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Rationale for developing a feedback system 2. Environmental effects of resource overconsumption 2.


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Health benefits of reducing consumption. Conditions for success of the system 3. Appropriate location 3. Emotional incentives. Effectiveness of real-time feedback 3. Technological requirements 4. Electricity sensors 4. Water sensors 4. Mechanical meters 4. Digital meters 4. Methods of receiving the reading 4.

Monitoring consumption 4. Gas meters 4. Oil meters 4. Displays 4.

Comparison of technologies 4. Form Factors 4. Ambient Displays. The System 5. Design 5.


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Digital and multimedia design 5. Ambient feedback display design 5.

ubECOtous Responsibility - Ambient Ubiquitous Feedback Systems Evgenia Nikolova GRIN Verlag

Redesigning the electricity meter 5. Redesigning the water meter 5. Building Blocks 5. Sensors 5. Data Loggers 5. Displays 5. Possible setups, interfaces, functions 5. Personalization and privacy 5. The motivation for this research has been triggered by the ever-growing number of reports, news, and personal observations related to unfavorable environmental changes on a global and local scale.

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Fortunately, this seems to have increased the social and personal awareness of the issue. However, this is only the first step in the right direction and a lot more still remains to be done Once we have identified the problem, it is imperative that we study it thoroughly and, most importantly, that we come up with solutions for solving or at least ameliorating it. Technology has pervaded our lives and has achieved a perceived degree of potency that might cause people to believe that it can be used to fix problems that are, in fact, resolvable in a much simpler way.

The predicted climate change is usually seen both as an immediate, short-term problem and as a long-term phenomenon, which might affect future human generations. Thus there seems to be a conflict between potential targets — cautious management and gradual decrease of resource consumption and pollutant emissions in the long run or immediate measures for fast but transitory relief of environmental damages.

Conflict management still remains at the core means of sustainable use of natural resources. Predictions are usually much more reliable in closed systems than in open ones, such as our dynamic world full of uncertainties and undergoing constant change. In other words, even though we have data and core facts, possible future developments are largely unpredictable.

Data about the current human population parameters are available and can be used to foresee future trends. However, unexpected twists and surprises may emerge. This should of course not prevent people from taking meaningful measures. In any case, decisions about the future are risky and should be treated and evaluated as risk analyses with the best of the current information and knowledge. The concept of sustainability should always involve a strong learning component [71]. Besides the purely physical and economic aspects of resource consumption, social, cultural and even historical elements come into play in the discussion about natural resources management.

The social factor is now gaining more recognition as a result of intense learning processes [71]. One major lesson is that while the final target might be unattainable for the time being, people can at least try to regulate the processes that aim towards this target. There are several theoretical and practical approaches to environmental management at large.

A particular problem in natural resource management is the need to make decisions under different types and levels of uncertainty, sometimes caused by the lack of data or the inability to accurately evaluate available data. New practices in research policies may prove helpful for sustainable use of resources. The results were interpreted and evaluated only after the research had been done.

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Now the emphasis is on ex-ante evaluation. This means that problems are defined ahead of the process and national priorities are set for the research. Both approaches might be useful today because our predictions might sometimes be rather poor and incorrect. It often comes as a surprise that some very important and influential discoveries and innovations are made unexpectedly, even by chance.

In this light, our strife for sustainability should not necessarily and by all means avoid risk. The inborn human curiosity in itself can be a powerful driving force for innovations, which are the building blocks of a sound and responsible development. Sustainability is not confined in the present. It is rather a self-correcting learning process that extends far into the future.

The Finnish innovation policy [65] recognizes the need for a balance between social, cultural and technological development. The explicit goal of the Science and Technology Policy Council of Finland is to support and encourage social and technological innovations.

Traditionally, innovation has been used to denote strictly technological advancements. Now its meaning has been extended to social innovations, as well. More specifically, those are the social innovations that could support sustainable development in its best sense. There have been multiple different attempts at defining sustainable development. In any case, the definition should not be the monopoly of any particular group pushing its own interests. The definition should be derived and used by the civil society at large. Kaivola and Rohweder believe that this is the core challenge for higher education institutions, and, in fact, also for the entire education system and the society [71].

At the end, sustainability is of the people , for the people and should also be achieved by the people.

Sir Nicholas Stern [68], former economist of the World Bank, has illustrated a positive correlation in the long run between economic activities and ecological sustainability. Otherwise, a recession comparable to or even worse than the one in the s is likely to occur in the near future. The findings in the report discard the commonly held economic argument against anti-global warming measures. Investment in new technologies could, in fact, stimulate national and global economy.

The results are encouraging because it has been clearly shown that economic and environmental sustainability are not incompatible on a national level.