Sustainability Impact Metric
Sustainability Impact Metric

Sustainability Impact Metric


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To use the increasing potential of innovative technologies, a comprehensive analysis of their sustainability impact is crucial to evaluate new pathways to the future.
To use the increasing potential of innovative technologies, a comprehensive analysis of their sustainability impact is crucial to evaluate new pathways to the future.

What Is It?

The Sustainability Impact Metric intends to evaluate the potential impact of Technology Applications in four different sustainability dimensions: economic, ecological, social, and cross-cutting questions. Each dimension has three criteria, derived into questions and exemplified with signals that outline how these criteria might come to life.

Each dimension is rated from -2 (High negative impact) to +2 (High positive impact) by the techDetector Assessment team. The arithmetic mean of the three criteria from each dimension is then used as the final dimension score. Finally, the Sustainability Impact score is calculated using the arithmetic mean of all four dimension scores.

How Did We Get To It?

According to the UN, sustainable development is defined as answers to the present's needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. With that in mind, Envisioning set up a series of workshops with GIZ team to evaluate exactly what are the most pressing matters when evaluating potential technological impacts on sustainable development; this led to a series of models that the research team prototyped before creating the current model.

How Can You Use It?

  • Filter Technology Applications that have a higher potential to impact the sustainability dimension of your interest;

  • Compare the potential impact on sustainable development of your favorite Technology Applications;

  • Combine the Sustainability Impact Metric with TRL to filter Technology Applications that are at the same time feasible and more related to the current issue you are targeting.

Sustainability Impact Metric Dimensions

Yasmim Seadi @ Envisioning

Sustainability Impact Metric Dimensions

Yasmim Seadi @ Envisioning

Economic Impact

The economy should take responsibility in enhancing the manufacturing chain through a constant practice of perceiving human capital as an amplifier asset of the business itself, not the contrary.

Regenerative Economical Systems

Does this technology have the value to improve production and at the same time minimize resource inputs?

Output Examples

  • Product-life extension

  • Cradle to cradle

  • Cost-benefit/trade-off relation

Employment Affair

Does this technology have the potential to generate novel job positions and enhance the relationship between the employer and the employee?

Output Examples

  • Job Creation

  • Personalized solutions for employees

  • Increase job security & safety

Systems Thinking

Does this technology help identify behavior patterns over time in order to create more effective and safe economical practices?

Output Examples

  • Prevention of emergency practices

  • Recognizing economic leverage points

  • Detecting archetypes and balancing better options

Ecological Impact

An ecological Zeitgeist comes as a premise to vanquish and to rearrange what our recent history of environmental damages done in the past. Nature should be the primary creative source to inquiry the future, and the starting point to embark upon a biomimicry reality.

Natural Resources Usage

Does this technology have a positive impact on responsible consumption and management of natural resources?

Output Examples

  • Reduce natural resources depletion

  • Independent energy suppliers based on synthetic solutions

  • Ecology Education

Climate Change

Does this technology have the potential to reduce/minimize climate damages?

Output Examples

  • Waste cutback through closed loop techniques

  • Preventive environmental management

  • Industrial ecology (material and energy relationship by industrial manners)

Conservation of Biodiversity

Does this technology help conserving or nourishing biodiversity?

Output Examples

  • Biosphere rules (Ecologically friendly strategies made to reduce manufacturing costs)

  • Discouraging aggressive techniques on agriculture harness

  • Biomimicry (Innovation inspired by nature)

Social Impact

Wealth production alongside diversified environments shall recast the social architecture of a decentralized, visionary, and equal world. Social engagement is not an axiom for encouragement, rather a symbiotic relationship with the whole.

Equality (gender, religion, and minorities, geographical equality)

Does this technology have a positive impact when applying terms of responsibility and equality in social affairs?

Output Examples

  • Responsible social inclusion strategies for a diversified environment

  • Biases detection tools

  • Feminist practices and theories applied in social affairs

Welfare (health, food security, living in non-conflict area)

Is this technology able to deliver more accessible welfare practices?

Output Examples

  • Intergenerational justice

  • Lower Infant Mortality Rate

  • Increase food security & nutrition quality

Capacity Development

Does this technology impact people’s educational development capacity?

Output Examples

  • Personalized education

  • Non-profit education

  • Mentorship enhancement

Cross Cutting Questions

The tendency of looking inwards, as a common manner of perceiving, to finally transcend politics outwards for general empowerment, will be the rule towards a fair and shared society.


Does this technology have the potential to bring more shared political participation?

Output Examples

  • Minimize digital divide

  • Support towards decentralized political strategies

  • Reaction for both success and failure (Evaluation systems not based on metrics and penalties, but rather on affective reactions and behavioural consequences)


Does this technology approach political decisions to empower people equally?

Output Examples

  • Approaching novel thinking spectrums

  • Cross-generational shared purposes

  • Recognition of youth evolving capacities

Transparency & Accountability

Does this technology have an effective participation not only on the digitalization of the state but in developing responsive planning strategies?

Output Examples

  • e-Government solutions

  • Minimize bureaucracy

  • Establishment of trust