Collapse (and other futures) software engineering

Birgit Penzenstadler, Ankita Raturi, Debra J. Richardson, M. Six Silberman, Bill Tomlinson


Current software engineering efforts typically rely heavily on industrial infrastructure. In a situation of civilizational collapse — which various researchers have suggested could ensue in the next century via an assortment of environmental, economic, and/or social pathways — this infrastructure may become less reliable. Previous research has offered some thoughts about what new forms of software may be relevant in the context of collapse. However, those papers did not consider how these new kinds of software would arise. Building on previous work in software engineering for sustainability (SE4S), information and communications technology for development (ICT4D), and collapse informatics, this paper explores how various forms of civilizational collapse would affect the software development process.

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