The full program is available here in PDF (see also at the bottom of this page).

More details can be found below and by following the link "More information on day..." for each day.


SICT2020 aims to bridge the gap between research in ICT and the overarching and inter-related social, environmental and economic questions of our time. Intended for researchers in ICT-related fields, the first edition of this doctoral summer school will critically look at the current state of ICT, challenge its mainstream research agenda and its underlying assumptions, and discuss the role(s) ICT researchers can play to build a sustainable and desirable future in a limited world.

The program of the doctoral summer school has been built to offer a multi-disciplinary, holistic and system-view approach to sustainable ICT. From the geophysics and geopolitics of ICT raw materials extraction to sustainable and social applications of ICT in developing regions, from the economics of ICT to the energy consumption of internet data traffic, SICT2020 hopes to provide attendees with a broad yet coherent view of the current ICT ecosystem through talks, workshops, collective reflections sessions, hands-on sessions, expert panels and more!

This project does not aim at introducing specific and highly technical content. Instead, SICT2020 wants participants to take a step back from narrow and very specific system in order to zoom-out over the entire ICT life-cycle. While enabling tremendous possibilities, ICT comes together with a burden that has to be quantified, discussed and questioned. Universities exist for the long term : they have a critical role to play on long-term thinking and are responsible for growing the seeds of tomorrow. It is of decisive importance that values governing Universities differ from those dominating the for-profit world.

This is in this context that SICT2020 has been created. Some researchers and professors from UCLouvain/ICTEAM (Science & Technology) were concerned about the socio-environmental impacts of technology as much as global trend pushing towards more performances at the expense of weakened resilience. By wondering how people with different backgrounds could be gathered to question ICT impacts from several perspectives, they came up with the SICT2020 project. Indeed, UCLouvain as many other Universities bring many research fields together in one place. Improving interactions between these different fields seemed an interesting way to stimulate research on technology for needs and not for desires allowing also to better sort between what we could do and what we want to do. In order to encourage people with different skills to share with each others, interactive social workshops and collective intelligence modules are in place with ICT as common theme.


Day 1 – Building the overview of ICT

This introducing day is about providing some transversal resources that will be used by participants throughout the entire doctoral summer school. Some pieces of answer to what sustainability in ICT is will be proposed. During the afternoon, an interactive workshop called "La Fresque du Numérique" will take place with two main objectives: building a common basic overview of the ICT life-cycle and create social interactions between participants. It is also about getting them to ask questions on which the activities of the week will be based.

More information on day 1.

Day 2 – The ICT ecosystem

The day is about taking the ICT into a different light under the guidance of other cultures considerations, mainly questioning the needs and socio-economical impacts. Different economic models such as circular economy and their implication in the design phase (eco-design strategies) are considered, alongside with rebound effects impacts. The afternoon will focus on collaborative sessions about geopolitical issues related to ICT.

More information on day 2.

Day 3 – The material basis and LCA the ICT

The third day of the workshop will cover the material basis of ICT products and services. In particular, the various impacts (societal, geopolitics, environmental) of raw material production, processing, manufacturing, recycling and disposal will be discussed. The afternoon will be dedicated to LCA : theory and practice.

More information on day 3.

Day 4 – Towards post-growth and re-centered ICT

Do we really need Alexa-enabled smart shower-heads or connected fry pans? Is working on energy-efficiency satisfactory from a sustainability point of view? During the fourth day of the summer school, we will question the mainstream research agenda of ICT, and learn about unconventional and inspiring ICT research and projects. Some time will be dedicated to work in small groups in order to encourage each participant to share about the link between his own research specificity and the ICT overview. Specific eco-design tools and methodology will be provided during a workshop in order to tackle some use-cases challenges.

More information on day 4.

Day 5 – Stories and Synthesis

On the last day of the doctoral summer school, we will hear about inspiring stories of sustainable ICT projects. Finally, the participants will discuss together about how they could orientate their research towards more holistic considerations and more sustainability. In addition, a collective analysis of drivers and limitations towards science and research for positive socio-ecological impacts will be carried out.

More information on day 5.