The world is changing rapidly. Environmental concerns, social transformations, and economic uncertainties are pervasive. However, certain human needs remain relatively constant—things like nutritious food, clean water, secure shelter, and close human social contact. This course seeks to understand how sociotechnical systems (that is, collections of people and information technologies) may support a transition to a sustainable civilization that allows for human needs and wants to be met in the face of global change.
In this course, students will learn about how information technology works, and how humans and information technology interact. In addition it will provide students with a structured opportunity to interrogate what is important to them in life, and how communities and technologies can support those aspects of their lives.
Topics covered will include: introductions to information technology, the science behind global change, and scientific studies of human wellbeing, and a range of topical discussions such as IT for local food production, computational systems to support resource sharing, resilient currency technologies, and localized, low-energy technological infrastructure.