ECDF Working Paper Series

Die ECDF Working Paper Series des Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) ist eine wissenschaftliche, interdisziplinäre und offene Publikationsreihe, die die vielseitigen Facetten der Digitalisierung beleuchtet. Das Themenspektrum reicht von sozialwissenschaftlichen Fächern wie Soziologie und Bildungswissenschaften über Designforschung bis zu Informatik und Ingenieurswissenschaft.

Ziel der Paper Series ist es, den Fokus auf disziplinübergreifende Forschungsprobleme, Perspektiven und gesellschaftliche Strategien zu richten, die von ECDF-Professor*innen, ihren Mitarbeitenden oder ECDF-Gastforscher*innen entwickelt wurden. Die Beiträge richten sich an Wissenschaftler*innen, politische Entscheidungsträger*innen, Unternehmen, NGOs und die interessierte Öffentlichkeit. Die Beiträge durchlaufen ein Peer-Review-Verfahren und werden Open Access unter der Lizenz CC BY 4.0 veröffentlicht.

Paper #2

Autor*innen: Diez, Tomas; Hankey, Stephanie

Titel: Changing the Nature of ‘Things’ – Design for Digitalisation & Regeneration

Sprache: Englisch

Projekt:Digitalization for Sustainability (D4S)


Abstract: This paper is the first in a series of transdisciplinary explorations. Bringing together reflections from two design and technology practitioners and educators with nearly 20 years of experience working respectively in the areas of digital fabrication, and the impact of technology on society, within leading international non-profits (the FabLab Network and Tactical Tech). The texts are a synthesis of a series of discussions, built off a shared understanding of the role of design and technology and the current challenges we as societies and as a planet face. The urgency of climate and environmental challenges invites a complex reading of design in the context of digitalisation. We need to think about design as a creative problem-solving process and as a catalyst for radically changing the nature of things. The integration of digital and hybrid solutions into design practice is an opportunity to revise approaches to design, with the potential to drive the regeneration of our natural ecosystems, and not just mitigate their destruction, moving from a human-centred to a life-centred design mode.


Paper #1

Autor*innen: Staab, Philipp; Pietrón, Dominik; Hofmann, Florian

Titel: Sustainable Digital Market Design: A Data-Based Approach to the Circular Economy

Sprache: Englisch

Projekt:Digitalization for Sustainability (D4S)

Abstract: Markets must be designed properly to serve the common good. This is particularly evident in the digital economy, where platform companies have profoundly restructured value chains over the past 20 years. The European Union is currently undertaking a major regulatory effort to better shape digital platform markets. Yet, despite unprecedented existential pressures from environmental crises, sustainability goals are barely addressed.

In this paper, we argue that the design of digital markets and information flows holds great potential for an ecological transformation of the economy. Based on a theoretical integration of the digital market design approach and the circular economy paradigm, we highlight the need for new market rules for the generation, storage, access, and use of product-related information that can help connect stakeholders and create new models for collaborative ecosystems.

Based on a literature review of the potential of data-driven sustainability measures in the circular economy, we present a policy framework that includes the specific selection criteria needed to identify relevant data as well as recommendations for data sharing obligations. We find that, rather than a data economy that focuses on tracking human behavior, more product transparency and a systematic digital tracking of goods and materials is needed in order to change production and consumption systems towards economic activity that respects planetary boundaries.