We passed the first step towards receiving the funding for our Mistra programme proposal in their call Societal Transformations for Climate Action. Our programme is called: “Fast Forwarding for Fair Futures. Environmental Governance, Participation and Collaborative Learning for Societal Transformations”. I have spent the weekend preparing for the hearing this week. I think that we have a strong proposal, and I am very proud of the team behind the work, especially of Anne Peters, who have really worked hard with this and is such an excellent and impressive researcher. I really want to do a good job at the hearing, and I know that preparation for any presentation is key. So working this weekend was the only option when looking at my calendar for the week.
Building a fundamentally altered society is a challenging job. It requires disrupting existing practices and changing values, norms, and cultures. Any efforts to do so create moral dilemmas, political opposition, and conflicting ideas and interests.
Taking on such a task requires joined bands, creativity, and secure collaboration. In our Mistra programme, we bring together scholars from various disciplines, working in environmental governance, sustainability, civil society organisations, education and information technology. Together with civil society partners and local and regional authorities, we will endeavour to work towards carbon neutral and just societies.
The team comes from Uppsala University, the Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences (SLU), Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Ghent University and the University of Bristol. Civil society partners include the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Hela Sverige Ska Leva, Fridays For Future, Omställningsnätverk, and education associations Akademi Norr. Since last summer, we have worked on the proposal, and some of us at almost full-time speed.
Our research covers three regions of Sweden – Uppsala, Gotland, and Norrbotten. These regions provide different insights into civil society’s roles, the opportunities and hindrances connected to digitalisation and questions of justice reflecting the diversity of contexts in Sweden.
Central to our work is learning about different societal transformation processes and methodologies to work collaboratively and effectively toward climate transitions. Throughout this programme, the various actors will critically reflect on the different approaches to identify best practices for approaching action research for societal transformation. That way, we will achieve climate action in various empirical contexts and transform how academic and non-academic partners collaborate for climate action, empowering all of us to continue striving for fair futures.