Opening of the Centre for Sustainability and Society (SUSY) – University of Copenhagen

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Opening of the Centre for Sustainability and Society (SUSY)

On 7th of June the Centre for Sustainability and Society (SUSY) will have its official opening accompanied by prominent key note speakers. The interesting talks will be within the field of the new research centre, among others, sustainability, environment and society.

When: June 7th 2018 from 8.30am to 5pm (8.30-17.00). See program below.

Where: The Centre for Health and Society (CSS), building 35. (CSS 35.01.05)

Press here for registration.

Participation in the full day conference is free, but you need to register before 25th of May 2018. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis.

Theme for the opening event: The role of non-state actors in building new alliances and new knowledge for sustainable societies

Sustainability is one of the greatest challenges of our time. While the field of sustainable studies continues to be dominated by natural sciences, it is increasingly clear that the transition to sustainable societies requires tremendous and urgent changes in the way our societies are organized, which confers a central role to the social sciences.

While the climate and sustainability agenda was driven mainly by governments until the 2009 COP15 meeting in Copenhagen, civil society and market actors have been in the driving seat since then. Our societies are now characterized by a blossoming of new and innovative initiatives taken by various types of communities, cities, local governments, regions and private corporations. However, (national)environmental policies continues to very much focus on incentives meant to affect individual behaviour instead of tapping into existing and  emerging communities, corporations, etc. working for sustainability. Policy-making appears to be slow and to lag behind, which calls for new ways of organizing knowledge sharing and decision-making. There is a need for new alliances between citizens and policy makers, an alliance in which collective associations, eco-communities, environmental movements and progressive corporations have a prominent role to play.

Program for the opening event


Registration and coffee


Welcome by professor Jens Hoff

Opening speeches by:

Minister of Finance Kristian Jensen

Rector Henrik C. Wegener

Dean Troels Østergaard

Leader of Sustainability Science Centre Katherine Richardson

10:00-10:30 Break
10:30-11:15 Keynote by Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen: ‘Who can I trust, and what can I do? Local responses to global overheating’
11:15-12:00 Keynote by Professor Peter Newell: ‘Mobilizing for Transition: Power, Politics and Movements’.
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-13:45 Keynote by Dr. Laura Centemeri: ‘Rethinking environmentalism in capitalist ruins. Lessons from the permaculture movement’.
13:45-14:30 Keynote by Professor Florian Kaiser: ‘Sustainable societies: committed people in supportive conditions’.
14:30-15:00 Break
15:00-15:45 Keynote by Dr. David Wachsmuth:`Can Cities Save the Planet? The Limits and Possibilities of Local Environmental Governance´.
15:45-16:30 Keynote by Dr. Clark Miller:`Knowledge, Democracy, and the Empowerment of Communities to Create Sustainable and Resilient Futures´.
16:30-17:00 Closing remarks