Rethinking approaches to achieve sustainable development goals in an era of smart computing

12 Apr 2019 11:00h - 12:45h

Event report


Professor Mr Athula Ginige (Western Sydney University, Australia) moderated the session. He spoke about the over production problem in Sri Lanka and India which often leads to farmers commiting suicides and which they are trying to resolve. According to him this is the multi level coordination challenge. He said that between Service layer, buyers and value chain there is information that needs to be provided. GPS is used as a conceptual solution in agriculture which helps create situational knowledge in real time. However, knowledge of farmers cannot keep the pace of technology which is why they have developed a special application. However, the key is psychological empowerment of people. There are three components of psychological empowerment: behavioural component of psychological empowerment, which implying decision making and identification of choices; interactional component of psychological empowerment means understanding users have about their community and socio-political issues; and an intrapersonal component of psychological empowerment implied competence

For Artificial Intelligence [AI] in agriculture to happen data is crucial.

Dr Ashini Wesumperuma (Western Sydney University, Australia) spoke about Energy savings Scheme [ESS] which recedes electricity consumption by creating financial incentives for organisations to invest in energy savings projects. Energy savings are achieved by installing, improving, or replacing energy savings equipment. In Australian Commercial Lightening Industry there are many stakeholders. She noted the following challenges: dependency on government scheme, subjected to rules and regulations which frequently change, non-stable business model, a lack of trust, individual offer was not satisfying the current business needs.

Their solution was a platform to facilitate formation of entrusted circles along the value chain, in order to reduce energy consumption and to create a ‘win-win’ situation for the stakeholders.

For that they needed: users and job context, information, and prior knowledge in order to generate actionable information, which lead to entrusted circles and new partnerships resulting in dynamic content. This platform responds to sustainable development goals [SDGs] 11 and 13. It resulted in: energy savings, connecting stakeholders of commercial lighting upgrades, facilitating better collaboration between stakeholders, minimising trust issues, empowerment to make the right decision at the right time with right information.

Associate Professor Bahman Javadi, (Western Sydney University, Australia) spoke about a smart computing framework entered on user and societal empowerment to achieve the SDGs. With smart computing they are working on mitigating hidden hunger in Africa which is their target focus. A survey conducted by the University of Pretoria showed that people which grow their own food have less problem with the hidden hunger which is not about how much you eat but what. They gathered information on a mobile based information system for Africa, for actionable information for people in rural area. USTAWI project has 2 phases: organising the knowledge to generate actionable information to address for diversity needs, and societal empowerments by developing a social network to meet the nutrition based food requirement as a community by exchanging different food types and raise awareness. Field test has been done in Malawi. The findings showed: 71% prefer to grow their own food, 80% of mothers interviewed identify with the problem of nutrition, 74% want more information on healthy foods.

People which are currently using the map and are actively growing craps, are connected via WhatsApp and are also exchanging for them important information.


By Aida Mahmutović