Sustainable issues for digital economy


Marie-Anne Magnac is a co-fonder of « Women in the digital business », a non-profit organization. For second grade students, Magnac teaches digital revolution and HR, marketing, communication and addresses the significance of gender balance in innovation for digital business.

The aim of the course is to raise awareness on the systemic issue of the digital eco-nomy on the ecology. 
Starting with key figures and facts on the ecological footprint of the digital economy, as well as the digital sobriety principles, Magnac will then present the big picture of how the digital civilization is leading our societies, and focus on the negative impact on climate change and biodiversity. Looking at the stakes of digital sobriety in corporations, and for society in whole, is the main purpose of this course. 
The course is divided into seven sections lasting 3 hours each. Theoretical knowledge together with collective workshops will give students an in-depth understanding of the course’s purpose. 
Pedagogical approaches: The course is divided into seven sections lasting 3 hours each. Each section com-prises theoretical teachings combined with students’ research and oral presentations. To validate the course, students are requested  to produce a highly creative collaborative project with their peers. 
Course policies :In person attendance throughout the course and punctuality is mandatory.

  • Frédéric Bordage: « The sobriety principles »
  • Guillaume Pitron: "The rare metals war»
  • Edgar Morin: «  On complexity »
  • Bruno Patino : « The goldfish civilization »
  • Emmanuel Faber « On a climbing route »
  • Bruno Latour: « Where am I ?» and «  Where do we have to land ?»
  • Cynthia Fleury: « The end of courage »
  • Other books will be suggested in class.



with today’s smartphone manufacturing, the course looks at the increasing deteriora-tion of the digital on the environmental , and  the concept of « attention economy », namely how can we lessen our digital dependency and regain control of our digital usages. 
We will start by analyzing the digital environmental footprint before discussing the digital sobriety principles, by defining the « IT for green » policy in regard to  sobrie-ty at the heart of social and economic issues. 
he social and economic challenges at stake for the digital business imply a systemic approach. The responsibility of corporate players in the digital economy is immense as we consider their social and societal negative externalities.
In fact, this systemic approach is clearly illustrated within the 17 Sustainable deve-lopment goals defined by the UN to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. Here we consider prosperity in regard with digital economy. As an example, the course focuses on gender equality to demonstrate why it is a key principle for a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. With this in mind, companies and citizens must act as huge promoters for gender balance and women empowerment
This global approach compels companies to rethink their business-models to build more sustainable business models and meet young generations‘ expectations.  New business models comprehension is a key issue as companies must consider innova-tion as a tool but not as a purpose. 
For society as a whole, redefining progress to trigger new citizen behaviors is crucial, for example, the environmentally-friendly method-based on the « 5 R » can be applied to the digital economy.
In sum, this course will help students embrace a broader perspective in order to, po-tentially, commit to a more sustainable world. We also recommend the research work carried out by Bruno Latour, a renowned French sociologist, anthropologist and science philosopher, the artistic approach of Tomas Saraceno and the work of Cynthia Fleury, one of the most talented French philosophers, addressing the ethics of courage as a fundamental principle of society to enable citizens, social and eco-nomic players to work together for the two-fold digital and ecological transitions.
Learning outcomes
The course aims to build awareness of the ecological footprint of digital business to enable engineers to address the twofold digital and ecological transition both at a personnel and professional level. 
At the end of the course, students will have acquired the following skills to en-able them to: 
  • Master the key digital transformation’ characteristics
  • Understand the ecological impact of the digital economy and of its components
  • Master the digital sobriety principles, such as Green IT, or IT for Green
  • Decode the « attention economy » trends  on digital platforms
  • Master the systemic scope of both digital and ecological transitions
  • Understand the significance of gender equality in the transition of digital towards ecological
  • Master the concept of regenerative companies
  • Master the 5R based-method from a digital perspective
  • Expand philosophical and artistic knowledge and act
Grading :  in-class collective workshops