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A Critical Look at the Hype and Hope of Smart Technologies for Sustainability

EasyChair Preprint no. 11605

11 pagesDate: December 21, 2023


Technological advancements, particularly in the realm of smart technologies, have sparked hope for achieving sustainable development goals. However, the narrative surrounding these solutions often oscillates between exaggerated promises and unfounded skepticism. Purpose: This systematic review critically examines the potential and limitations of smart technologies in addressing environmental, social, and economic sustainability challenges. Methods: The researcher conducted a comprehensive search of academic databases and grey literature, employing established systematic review protocols. Studies encompassing diverse applications of smart technologies across various sustainability domains were analysed. Findings: The evaluation reveals both promising advances and critical shortcomings. Smart technologies can indeed optimise resource utilisation, facilitate clean energy transitions, and empower communities. However, concerns regarding equity, data privacy, rebound effects, and technological lock-in remain significant. Recommendations: The researcher urges researchers and policymakers to move beyond the hype and critically assess the true potential of smart technologies in each context. Prioritising user-centered design, ethical data governance, and equitable access are crucial for realising sustainable outcomes. Conclusion: While smart technologies offer valuable tools for sustainable development, they remain just one piece of the puzzle. Navigating the hype and hope critically while prioritising human-centered considerations will determine whether these innovations truly advance a greener future.

Keyphrases: critical review, Economic challenges, Environmental challenges, Hope, hype, smart technologies, Social Challenges, Sustainability

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Bosco Ekka},
  title = {A Critical Look at the Hype and Hope of Smart Technologies for Sustainability},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 11605},

  year = {EasyChair, 2023}}
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