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Broad discussions and sustainable solutions

As the theme for my blog this week, I have chosen two different examples of international collaboration within the sustainability area.

On Monday and Tuesday 27-28 September, we organised a fourth joint workshop on the theme of sustainable development, together with Tokyo University, Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute.

This year’s conference addressed five different broad themes.  Sustainable Biomaterials, Education for Sustainable Development and Healthy Ageing, Large-scale Computation in Life Science, Hybrid Infrastructure for Urban Sustainability, plus The brain and Society. Some 300 researchers and doctoral students from these four universities have taken part via Zoom to share their research results and to discuss opportunities for collaboration in the future.

I would just like to say that the conference is an excellent example of what is sometimes called The New Normal, where we genuinely reaped the benefits of the digital know-how that has been developed for constructive and important dialogues within five broad areas, despite the seven-hour time difference and 8,100 km distance. The five conference themes also show the breadth of sustainability challenges that bring these four universities together.

My second example is an ongoing collaboration with the University of Valencia (UPV). Over 100 Swedish and international students on the Masters’ Programme in Sustainable Energy Engineering worked intensively together in spring 2021 in 19 groups on sustainability challenges and new innovative solutions for the UPV campus. At the end of the course, the five most interesting proposals were selected in consultation with UPV and the groups behind them were then invited to present them to a delegation from Valencia on 24 September. At the end of this seminar, one of these contributions was crowned the winner and the group will be given the opportunity to present their proposal to the management of UPV in the next few weeks. The course is not only an excellent example of what is usually called challenge driven learning, but also a good example of how we can collaborate remotely with our partner universities.