Vanessa Thomas

Vanessa Thomas

Postdoctoral research fellow, Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University, Denmark

Vanessa Thomas is a settler Canadian and computer scientist currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow with the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University in Denmark. She has spent much of the past four years researching the design and deployment of digital technologies, as well as how those activities relate to public policy, public service provision, social justice, and environmental change.

Prior to pursuing a career in academia, Vanessa spent nearly a decade working as a software developer and service designer in the public and non-profit sectors. She was fortunate enough to find work in Canada, Ecuador, Bolivia, and the United States, and she had the privilege of volunteering with numerous exciting organisations, including the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Standby Task Force, and the University of Alberta’s WISEST programme.

Vanessa has been humbled to receive several academic and non-academic awards for her work. In addition to her “serious” endeavours, Vanessa co-runs the absurdist research project, Lickable Cities, and enjoys photoshopping moustaches onto traffic signs.

Digital technologies, environmental change, and public policy

Main stage

Digital technologies and services affect the planet. Every line of code, every photo uploaded to ‘the cloud’, and every smartphone, computer, or ‘IoT’ device, has an environmental footprint. That footprint often takes the form of carbon dioxide emissions, ecosystem degradation, and resource depletion, each of which occurs to varying degrees throughout the production, use, and […]

50 days: Culture & process