Inderscience Publishers

How to approach the sustainable information society? Criteria and indicators as useful tools

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The development of an information society has been considered to be one route on the road to reaching sustainable development. However, the concept of a Sustainable Information Society (SIS) remains vague for many actors. To address this problem this article will highlight the central concepts of SIS, present results that consider the current use of sustainable development indicators in Finland and the policy makers' needs and views on SIS, and discuss the criteria for SIS. In addition, it will suggest two indicator sets as tools for operationalising and monitoring the development of an SIS. There are clear needs that require the development of cross-sectored indicators in order to conceptualise SIS better and to provide decision-making processes with new and better indicators. The adequacy and nature of the suggested indicator sets is also discussed and further recommendations have been made accordingly.

Keywords: sustainable information society, ICT, sustainable development, eco-efficiency, dematerialisation, immaterialisation, amaterialisation, digital balance, indicators, decision making, Finland, sustainability

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