Sustainability, Equity, and Digital Culture

This cluster investigates digital life in relation to environmental, socio-cultural, and economic sustainability.


Digital life is interrelated with natural environments, cultural identities, food and energy systems, politics, and economic systems. These relations have implications for the ‘sustainability’ of these systems but also perpetuate inequities within them. Inequities, in turn, can impact the sustainability of systems. The goal of this cluster is to study these ideas of sustainability and inequity in a digitally mediated global system. Topics and questions are therefore wide-ranging.

How do digital identities mediate environmental behavior and politics? How is environmental politics played out in digital space? What are the environmental and social impacts of mining/extracting the minerals and energies required to make digital life possible? How can Indigenous peoples use digital technologies for cultural revitalization? How do digital technologies relate to food security and food sovereignty? How do digital politics and economics impact the environment? How do we promote inclusive policy-making in a digital world? Do digital technologies exacerbate ideological divides that make our political system unsustainable? Can digital technologies be used to nurture healthy pluriversal democracy? Are digital technologies just another tool to colonize marginalized groups and environments? How can we ensure that efficiencies generated by digital technologies support environmental sustainability instead of increasing environmental degradation? How can digital technologies be used to support well-being in inclusive and environmentally sustainable communities?


Timothy MacNeill is Senior Teaching Professor of Political Science and Director of Sustainability Studies at Ontario Tech University.