Innovation Paths for a Sustainable Information Society
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)


For sustainability-orientated innovation in the ICT sector a comparatively open method seems to be most appropriate, which is capable of linking different company units and innovation contexts, which activates learning processes and which has a long-term orientation. Roadmapping is an already established and increasingly applied foresight tool. It has been mainly used to foster technology-driven product and service developments. However, the transition towards an information society and the increasing importance of sustainability issues require product and service developments that are need and demand-driven rather than technology-driven.

The objective of the project is to further develop the instrument of Roadmapping in order to identify innovation paths for a sustainable information society. Key areas that distinguish established technology roadmapping from sustainability-oriented, integrated roadmapping are:

  • Search Scheme on Sustainable Key Innovations

  • Assessment of Side-Effects

  • Stakeholder Integration

Sustainability-oriented Roadmapping provides an essential framework for a need-driven technology development by providing intelligent and organized knowledge management and knowledge synthesis. The project is based on a broad range of empirical insights, gained in a survey of the status quo of long-term planning and sustainability management in ICT companies represented in Germany, a systematic evaluation of recent global congresses on ICT and sustainability, as well as a series of interviews with roadmapping practitioners from all over the world. As a key result guidelines "how to carry out a sustainability-oriented roadmapping" were developed.


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