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Environment and Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is an important part of the university’s vision. The vision 'A university for the world, which extends from 2021 - 2030', expresses that the University of Gothenburg is striving to be an international university that takes responsibility for the development of society and contributes to a sustainable world.

We will strengthen our relevance as a societal actor and partner in order to make an impact on societal development and contribute to the global development goals.

The world’s heads of state and government have adopted 17 challenging goals for the future that must be achieved by 2030, the so-called Global goals for sustainable development. The goals are part of Agenda 2030, a document signed by 193 countries. These countries are now actively working to realize all 169 sub-goals, in which academia and research play an important role.

The Department of Sociology and Work Science contribute to this work by researching issues related to the goals in order to create in-depth understanding, disseminate new knowledge and contribute to achieving the goals.

We actively participate in a global initiative between universities (IAU) where the University of Gothenburg has the role of leading and coordinating activities for goal 8 (SDG 8) in Agenda 2030, together with eight satellite universities in Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam. IAU, the International Association of Universities, is one of the world’s largest university associations and an official partner of UNESCO.

Researchers in sociology and work science, together with Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, the School of Business and the Sahlgrenska Academy, collaborate in the strategy work and in activities for the SDG 8 initiative. A report, A Global Goal: Sustainable Economic Growth and decent work for all - Selection of Research, Education and Research to Policy Initiatives, has been written, and two internal and one global workshop has been held. A joint writing and review work on SDG 8’s sub-goals and indicators has begun.

Researchers from the department are responsible for four of the eight sub-goals in SDG 8 (Stefan Tengblad / 8.3, Mattias Bengtsson / 8.5, Gunnar Gillberg / 8.6, Lotta Dellve / 8.8).

UGOT Challenges is an example of a research initiative in which the University of Gothenburg has invested SEK 300 million in six interdisciplinary research centers. The starting point is that strong interdisciplinary research is required to meet today’s global societal challenges. The department is involved and committed to one of these centers; AgeCap. AgeCap, Center for Aging and Health, conducts multidisciplinary research for good and valuable aging. The vision is a society where elderly people are respected and valued for their potential - a society that makes it possible for us, regardless of age and other factors, to have the capacity to be actors in our own lives. The research concerns both the sustainable work of the elderly and sustainable care for the elderly.

The department is also involved in Work and Employment (WE). WE’s activities with a focus on sustainable work and employment are linked to many of the Global goals for sustainable development in Agenda 2030. For example, goal 3 Health and well-being, goal 4 Good education for all, goal 5 Gender equality and goal 8 Decent working conditions and economic growth. 

The department is also an active part in the Center for Global Human Resource Management, which, among other things, aims to contribute to the development of knowledge about the conditions for creating good personnel policies and a sustainable and balanced working life. CGHRM’s work aims to promote a balanced and sustainable development of working life, locally, nationally and globally. 

Research and Global Goals 

Here are some examples of research at the department with connections to the global development goals.

Goal 1: No Poverty
Project: Machine learning and causal inference methods to the analysis of child poverty in low and middle income countries.
Researcher: Nadine Kraamwinkel-Jha

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being 
Project: Machine learning and causal inference methods to the analysis of child poverty in low and middle income countries.
Researcher: Nadine Kraamwinkel-Jha

Goal 4: Quality Education 
Project: The Feminist Meanings and Matterings of Preschool Teachers’ Gender Equality Work in Sweden.
Researcher: Megan Rådesjö

Goal 5: Gender Equality
Project: The Feminist Meanings and Matterings of Preschool Teachers’ Gender Equality Work in Sweden.
Researcher: Megan Rådesjö 

Project: Visualising and measuring the role of industrial relations in addressing gender equality
Researchers: Ylva Ulfsdotter Eriksson, among others.

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
Project: The role of civil society in supporting employability in diverse areas in Sweden and the United Kingdom
Researcher: Gabriella Elgenius

Project: Rethinking Integration: a comparative mixed methods study of civil society action in vulnerable superdiverse neighborhoods in Sweden
Researcher: Gabriella Elgenius

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Project: Renovation and participation: towards an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable Million Program?
Researchers: Håkan Thörn, Elena Bogdanova, Linda Soneryd, Christoph Haug

Project: Rethinking Integration: a comparative mixed methods study of civil society action in vulnerable superdiverse neighborhoods in Sweden
Researcher: Gabriella Elgenius

Project: Urban Gardens as Meeting Places in Göteborg, Budapest and Bucharest: Building Collaborative Capacity for Sustainability in Different Socio-economic Contexts.
Researchers: Kerstin Jacobsson, Ylva Wallinder, Ioana Florea, Agnes Gagyi.

Project: The role of civil society in supporting employability in diverse areas in Sweden and the United Kingdom
Researcher: Gabriella Elgenius

Goal 13: Climate Action
Project: What can science deliver and what does policy want? Expectations on science in support of climate change action.
Researchers: Göran Sundqvist, Linda Soneryd

Project: The necessary and the possible: How social movements articulate, convey and negotiate visions of a fossil free and just future
Researchers: Mattias Wahlström, among others.

Goal 17: Partnerships
Project: Empowering Cities of Migration - new methods for citizen involvement and socio-spatial integration.
Researcher: Gabriella Elgenius