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Research Projects

The "Digital Economy"

The nDEE supports multi-disciplinary research on the environmental impacts of the digital economy. We define the digital economy as those parts of the economy and society that are based significantly, if not entirely, on digital technologies. The digital economy encompasses a broad range of activities, market transformations, consumer patterns, and relationships that rely upon digital operations, infrastructure, and knowledge.

Our Research Priorities

Our current research priorities center on the environmental impacts of artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies, the Internet of Things, e-commerce, and digital sharing platforms. We’re especially — though not exclusively — interested in research that looks at the indirect, behavioral, and structural environmental effects of these technologies as opposed to the direct environmental effects. Direct effects address questions of energy consumption, carbon emissions, e-waste, and embodied energy, whereas indirect, behavioral, and structural effects question the environmental impacts of our digital lives, i.e. the activities enabled through the use of digital technologies. Examples include changes to efficiency, the substitution of consumer products, rebound effects, and societal transformations. These effects can often be unanticipated and require more research.

Research Projects