In April of 2017, Amaterra returned to the Seventeenth International Conference on Current Issues of Sustainable Development hosted at Opole University in Poland.
The theme of the conference was “Different views on sustainable development: what is really sustainable?”
The general aims of the conference were to discuss and
- direct and indirect impacts of actions and tools aimed at sustainable development,
- methods and tools which can be used to measure these impacts,
- institutional and governmental framework for sustainable development,
- challenges for sustainable development in different sectors, e.g. transport, energy, waste management etc.,
- the role of technology in building sustainability.
The conference hoped to address one of the most important questions: do efforts and actions aimed at sustainable development really lead to sustainability?
As a result, Amaterra prepared
Amaterra’s presentation abstract:
In today’s contentious political and economic climate, sustainable development initiatives are being both promoted – as a solution to decreasing funding levels and falling support for international development programs, and undermined – in terms of an assault on scientific methods, anti-climate change rhetoric, and reluctance to innovate because of risk aversion practices due to the same decreased funding.
Amaterra’s research focused on the role of emerging mobile technologies to increase the validity, efficiency, and access to data, and the repercussions this increased access has on development programs. Further, Amaterra’s analysis and research
Despite challenges, and weaknesses observed in ongoing pilot programs utilizing mobile technologies, the promise of increased transparency, access, and validity of data offers an exciting opportunity. To not only analyze the direct impacts the technologies are having on sustainable development programs, but also to record and observe indirect impacts they are having through unexpected correlations and synergies across the private and governmental sectors (e.g. the advent of mobile money, and the use of
These synergies are helping us address the question of if sustainable development programs are yielding sustainability, and how we can utilize emergent technologies to support and enhance these outcomes.
The presentations were well-received, and Amaterra’s research and exploratory presentation on the role of mobile technologies and the opportunities and pitfalls they bring with them, particularly in the aspect of monitoring and evaluation within the development world, encouraged deeper conversation.