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We live in a ‘systemic world’ characterized by multiple causation, interactions and complex feedback loops, yet the dominant structures in, for instance, governance, policy-making and education, are still essentially based on fragmentation rather than on connectivity, relationships and synergies. The persistent call for a more sustainable development increasingly influences policy-making, public debate, business decisions and lifestyle choices. This persistence is fuelled by major environmental, social, financial, economic and ecological disruptions (both acute and chronic) that are interconnected and characterized by high levels of uncertainty and complexity.

The University of Gothenburg and Chalmers and their graduates, together with universities all over the world, will need to play a pivotal role in addressing emerging challenges manifested in the depletion of natural resources, the rise of unnatural disasters, lack of food safety and security, human-induced climate change, marine toxicity, rising inequity, and so on. What is increasingly clear is that dealing with complex and, even wicked, sustainability challenges requires new forms of education, research and community engagement. These new forms tend to have in common: a tendency towards integrative thinking and design, the facilitation of trans-boundary alliances and creative coalitions, acceptance of indeterminacy, emergence and uncertainty, the democratization of knowledge, and a preference for contextual solutions with a planetary conscience. The fact is, however, that we still know very little about these alternatives.

Sidansvarig: GMV|Sidan uppdaterades: 2015-11-25

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