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Cognitively Sustainable ICT with Ubiquitous Mobile Services - Challenges and Opportunities

Research group:

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


The 37th International Conference on Software Engineering


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has led to an unprecedented development in almost all areas of human life. It forms the basis for what is called “the cognitive revolution” – a fundamental change in the way we communicate, feel, think and learn based on an extension of individual information processing capacities by communication with other people through technology. This so-called “extended cognition” shapes human relations in a radically new way. It is accompanied by a decrease of shared attention and affective presence within closely related groups. This weakens the deepest and most important bonds, that used to shape human identity. Sustainability, both environmental and social (economic, technological, political and cultural) is one of the most important issues of our time. In connection with “extended cognition” we have identified a new, basic type of social sustainability that everyone takes for granted, and which we claim is in danger due to our changed ways of communication. We base our conclusion on a detailed analysis of the current state of the practice and observed trends. The contribution of our article consists of identifying cognitive sustainability and explaining its central role for all other aspects of sustainability, showing how it relates to the cognitive revolution, its opportunities and challenges. Complex social structures with different degrees of proximity have always functioned as mechanisms behind belongingness and identity. To create a long-term cognitive sustainability, we need to rethink and design new communication technologies that support differentiated and complex social relationships.


author = {Marcus J{\"a}gemar and Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic},
title = {Cognitively Sustainable ICT with Ubiquitous Mobile Services - Challenges and Opportunities},
number = {37},
month = {May},
year = {2015},
booktitle = {The 37th International Conference on Software Engineering},
url = {}