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Blog post: There is a Great Interest in Sustainability and Labour Market Integration in the age of Migrations in the US - Blog Post by LUCSUS Researchers

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Matthew Banks, WWF US Climate and Business Initiative, LUCSUS researchers Torsten Krause and Mine Islar.

Mine Islar and Torsten Krause, both assistant professors at LUCSUS represented Lund University during an Alumni event organised by the five biggest Swedish Universities (Lund, Uppsala, Gothenburg, Umeå and Stockholm) at Sweden’s embassy in Washington D.C. – the house of Sweden earlier this autumn. The event was well attended and Mine and Torsten met a few familiar faces of former LUMES students who are now living and working in Washington. One of them was Matthew Banks, who is the Manager, for WWF US Climate & Business initiative. Matt studied the LUMES programme in the late 1990’s and was one of its first graduates. 

The following day, Mine and Torsten were invited to represent Lund University and LUCSUS on two research panels organised around the topic of ‘Sustainable Development - From Local Choices to Global Impacts’ (Torsten) and ‘Towards inclusive labor markets and societies in the age of migration’. Both panels were attended by almost 100 people from academia, non-governmental organisations and think tanks as well as public authorities and interested citizens. What is particularly noticeable was the extent to which the panelists could interact with the audience, engaging in stimulating discussions around the meaning of personal choices for sustainability, the need and responsibility to stand up against politics and politicians that are seemingly not interested in innovation but cling to traditional economic models and views of society, as well as the gaps of current labor market integration policies.

All in all, the event was deemed a great success by Sweden’s ambassador to the United States Karin Olofsdotter. The great interest in sustainability and labour market integration in the age of migrations underlines that despite the current US government’s attempts to undermine research and action on climate change, creating barriers for a transformation towards more sustainable societies and making cross border migration even harder, now more than ever, it is essential to build ties with colleagues and collaborators in the US. These issues are not at all forgotten and don’t cease to exist just because the US head of state decides to tweet unfounded and illogical word constructs, perpetuating irrelevant and strange myths trying to undermine scientific facts and human empathy. It is now that that the societal and political relevance of scientific research is being challenged, but it is also now that citizens and intelligent conversations can built a counter narrative, based on logic and facts, for a more equitable and just world for everyone.
 
By Torsten Krause and Mine Islar.

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