• Artificial Intelligence and Food Security: Swarm Intelligence of AgriTech Drones for Smart AgriFood Operations

      Spanaki, K.; Karafili, E.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Despoudi, S.; Irani, Zahir (2021)
      The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present the emerging need to explore new ways of AgriFood production and food security as ultimate targets for feeding future generations. The study adopts a Design Science methodology and proposes Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques as a solution to food security problems. Specifically, the proposed artefact presents the collective use of Agricultural Technology (AgriTech) drones inspired by the biomimetic ways of bird swarms. The design (artefact) appears here as a solution for supporting farming operations in inaccessible land, so as unmanned aerial devices contribute and improve the productivity of farming areas with limited capacity. The proposed design is developed through a scenario of drone swarms applying AI techniques to address food security issues. The study concludes by presenting a research agenda and the sectoral challenges triggered by the applications of AI in Agriculture.
    • Assessing the suitability of sustainability frameworks for embedding sustainability in higher education curricula: pragmatism versus transformation

      Druckman, A.; Mair, Simon (2021)
      Purpose. This viewpoint paper addresses the use of sustainability frameworks in embedding education for sustainability into the curriculum of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). We focus on the paradox that sustainability frameworks must facilitate transformation of existing structures whilst also being well-enough aligned with current conditions to be readily adopted by today’s HEIs. Design/methodology/approach. We propose a set of four criteria for assessing the suitability of sustainability frameworks for use across the curriculum: Relevance to Current Curricula; Language; Institutional Fit; and Concept of the Future. Using these criteria, we assess how various frameworks align with the current (unsustainable) state of affairs, and their transformative potential. The frameworks assessed are: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the Three Pillars Framework; and the Capitals Approach. Findings. We find that each of the frameworks has strengths and weaknesses: the SDGs and the Capitals Approach perform well on alignment, but less well on transformation. Conversely, the Three Pillars Framework perform well on transformation and less well on alignment. By applying the criteria set out in this paper, we hope those working to embed sustainability into the curricula of HEIs will be better equipped to navigate the tensions presented by sustainability transitions. Originality. Using a novel set of criteria for assessing sustainability frameworks, this paper provides guidance that was previously lacking to education for sustainability professionals who are attempting to embed sustainability into the curriculum at HEIs.
    • A Critical Review of the Role of Indicators in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

      Mair, Simon; Jones, A.; Ward, J.; Christie, I.; Druckman, A.; Lyon, F. (2018-01)
      The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) bring together environmental, social and economic concerns. They therefore have the potential to move society away from the dominant model of prosperity as purely economic toward a more holistic and ‘sustainable’ prosperity. But, the success of such a transformative agenda rests on its implementation. At the heart of planned implementation of the SDGs is a set of 230 indicators. Indicators have been strongly critiqued in a range of literatures. However, in the context of the SDGs, indicators have been described as ‘essential’ with little critical assessment of their role in implementation. Therefore, this chapter aims to provide this critical voice. To do this, the chapter reviews critiques of indicators from sustainability science, anthropology and sociology and provides illustrative cases of indicators implementation. From this review we are able to draw lessons for the use of indicators in SDG implementation. Specifically, the chapter argues that indicators are reductionist and struggle with contested concepts. Nevertheless, by making the operationalisation of concepts visible and enabling quantified analysis, indicators can have a useful role in SDG implementation. However, this requires that indicator critiques are taken seriously and inform indicator use.
    • Role of Smart Cities in Creating Sustainable Cities and Communities: A Systematic Literature Review

      Ismagilova, Elvira; Hughes, Laurie; Rana, Nripendra P.; Dwivedi, Y.K. (2019-01)
      Smart cities can help in achieving UN SDG. This research carries out a comprehensive analysis of the role of smart cities on creating sustainable cities and communities, which is one of 17 UN sustainable goals. Current research focuses on number of aspect of sustainable environment such as renewable and green energy, energy efficiency, environmental monitoring, air quality, and water quality. This study provides a valuable synthesis of the relevant literature on smart cities by analysing and discussing the key findings from existing research on issues of smart cities in creating sustainable cities and communities. The findings of this study can provide an informative framework for research on smart cities for academics and practitioners.