Returning ecological wealth to nonhuman species through design: the case for ecosystemas

27 Ecology & Society 34 (2022)

15 Pages Posted:

See all articles by Bill Tomlinson

Bill Tomlinson

University of California, Irvine; Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Bonnie Nardi

University of California, Irvine - Department of Informatics

Daniel Stokols

University of California, Irvine - School of Social Ecology

Ankita Raturi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Andrew W. Torrance

University of Kansas School of Law; MIT Sloan School of Management

Date Written: 2022

Abstract

Human population and energy use have increased rapidly in recent centuries. This growth has relied on Homo sapiens appropriating ecosystem services previously shared more equitably with many other species. Envisioning this process as a transfer of ecological wealth among species provides a framework within which to examine human activities. We use this framework to critique the broad endeavor of design, and in particular human-computer interaction design, as it has been pursued by human civilization over the past several decades. We offer a conceptual tool, the ecosystema, that may help enable design processes to support the redistribution of ecological wealth to nonhuman species. The ecosystema is based on the concept of personas: distilled representations of particular user groups that are a key part of many design processes. The ecosystema construct is analogous to a persona, but at the level of an entire ecosystem rather than of a particular human population. This construct could help discern ecosystem level impacts and enable them to influence design processes more effectively. Ecosystemas also may afford greater leverage for effectively managing current environmental crises than existing anthropocentric design approaches.

Keywords: design, ecosystem, human-computer interaction, personas, sustainability, biodiversity, interspecies equity

Suggested Citation

Tomlinson, Bill and Nardi, Bonnie and Stokols, Daniel and Raturi, Ankita and Torrance, Andrew W., Returning ecological wealth to nonhuman species through design: the case for ecosystemas (2022). 27 Ecology & Society 34 (2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Bill Tomlinson

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Bren Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-3440
United States

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka ( email )

P.O. Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

Bonnie Nardi

University of California, Irvine - Department of Informatics ( email )

Irvine, CA 92697-3440
United States

Daniel Stokols

University of California, Irvine - School of Social Ecology ( email )

226B Social Ecology 1
Irvine, CA 92697
United States

Ankita Raturi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Andrew W. Torrance (Contact Author)

University of Kansas School of Law ( email )

Green Hall
1535 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045-7577
United States

MIT Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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