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The ecological paradox of digital economies is the focus of a conversation between Paz Peña, a Chile-based independent consultant and activist, and Lebanese writer Joey Ayoub, host of "the fire these times", a weekly podcast dedicated to tackling the 21st century from a variety of critical perspectives (solarpunk, anti-authoritarianism, feminism, decolonialism, degrowth and postgrowth, international solidarity, and the climate emergency, among others). This episode of the podcast focuses on Pena's thematic report, Bigger, more, better, faster: The ecological paradox of digital economies, published as part of the Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) 2020: Technology, the environment and a sustainable world.

Both the report and the podcast episode explore the ecological paradox of digital economies and why it is dangerous to assume that technology can usher in solutions to the climate crisis, as digitalisation comes with its own problems, such as the ecological costs of producing information and communications technology (ICT) products. They also address the concept of degrowth, arguing that production can decrease while affording people better chances to prioritise their well-being. 

Other topics discussed in the report and the podcast include:

  • Digital economies and environmental sustainability

  • "Smart cities" and the internet of things (IoT)

  • Tech in the framework of degrowth and postgrowth

  • Artificial intelligence is a feminist issue

  • Tech is not neutral.

Listen to the podcast here:

Read Paz Peña's full GISWatch 2020 thematic report here.

Read the full GISWatch 2020 report here.