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Swedish research programme to analyse consequences of pandemic

The #Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, #Mistra, has announced a package of funding for the interdisciplinary research programme Mistra Geopolitics, hosted by Stockholm Environment Institute (#SEI). 

The 60 million SEK will fund research and stakeholder engagement at six leading Swedish universities and institutes, starting in January 2021.

Mistra Geopolitics explores the interface between #geopolitics, human security and global #environmental #change. In particular, it helps Swedish government, businesses and other stakeholders to anticipate future opportunities and challenges. 

Thomas Nilsson, programmes director at Mistra, said: ‘We are looking forward to another four years with Mistra Geopolitics. In a turbulent time with great geopolitical uncertainty, this programme is more important than ever.’


In its first four years, Mistra Geopolitics managed to build new international research networks and attract several international guest researchers. Among other highlights noted by Mistra, it was able to regularly influence global scientific debate on geopolitics in the Anthropocene. It has also contributed to establishing geopolitical foresight at the top of industry organisations, agencies and financial institutions.

Åsa Persson, deputy director and research director at Stockholm Environment Institute, said: ‘We are very proud to host this programme at SEI and to work with world class partners, in Sweden and internationally. The knowledge and analysis Mistra Geopolitics offers is in increasing demand, and we are constantly looking for ways to make sense of new geopolitical and sustainability trends. In this second four year phase of the programme, we are very excited to be bringing in expertise on emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.’

Björn-Ola Linnér, programme director of Mistra Geopolitics and professor of Environmental Change at Linköping University, emphasises that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed many uncertainties: ‘The pandemic could thwart the goals of the Paris Agreement. We may see a turn toward more isolationism and pollution-intensive economic recovery efforts. However, the Covid-19 pandemic may also spur a ‘geopolitics of generosity’. It offers a timely opportunity to shift towards greener, healthier and more resilient societies.’

According to Björn-Ola Linnér, collaboration is more important than ever:

‘I am so pleased that we have received funding for a second phase of Mistra Geopolitics. The collaboration of researchers from different fields of expertise is central to understanding the complexity of these issues. We also engage with our partners, collaborate with industry, agencies, political institutions and civil society, and are constantly learning new things from each other.’

 

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