Act Sustainable Research Conference


We have less than 10 years to transform our world, in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG:s). At this conference you will have an opportunity to learn, share and discuss what the research community in Gothenburg can bring to the table to advance the role of science in the UN Decade of Action.


For all researchers associated with Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg.


November 18 - 19, 2020

The conference will be digital

We are going online!

Until the very last minute, we hoped to be able to meet for the Act Sustainable Research Conference in a corona-safe way in November. Due to new and current direction decisions from our host universities, it now stands clear that a physical conference will not be possible in the year of 2020. Instead of postponing the event, we have decided to readjust and commit full-heartedly to a digital conference, where you get to listen to keynotes, present your own research, be part of round table discussions, network and gain new contacts.


Confirmed Speakers

Katherine is professor in Biological Oceanography, leader of Sustainability Science Centre at the University of Copenhagen and co-author of the UN-report the Future is Now - Science for achieving sustainable development . At Act Sustainable Research Conference she will talk more about the report and the role of science for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.



Gabriel is the Swedish national coordinator for the 2030 Agenda, and former Minister with responsibility for public health and health care issues. At this conference he will talk about the Swedish implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and how researchers and research institutions can contribute in this work.

Haileselassie is country director for Ethiopia at World Resources Institute and previously worked as the Director of Institutional Development and Senior Research Fellow at the Environment for Development (EfD) in Sweden. At this conference he will give some perspectives on the role of international research collaboration for achieving sustainable development.

Christian is professor in Energy and environment at Chalmers University of Technology. He has acted as policy advisor to two Swedish Prime Ministers, to all Swedish environment ministers between 2002 and 2014, and to the EU commissioner for the Environment Margot Wallström.  He will contribute to this conference with a talk about the role of science versus politics in the climate conversation.









Merritt is professor in Human Ecology and head of department at the School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg. She has worked as head of the development of a transdisciplinary methodology for joint knowledge production and capacity building between universities, private, semi-private and public organizations and will talk about the role of transdisciplinary co-production for sustainable urban development



Anna is the chief executive director  at the research founder Mistra and a former director of the Science Affairs Department at the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. She has a PhD in microbiology and is a construction engineering graduate. At this conference she is going to talk about the role and opportunity of Mistra in funding research and innovation that support the transition to a more sustainable  development.

Jan is the director of Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, GMV and Professor at the Department of Chemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg. Jan will open up this conference with an introductory speech.

Symbolic brain-network
The Global Goals logo in academic blue and gold outlines
Academic hat
Downward pointing arow



Six thematic sessions

Six thematic sessions

The themes for Act Sustainable Research Conference are based on the UN Global Sustainable Development Report for 2019: The Future is Now - science for achieving sustainable development, that has been written by an independent group of researchers from around the world. The report identifies six entry points that according to the experts offer the most promise for achieving the desired transformations needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  Based on these entry points we organize six thematic sessions in which researchers who have submitted accepted abstracts will get a chance to present related research.

Strengthening human
wellbeing and capabilities
Shifting towards sustainable and just economies
Building sustainable food systems and healthy nutrition pattern
Achieving energy decarbonization with universal access to energy
Promoting sustainable urban and peri-urban development
Securing the global environmental commons

Scientific committee

 We are proud to present the members of the scientific committee that will evaluate all proposals and put together a program for thematic sessions based on the entry points.

  • Johan Mellqvist, Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers and coordinator for Gothenburg Air and Climate Network, GAC·(chair)

  • Frida Boräng, Department of Political Studies at the University of Gothenburg and research fellow at the Quality of Government Institute (QoG)

  • Olof Johansson Stenman, Department of Economics at the University of Gotheburg

  • Gunilla Krantz, Institute of Medicine, at the University of Gothenburg

  • Annica Kronsell, School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg

  • Nils Björling, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at Chalmers

  • Filip Johnsson, Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers

Steering group

The conference is planned by a steering group, consisting of people representing several different research-oriented networks based at Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development.

  • Caroline Petersson, project manager, Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development (GMV

  • Olof Drakenberg, project manager, representing Global Sustainable Futures

  • Jenni Strömstad, project manager, representing the SDG 8 initiative at the University of Gothenburg

  • Johan Mellquist, researcher at Chalmers and coordinator for Gothenburg Air and Climate Network (GAC)

  • Kerstin Hemström, Acting Platform leader, Centre for Sustainable Urban Futures

For questions, please contact main organizer of the conference, Caroline Petersson (caroline.petersson@chalmers.se

Programme outline

The conference will be organized during two half days on 18-19 November between 8.30-12.30. We are currently adapting the program to fit with the new digital format. We are planning for a mix of plenary sessions with keynotes, networking activities and parallel sessions based on the conference theme