Combining Design Thinking and the Socio-Technical-Ecological Systems Perspective to Understand Greenhouse Growers’ Experiences with Energy Management Solutions

Corbett, Jacqueline
Lakshmi, Vijaya
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Multiple threats to sustainability are driving the need to grow food in controlled environments, such as greenhouses. However, greenhouses consume large quantities of energy for lighting, heating, and ventilation, which places additional strain on the natural environment. For both business and environmental benefits, greenhouses must pursue sustainable energy management solutions. Combining design thinking with the socio-technical-ecological systems (STES) perspective, we analyze the greenhouse grower’s journey from awareness of potential solutions to post-implementation use. Our approach offers a novel way to understand the problem space. We find that sustainable energy management is more than a technical or even socio-technical challenge; it also involves important ecological considerations. However, ecological and social concerns are less evident in the grower’s journey as compared to the physical and information technology dimensions. The research and development of sustainable technology solutions would benefit from giving equal attention to these three systems and the interactions between them.
Analytics and Decision Support for Green IS and Sustainability Applications, agriculture, design thinking, energy management, green is, sustainability
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