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Message posted on 11/08/2022

3x Phd Calls at the IT University of Copenhagen

Deal all,

We have three exciting PhD opportunities at the Technologies in Practice (TiP) research group at the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The successful candidates will be part of a newly funded ERC project, DecouplingIT (see call details below).

Please share the call widely in your networks and if you should have any questions, please dont hesitate to reach out to me at

The DecouplingIT project consists of a dedicated team of researchers working to ethnographically explore how (economic) growth is decoupled from climate impacts within various IT organizations around the world. The project approaches this by exploring the practices of IT enterprises and professionals who articulate climate change as a problem in need of IT-generated innovations, and in particular how they practically deploy IT with the climate in mind. Theoretically, the project will explore how sociocultural change is generated in the spaces between IT, climate change and capitalism. Job descriptions

  • PhD 1 is expected to conduct an independent ethnographic project with the Shanghai-based social enterprise Qingyue, where they are to investigate how IT professionals in practice interpret, respond to and reflect upon local mitigation initiatives through climate data analytics. The PhD-student will participate in the operations of Qingyues data-related initiatives including the monitoring of emission and pollution permission implementation in local governments, and environmental, social and corporate governance of financial institutions. Through this their focus will be on 1) how professional responsibility for the climate emerges in encounters across local and global networks working with big and open climate data, and 2) how data analytics is constructed as meaningful in relation to the dilemma of decoupling.

  • PhD 2 is expected to conduct an independent ethnographic study examining the conflicts and ambiguities produced within the Icelandic data and cryptocurrency industries as they grow their operations through the extraction of cheap fossil free energy. The study aims to investigate the relationship between the extraction of energy from resource landscapes and the extraction of cryptocurrency from digital landscapes that such energy fuels. By engaging with, for example, software developers, infrastructure specialists and IT entrepreneurs, the project is interested in how the environment becomes an object of value, reflexivity, action and conflict from the perspective of IT. The project is expected to contribute to understanding the contemporary Icelandic balancing act between climate and environment in the nexus of narratives of entrepreneurial agency, capitalist pursuit of wealth and aspirations of decoupled growth.

  • PhD 3 is expected to conduct an independent ethnographic project working in the Kenyan tech eco-system nick-named Silicon Savannah, which is an East African hub for innovation in IT solutions and digital entrepreneurship. In relation to climate change, Kenya is implicated in a variety of North-South relationships meant to mitigate climatic impacts. Solutions to the emission problems of the Global North whether high-tech (e.g. digital forest monitoring for REDD+) or low-tech (promotion of clean cookstoves for carbon offsetting) have received much attention. The study is expected to focus on IT-based responses to local climate effects such as for example the drilling of digital wells as a solution to water scarcity from frequent droughts, or the recent use of Internet of Things (IoT) concepts to reduce emissions and support circular economy approaches in handling different types of waste collection and management in Nairobi. The study can favorably be anchored in local incubator institutions, which are hailed as successful by development donors in driving local technological solutions to climate change. NB! Candidates may only apply for one of the subprojects.

Best regards


James Maguire, PhD Associate Professor Technologies in Practice Dept of Business IT| IT University of Copenhagen | Emil Holms Kanal 10, 4F21| 2300 Copenhagen| Tel: +45 7218 5097 / Mobile: +45 50497551|


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