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Low tech definition

Low tech definition

Defining Low tech

First, by definition, low tech definition are characterized as sustainable innovations that emphasize resource efficiency and environmental responsibility. They seek to foster an eco-friendly transition in the face of ecological and technological challenges. In a world where uncertainties abound, and narratives of potential societal collapse loom, proponents of low tech advocate for a new societal model. That prioritizes resilience and envisions science and technology.  As catalysts for building a just and sustainable future for both our planet and humanity.

Philippe Bihouix asserts that the high-tech promises have faltered due to resource scarcity, deviation from circular economy principles, and the efficiency rebound effect.

High-Tech vs. Circular Economy

Whereas the circular economy has now become a key concept in the sustainable development strategies of industries, public policies and international directives.  Low tech advocates are also critical. Indeed, the high-tech approach today seems incompatible with the emergence of the circular economy. New technologies are greedy for rare metals. It is currently difficult and complex to recycle them, due to their dispersive uses and the complexity of alloys.

Reevaluating Needs and Innovation Goals defined by Low tech

In addition to resource concerns, an ethical perspective is vital. In fact, in the realm of technological innovation, there’s a plethora of inspiring yet questionable developments. Such as smart fruit juice machines and connected clothing items. Similarly, low tech definition compels us to scrutinize our needs and their actual contributions to our comfort. It transcends mere eco-design and urges a systemic approach, encouraging us to reconsider economic, organizational, social, and cultural paradigms

Balancing High Tech and Low Tech Definition

Low tech definition
Low tech definition

Moreover, low tech definition doesn’t position itself in opposition to high tech. But advocates for a balance that emphasizes the social value of technology. For instance, an MRI machine holds more societal value than a fully electronic car. The low-tech defines a movement which advocate for rethinking innovation to truly serve humanity.

Embracing a Sustainable Future

Finally, low tech definition is neither against progress nor nostalgic for an idealized past. It’s an invitation to explore more modest models that preserve ecosystems, conserve resources, promote employment and social bonds. Also,  bolster resilience and autonomy, and enhance living conditions, freedom, and individual fulfillment.

[1] The Ecological Factory, Towards sober and resilient technologies – “Why and how to develop low “tech innovation”, note from the working group chaired by Philippe Bihouix, 2018.

Others definitions

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