Back to ressources

Limits to digitalization

Courses and syllabus for my students at Sciences Po Paris

Credits: AAP IMAGE/ Dan Peled

This website gathers all the teaching materials and resources for my students from Sciences Po Paris, Public Affairs School and for the Master Governing Ecological Transitions in European Cities.

Photo by Dan Peled (AAP Image)

Course description

First, a general overview of the materiality of digital infrastructures will be presented, both through field observation and lectures. The aim is to provide a solid foundation of what is needed to manufacture, deploy, use and dispose of digital systems. Second, we are going to look at how we assess environmental impacts of the digital sector at multiple scales. It aims at giving students a literacy that will help them navigate complex discourses and, ultimately, improve decision-making. Third, this course will look into the possible futures for ICT in a sustainable world. Real case studies from infrastructure deployment in Europe and USA, industrial development in Asia, and French territorial assessment will be studied. This last part aims at providing students with strategic and planning capabilities regarding digitalization, or possibly undigitalization, in an increasingly constrained world.

Teaching materials can be seen here.

Course structure

This course is divided in 12 sessions of two hours each:

  • Crossing perspectives
  • Understanding digital infrastructures
  • Deploying digital infrastructures
  • The material conditions of ICT
  • The environmental footprint of ICT
  • The climate risks on ICT
  • Case study: Chips in Taiwan
  • Modelling indirect effects
  • Digitalizing as a risk?
  • Fostering critical thinking
  • Collective project
  • Final presentation