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CS and IT research has deep and fundamental contributions to make to these challenges. This chapter has argued for a bottom-up approach to research that values application-driven results while also supporting the iterative process that eventually leads to more universally useful contributions. The committee has argued for a series of validation metrics that explicitly explore the true impact of a piece of work in the arena of sustainability. Such validation metrics should include those that deal directly with humans, economics, and ecosystems and those metrics that engage with the concept of scale (a good first-order proxy for the universality that may not yet be present).
Information technology is at the heart of nearly every large-scale socioeconomic system—financial systems, manufacturing systems, energy systems, and so on. One important consequence, which has been the focus of this report, is that advances in IT have become critical enablers of change in these systems. The goal of this report has been to shine a spotlight on areas where information technology innovation and computer science research can help, and to urge the computer research community to bring its approaches and methodologies to bear on these pressing global challenges.