New online magazine Branch explores the sustainability of the internet

This week saw the launch of Branch magazine, a collaboration between EIT Climate-KIC, Mozilla Foundation and online community Climate Action.tech.

A mix of longer form writing, short profile pieces and artwork, Branch explores the potential for the internet to become a more just, inclusive and sustainable space.

“Creating change requires all kinds of practices; art and design, professional development, civic participation, policy and advocacy, imagination and positive visions for our future,” said Branch Managing Editor and contributor Michelle Thorne, Senior Program Officer with the Mozilla Foundation. “This magazine is our small attempt to gather what inspires and challenges us and to publish that in the open.”

According to Nature, even before we pivoted to our screens so fully in 2020, uptake, information and communications systems accounted for two per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. The authors point to the music video for the hit song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee, which has five billion views on YouTube, and argue that to generate this kind of energy would take either 850,000 barrels of oil or 93 wind turbines running for an entire year. In the first quarter of 2020, Facebook reportedly removed 2.2 billion fake accounts, with each active profile estimated to account for 281 grams of CO2 – the same carbon footprint as a medium latte. And in 2019, the average user living in Europe scrolled the equivalent of 180 meters a day, exposing themselves on average to 1,700 carbon intensive – but ultimately ineffective – banner ads a month. 

In an effort to interrogate and understand the climate impact of technology better, the team behind Branch invited 25 people to share their vision for an internet that is instead a positive force for climate action. Contributors range from developers and designers to activists and artists, and content varies from advice on direct action to green daily professional practise to more profound systemic approaches to dismantling power structures and making a just, clean internet a reality. 

(Image: Experiment Nature Controlled Internet)

Image: Experiment Nature Controlled Internet

 

“For deeper change to happen, internet professionals must understand the underlying structural issues of the climate crisis and its inequalities. We must go beyond tech solutionism and towards intersectional climate justice work,” said Branch Editor Chris Adams, from Climate Action.tech. “Going forward we see the need to further develop interdisciplinary practices and tools for greening the internet. We strive to connect sustainability to root causes and inequalities experienced at different intersections — gender, race, class, ability, and so on.” 

In making the magazine, the team were careful to ensure the online proposition lived up to the ideals of a sustainable internet, following a GOLD framework — Green, Open, Lean and Distributed — inspired by more mainstream accessibility principles in web design.

“We know that technology isn’t neutral, so we set out to embed the values of a more sustainable, just internet into our own website design and development,” said Branch co-creator and EIT Climate-KIC producer, Ilona Puskas. “The digital realm, and the internet in particular, can be a silent killer for the environment. It can feel sustainable because the damage is less visible and graspable, but oftentimes the opposite is true. However with Branch we are motivated by joyfulness instead of fear, and we’re using aesthetics as an entry point towards systemic change through a sustainable and just internet.”

The first issue of Branch is available here. The next issue will be available in spring 2021. If you’re interested in distribution or contributing to the magazine, you find out more here.

 
Location
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
Votes open for the 2021 New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards – Audience Awar...

Do you want to support innovative solutions that integrate...

Votes open for the 2021 New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards – Audience Award
In The News
Brill Power’s new innovation radically increases battery life and storag...

Brill Power, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, has launched the...

Brill Power’s new innovation radically increases battery life and storage capacity
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop gives TEDx Talk

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop delivered a talk,...

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop gives TEDx Talk
In The News
Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek mar...

To tackle complex climate challenges, we need a broader...

Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek maritime sector
In The News
EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Instit...

Unlocking the potential of higher education institutions for innovation...

EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Institutions
In The News
Dolomites forging climate resilience

The Italian Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are...

Dolomites forging climate resilience
In The News
People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan

The region’s climate action plan has been announced, with...

People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan
In The News
Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable co...

The built environment accounts for close to 40 per...

Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable construction in cities
In The News
The State of California and EIT Climate-KIC advance partnership for climate in...

Glasgow, 8 November – The California Governor’s Office of...

The State of California and EIT Climate-KIC advance partnership for climate innovation
In The News
COP26: UN Climate Change and EIT Climate-KIC partner to establish new Global I...

A new digital Global Innovation Hub has been launched at...

COP26: UN Climate Change and EIT Climate-KIC partner to establish new Global Innovation Hub
In The News
ClimateLaunchpad announces 2021 competition winners

EIT Climate-KIC’s ClimateLaunchpad – the world’s largest green business...

ClimateLaunchpad announces 2021 competition winners
In The News
EIT Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus launches Ideation – Deadline Extended

EIT Climate-KIC has launched a call for ideas on...

EIT Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus launches Ideation – Deadline Extended
In The News
Call for proposals: Scaling the New European Bauhaus Ventures

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

Call for proposals: Scaling the New European Bauhaus Ventures
In The News
Glasgow City Region in the race to resilience

Glasgow, which is hosting this year’s UN Climate Change...

Glasgow City Region in the race to resilience
In The News
Gipuzkoa’s quest for sustainability

Gipuzkoa, the smallest Spanish province located in the Basque...

Gipuzkoa’s quest for sustainability
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC to host week-long celebration of climate innovators

The EIT Climate-KIC Week of Action will celebrate, recognise...

EIT Climate-KIC to host week-long celebration of climate innovators
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches new series of circular economy courses

As companies and practitioners around the world are looking...

EIT Climate-KIC launches new series of circular economy courses
In The News
NetZeroCities: the new project leading European cities’ transition to net-ze...

Starting in October 2021, the new project NetZeroCities will...

NetZeroCities: the new project leading European cities’ transition to net-zero emissions by 2030
In The News
In the face of complex challenges, Europe stronger together, says EU President...

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined her...

In the face of complex challenges, Europe stronger together, says EU President von der Leyen
In The News
New IPCC report reveals urgent need for climate innovation

The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report has launched. The report...

New IPCC report reveals urgent need for climate innovation
In The News
Moving beyond ‘brown coal’ in Europe’s rural regions

Together with Partners, EIT Climate-KIC is leading a process...

Moving beyond ‘brown coal’ in Europe’s rural regions
In The News
EU’s “Fit for 55” to spur policy innovation for climate action

The European Commission has released its “Fit for 55”...

EU’s “Fit for 55” to spur policy innovation for climate action
In The News
Munich Re and ERGO invest in EIT Climate-KIC carbon removal programme

Major German corporate group sets the ambition to accelerate...

Munich Re and ERGO invest in EIT Climate-KIC carbon removal programme
In The News
23 pilot projects selected by EIT to unlock higher education’s innovation po...

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

23 pilot projects selected by EIT to unlock higher education’s innovation potential in Europe
In The News
Investing in start-ups scales the offering of climate adaptation solutions in ...

A partnership between EIT Climate-KIC and CDC Group, the...

Investing in start-ups scales the offering of climate adaptation solutions in African and South Asian countries
In The News
Irish Aid extends support for innovation and development from the ground up

The Government of Ireland’s development assistance programme, Irish Aid,...

Irish Aid extends support for innovation and development from the ground up
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC showcases climate innovation at R&I Days

EIT Climate-KIC participated in the European Commission’s Research and...

EIT Climate-KIC showcases climate innovation at R&I Days
In The News
Branch Magazine wins Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity

Branch Magazine, a collaboration between EIT Climate-KIC, Mozilla Foundation...

Branch Magazine wins Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity
In The News
Cross-KIC project to boost circular economy in Western Balkans

The circular economy concept is of crucial importance to...

Cross-KIC project to boost circular economy in Western Balkans
In The News
Exploring new horizons with Pioneers into Practice

Enrolment is now open for placement hosts and participants...

Exploring new horizons with Pioneers into Practice