What We Do
In our world where technology proliferates throughout all areas of life, the impact on the way humans interact with our physical environment is changing at a rapid pace. As new digital technology innovations develop, we have the opportunity to learn more about the world around us. These developments, mediated by technology, will drastically reshape our understandings and our subsequent interactions with the world around us.
Led by Dr. Karen Bakker at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, our research team documents and investigates these technologies in order to provide a comprehensive assessment of how they shape the world around us. Our Digital Planet platform provides a comprehensive catalogue of environment-oriented technological innovations: from citizen science apps to drones, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and many more, our database shows a real-time index of how technology is being used to model, monitor and regulate ecosystems across the globe.
The project is motivated by three questions: Could the tools of the Digital Age be mobilized to solve the critical socio-environmental challenges of the Anthropocene, such as biodiversity loss, climate change, and water insecurity? What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of Big Tech’s sustainability agenda? And given the dangerous appeal of utopian technology-driven futures, how could we design more inclusive, equitable alternatives?
By working with researchers, practitioners, educators and policymakers, our project encourages the mobilization of digital technologies to create a positive impact on environmental governance. By studying digital tools and environmental data through a critical lens, we hope to contribute to the canon of environmental knowledge to better understand the complex relationships between humans and our surrounding environments.
As we experience the Anthropocene, societies are becoming more aware of the extent to which human activities have impacted the environment to which constitute this distinct geological change. We believe that, with appropriate safeguards, the tools of the Digital Age can help us address some of the most pressing issues of this new geological era. With the Digital Planet platform, we aim to inspire and educate people on the challenges we face today and explore potential solutions.