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LUMES Master Programme Celebrates 20 years with Conference in Sunny Lund

One world, one future, LUMES sustainability professionals meet again. Photo: Håkan Röjder.

- This was the best alumni conference yet. We had a great programme, created by and for alumni and students, a good turnout and amazing weather, says LUMES Student Coordinator Amanda Elgh.

Last week, 160 alumni and students from countries such as Germany, Ecuador, Greece, the US, India and Ethiopia came together for a two-day conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the international master programme in environmental studies and sustainability science (LUMES).

The programme included a range of workshops, panel discussions, seminars and presentations on topics chosen by alumni and current students. Examples range from sessions on climate justice, circular economy, urban development, and alternative energy futures to workshops on the position of a sustainable scientist in the job market.

- What came out of the conference was a discussion of what it means to be a sustainability professional today. Most of the workshops and seminars touched on this in some way or other, says Torsten Krause, Director of Studies of LUMES.

He feels that this discussion is a very important one, especially since the LUMES programme is broad in scope and covers a full range of topics from the natural and social sciences, relevant for educating the sustainability leaders of tomorrow. LUMES teaches students to apply a multitude of methods and approaches in the study of sustainability and solutions for current sustainability challenges. Most importantly, the LUMES programme wants students to apply a critical and open mindset to sustainability and the various solutions that are proposed in getting there, be it at the technical, social or managerial level.

- It is very valuable for all the attendees to be able to discuss with their peers – how should you work, what experiences have others had, and what are potential career paths after graduation?

For the next conference, Torsten Krause says that they want to explore possibilities of supporting students travelling from abroad to attend.

- Although we were happy with the turnout, we would have liked to see more attendees from countries outside Europe. We think that some type of travel grant could be a way of helping students to come here.

He adds that it is very important for both the LUMES programme and Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, LUCSUS to organise these types of alumni events regularly, for example every three to four years.

- We want to maintain a connection with those who have studied here. And give our current students the opportunity to meet with people who have graduated and are now working in sustainability – as a way to inspire and motivate them.


Reflections on the LUMES Alumni 2017 Conference

"It was a fantastic opportunity to reflect back onto the years after LUMES, take a pause and talk to people on the diversity of professional options, gather insights on the multiplicity of perspectives on intellectual debates regarding energy transitions, alternative forms of organisation, seeking a deeper connection with nature, connecting different forms of art, theatre, creativity with sustainability debates and many more. It was also a great joy reconnecting with so many friends I had not seen for over a decade. So, all in all I am beyond happy to have been a part of the LUMES conference.”

Alev Sorman, graduated in 2007. She is now working as a researcher at the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies.

“We had a great time with a very diverse programme keynotes, workshops, presentations and networking time. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet with former classmates and people who have studied LUMES now working in various sustainability related professions around the world. The conferences was blessed with the wonderful sunny Swedish spring weather which allowed networking and fika breaks in the sun. LUCSUS, LU and Lund welcomed all us and within a short time we all had a feeling of being home again - we felt as we have never been back. Timing was perfect as the sustainability week of LU350 happened and we could enjoy other events such as the sustainability festival on Saturday together.”

Klara Winkler, graduated in 2014.  She is now working as a sustainability researcher at LUCSUS.

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