Roegen Centre for Sustainability
The Roegen Centre aims to contribute to an environmentally sound and societally just digital transition.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) protrude more and more sectors of our economies and societies, bringing about the ‘digital transformation’ – or ‘digitalisation’ in short.
Given its profound impact in numerous sectors, digitalisation has important societal, environmental and economic potentials. These can be either beneficial or detrimental to sustainable development or can lead to conflicting goals and trade-offs.
At the same time, humankind faces unprecedented environmental challenges such as biodiversity loss, irreversible land degradation, resource depletion, and the climate crisis. They demand urgent attention and innovative solutions.
Understanding the synergies between digitalisation and sustainability is crucial as it offers a pathway to mitigate environmental impact and promote sustainable practices.
As an IT and sustainability researcher, Vlad Coroama has invested his entire experience and expertise into creating the Roegen Centre as part of a collective effort to deploy digitalisation for a more sustainable future. In this context, his main research interest lies in exploring the mechanisms through which digitalisation can save resources, energy and emissions, and how to best exploit this potential, while understanding and avoiding the counteracting rebound effects.
While these (positive and negative) indirect effects of digitalisation are arguably the more important levers at our disposal, the direct footprint must be understood as well.
At the Roegen Centre, we deploy various methods such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to ascertain the digital footprint of ICT, including its main current drivers such as streaming, blockchain, cloud computing and in particular artificial intelligence (AI).
Beyond the environmental aspects, our research extends to the societal consequences of digitalisation, with particular attention to ensuring a just transition for all, employing the innovative framework of Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA). Finally, we highlight both the synergies but also the conflicts and trade-offs between desirable and detrimental effects that often occur.
Our team includes experienced researchers and scientists who are committed to advancing knowledge and understanding in this field. We work with a wide range of partners, including universities, NGOs, and businesses, to develop and implement sustainable solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges.
Founder of the Roegen Centre for Sustainability (RC4S), Vlad contributed for the past 20 years to explore the complex relation between computing and sustainability. He contributed both methodologically and with concrete assessments to the environmental impact of ICT, assessing the indirect effects of digitalisation, and analysing synergies and trade-offs between the environmental and societal dimensions. Previously, he held research and teaching positions in Switzerland (ETH Zurich, Empa), Brazil (University of São Paulo), Portugal (Instituto Superior Técnico, Coimbra University), Sweden (KTH Stockholm), and Germany (TU Berlin).
Data Analyst with a Creative Twist
Proficient in data research and analysis, Oana also has the soul of an artist. Skills in data visualization and trend interpretation allow her to uncover meaningful insights and patterns within datasets. Passionate about sustainability both environmentally and emotionally, she plays upon words to tell meaningful stories and utilizes recyclable materials in her microart to illustrate how creative endeavors can foster sustainable behaviors and promote a greater awareness of sustainable living practices. She is also responsible for the online identity of the Roegen Centre and its social media channels.