Version 3.2

Patterns for digital degrowth

Concrete strategies for designing low-tech digital infrastructures

In the face of multiple crises, digital technology is widely considered central to the development of a green capitalism in which efficiency gains and „dematerialisation“ would allow industrial societies to decouple their resources use from their material wealth. But if digital technology has become a pilar of the green growth project, what could be the strategy of the degrowth movement regarding its development?

With the advent of cheap devices and the internet, digital technology has promised democratisation and decentralised control – and failed to deliver. It remains far from any concept of low-tech necessary to build a degrowth-based future. Yet in contrast to, say, nuclear power, very few would advocate for a future without computers.

What we need now is to rebuild our technological imaginary and envision not just a different use of existing digital infrastructures, but entirely different infrastructures. Achieving this will require „patterns“ for designing low-tech hardware and software and recombining parts of the existing infrastructures towards degrowth. This session will try to convey basic knowledge of digital technology and to sketch and discuss possible patterns.

This interactive workshop will mix inputs (introducing key concepts for the design of digital infrastructures) and group discussions about patterns and possible strategies (based on the chapter on digital technology from the book „Degrowth & Strategy“).

No technical knowledge is required to participate in the discussion. The workshop is meant to empower participants to actively discuss the future of a low-tech digital technology rather than view its current misdevelopment as a fatality.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 16:30
Duration: 01:30
Room: ZV-8-5
Type: Non-academic Session
Theme: Technology and science for degrowth


Concurrent Sessions