TO BE AN INTERNATIONAL
Professor of human geography. Deputy dean of the School of Business, Economics and Law since 1 July 2018, with responsibility for the areas of sustainability, the work environment and collaboration. Co-chair of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
The School of Business, Economics and Law has a clear purpose: to contribute to a positive development of society. Naturally, the School has a long tradition of conducting education and research on issues associated with sustainability. That work is now being taken to another level, with the aim of becoming an international leader among the business schools of the world. Marie Stenseke has been responsible for leading the work onwards and upwards since 2018.
Research that helps to resolve society’s challenges and alumni doing important work for a sustainable society are part of that aim.The School of Business, Economics and Law also wishes to be a driving force in developing sustainable solutions, together with the business world, the public sector and non-profit organisations.
An overview of all the School’s sustainability research
One of the issues that Marie Stenseke has focused on during her time at the helm is clarifying how the School’s research relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“We’ve conducted an extensive inventory of our research based on the SDGs in the UN’s 2030 Agenda. It provided a good visualisation of how we fit into the 17 goals and where our strengths lie (see page 6). We can see, not least, how incredibly ambitious we are in our work on these issues. We have research relating to all the global goals, and we’re very strong in some of the areas,” says Marie Stenseke.
Tools for tackling the issues
Today’s students are tomorrow’s decision-makers, and they must be given the knowledge and tools to be able to analyse and tackle the sustainability challenges that they are going to face in their professional lives.
“Since 2013, sustainability days have been a compulsory feature of the programmes at undergraduate level, and this year we held the first one at Master’s level. But sustainability should also be a natural part of the regular courses, and this is an area where we can do even better. One challenge that we’re looking at right now is how well the students actually react to the subject of sustainability. It’s essentially an ethical question about taking responsibility for our shared future,” says Marie Stenseke.
Reviewing the UN’s global report on biodiversity
In addition to being the School’s deputy dean, with responsibility for sustainability issues, Marie Stenseke also co-chairs the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES), that works under the auspices of UN. The Multidisciplinary Expert Panel oversees the scientific quality of IPBES publications such as the global report on biodiversity.
“Hundreds of sustainability researchers around the globe worked on the report. When it was presented at a press conference in Paris on 6 May 2019, it made the top headlines all over the world, except in the UK, where a prince was born on the same day,” says Marie Stenseke with a wry smile.
THE SCHOOL’S RESEARCH FROM A SUSTAINABILITY PERSPECTIVE
In autumn 2018, the School of Business, Economics and Law drew up an inventory of all its research, based on its relevance to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 Agenda. The inventory shows that the School has research relating to all the global SDGs.
MASTER’S PROGRAMMES KICK OFF WITH SUSTAINABILITY DAY
Since 2013, the School has held compulsory sustainability days for the programmes at undergraduate level. At the start of the autumn semester 2019, the first of these was held for the Master’s level.
The new Master’s students attended a half-day event with a focus on sustainable development and global transformation, with speakers including Johan Kuylenstierna, vice chair of the Swedish Climate Policy Council.
“By beginning the studies with a sustainability day, we wish to send a clear signal that sustainability is an important focus for the School,” says Roger Schweizer, head of the Graduate School. “We hope the day will spark thoughts and curiosity within the students, which they will then carry with them through their studies. We also want to give them an insight into how many of the models and theories they encounter during their education can be used to find solutions to challenges relating to sustainability.”
Global network for environmental economics
Since 1 January 2019, Environment for Development (EfD) has been a separate unit at the School, having previously been attached to the Department of Economics. EfD was set up in 2007 to promote the use of environmental economics to reduce poverty and improve sustainability, primarily in the Global South.
The work involves supporting institutions through applied research and academic programmes. A particular emphasis is placed on strengthening the interaction between these academic environments and key policy processes in the countries concerned. The operation is fully funded by external parties, mainly Sida, and is run in network form with 15 centres around the world, located largely at universities in Asia, Africa and Latin America.