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      Keynote: Sorry Engineers, but Sustainability Means Lifestyle Change (And only the psychologists can save us)

      First International Workshop on Expressive Interactions for Sustainability and Empowerment (EISE 2009) (EISE)

      Expressive Interactions for Sustainability and Empowerment

      29 - 30 October 2009

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          The world is in the process of adjusting to the misfortune of ecological limitations. It’s nice to caulk your windows. It’s nice to use CFL bulbs. It’s nice to use electric cars. BUT THERE ARE TWO BILLION PEOPLE IN THE EMERGING MARKETS THAT WANT TO LIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM TOO. What are you going to tell them?

          Even the most forward looking models of advanced engineering are just part of the process of denial and negotiation. In the end we will have to live differently. We will have to use less stuff. OH NO!

          But actually, more stuff does not make us happier. So it is really not that bad. I’ll prove it with data.

          We can predicate what this lifestyle will look like because we know it will have to be sustainable (with a smaller ecological footprint) and because people will still try to be happy. I’ll give you a list of changes to expect (and that are mostly happening already). There is no question that there will be these types of changes.

          But they can be either apocalyptic or ‘light and connected’. It is the job of the persuasion engineers to make the new lifestyle aspirational. Persuasion engineers go us into this mess by making mega-consumers. They can also get us out. It they don’t, we will enter a dark and frugal age of misery.

          Interestingly, to succeed with a changed customer and employee ecosystem companies will have to change radically. The ‘Light and Connected’ lifestyle requires different banking, and cars, and telecommunication, and schools, and, and and…pretty much everything will need to change. Designing and persuading people to live in the new ‘Light and Connected’ lifestyle is our job for the next few decades. We best move out of denial and get started.

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          Author and article information

          October 2009
          October 2009
          : 1
          CEO of Human Factors International Inc

          © Eric M Schaffer. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. First International Workshop on Expressive Interactions for Sustainability and Empowerment (EISE 2009), London, UK

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          First International Workshop on Expressive Interactions for Sustainability and Empowerment (EISE 2009)
          London, UK
          29 - 30 October 2009
          Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
          Expressive Interactions for Sustainability and Empowerment
          Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
          Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
          Electronic Workshops in Computing


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