Helping people who are motivated by social good to frame it in terms business will understand.
Dr Chris Preist is Reader in Sustainability and Computer Systems at the University of Bristol. In this role he is working on tools to “bridge the gap”, he hopes to help provide “a way of thinking about their concern for social good, into their professional lives”.
In this conversation we discuss how this came about in Chris’ career, this balance of technical work and deeper – perhaps spiritual – understanding. He now teaches Sustainability, Technology and Business within a computer science degree. Rather than a “litany of doom” he sees the courses as presenting ways of thinking about how to integrate social good with professional lives.
Chris and his colleagues are currently exploring crowdsourcing and gamification for the Close the Door campaign. “Normification” is the key he says, what are the mechanisms for spreading changes of social norm?
He has worked in association with Forum for the Future, working with Guardian News and Media to investigate the environmental impact of their digital transformation, with particular reference to changes in business models and customer behaviour. Prior to joining Bristol, he was Principal Scientist and Head of UK research on sustainable IT systems at Hewlett Packard Labs (HP Labs), Bristol. In this role, he led a team of 6 researchers who carried out research assessing the sustainability impacts of alternative business models for the personal computer and digital printing industry, and information management and presentation of sustainability data to enhance decision making.