What are you most excited about in taking on the Directorship at LUCSUS?
What excites me about the directorship are the opportunities to further build on the excellent organisational development work of the out-going LUCSUS leadership team. Without their tireless efforts, a solid, yet dynamic research, education and outreach organisation wouldn’t exist. Furthermore, I am eager to work with my great colleagues at LUCSUS. This not only the new leadership team we have assembled, but also the LUCSUS staff in their entirety, who are passionate about their work and fostering a more sustainable world through their research and educating new generations of sustainability leaders.
What do you want to bring to the role, and what is your vision for LUCSUS?
What I would like to bring to the role at LUCSUS is a collaborative and inclusive leadership approach, one that mirrors the greater developments in the field of sustainability science. There has been a great deal of discussion of late about (transformational) change in sustainability research and education. To achieve this, we need fundamental changes in the organisations that carry out such development. Along with my colleagues, my vision is to facilitate a process to not only add to the discussions and debates on transformational change, but to also be an example of a transformational organisation that can drive the societal change, both in the near term, as well as in preparation for broader organisational changes at the Faculty of Social Sciences.
What is your background?
Academically, I have a background in economics from the University of Minnesota, where I grew up. In 1999, I relocated to Lund where I participated in the LUMES program (LUCSUS’ Master’s education in environmental studies and sustainability science). Following LUMES, I continued at LUCSUS and completed my PhD in Sustainability Science, (the very first thesis in this subject) in 2008. One can say that I came to academia rather late-in my mid-30s for my graduate education and early-40s for the completion of my PhD. This has provided me ample opportunities to develop leadership experiences and competencies outside of academia.
What are your research interests?
My early research interests (e.g., PhD research) have evolved from interdisciplinary approaches to understand complex sustainability challenges significantly focused on Swedish agricultural production. Since then, my research has evolved into transdisciplinary collaborations with societal actors to derive and test solutions to problems such as carbon emissions due to international transport of goods, or large quantities for solid wastes from food production processes. Of interest within this realm is how actors learn in these collaborative processes, and understanding important attributes of these bottom-up processes to create more effective sustainable change.
What are your views on sustainability science?
Sustainability science has always been a fluid and rapidly evolving field of study, and it will continue to be so. The more recent turn in the field to focus on collaboration with society to promote sustainable change, inclusion, justice, core values and (virtual) ethics are just a few areas that represent new directions in how we can carry out science. I feel that creating a better understanding of these processes and priorities will help us to create more inclusive and robust processes for sustainable societal change.