages per extra team member (max teams of 3 students).
Group and individual
- Max. 3 students per group