Vanessa Thomas

Vanessa Thomas

PhD Candidate and Research Associate

Once upon a time, I lived in a country far, far away. It was full of mounties and maple syrup and a bizarre orange substance called "mac and cheese." While there, I studied computer science, mathematics, physics, human security, peace building, internal communications, intercultural communications, graphic design, leadership, history, women's studies and a whole bunch of other subjects that didn't seem to be directly related to one another, except in my head. I used my unusual set of skills to find work in Canada, Ecuador, Bolivia and the United States of America. Then I found the HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training at Lancaster University, which seemed like a great place for a disciplinary misfit like myself.

I'm currently a final year doctoral candidate with HighWire. My doctoral research examines social practices and public policies that influence the environmental footprint of digital technologies. I'm also a Research Associate with the Institute for Social Futures, where my research interests and side projects are related to smart cities, urban development (especially in Latin America), open EVERYTHING (data, source software, Internet, education, government, etc), sustainable development, ICT4D, crisis informatics, human rights and public policy.