Technology, Innovation and the Environment Program

The next generation of environmental challenges and opportunities will be shaped by shifts in the way we think, make, and innovate. ELI’s Technology, Innovation, and the Environment Program focuses on how we can better understand the environmental impacts and opportunities created through emerging technologies and their underlying innovation systems, structural changes in the economy, and new roles for the public in environmental research and protection.

Some of the spaces we are exploring include:tech home page

  • Thinking: machine learning, networks, cloud and cognitive computing, distributed sensing, improving human thinking and decisionmaking;
  • Making: the next production revolution, bioeconomy, DIY-everything, 3-D printing; and
  • Innovating: crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, citizen science, sharing economy, simulations/video games.

New!  A New Environmental Paradigm: In a new article, Scott Fulton, ELI's President, and Dave Rejeski, Director of ELI’s Technology, Innovation, and Environment Program, argue that the number of strategies that can be brought to bear on existing and emerging environmental challenges are far greater than any time in our history. This is especially true when we think about the synergies between drivers—empowered citizens, laws, a host of new options created by engaged businesses, and new technologies ranging from AI to blockchains. The questions are how to organize the environmental protection enterprise today and into the future, and, importantly, who will shape this new paradigm?  We are launching a new project to find out and hope you will join us. Read A New Environmentalism: The Need for a Total Strategy for Environmental Protection today and tell us what you think! Send your thoughts to:

Request for Proposals! ELI, in partnership with the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at UC Berkeley Law and the Industrial Environmental Management Program at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, is soliciting proposals for research on the energy and environmental impacts of the digital economy. The focus is on three areas: sharing platforms, artificial intelligence, and blockchains. Download the request for proposals.

We are looking for people and organizations who are willing to reach outside the normal boundaries for solutions. Read on to learn more about our work.