Professorship in Sustainable Food Systems at Stockholm University
To ensure free and independent research in the global food systems field, the foundation funds a professorship at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University: “The Curt Bergfors Professorship in Sustainability Science with a Focus on Sustainable Food Systems”. The funding over ten years corresponds to a donation of SEK 20 million.
Numerous candidates were considered by the university for the ten-year tenure. Three finalists were chosen for an interview- and test lecture process, and on February 11, 2021, the position was awarded to the Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Dr. Line Gordon. Her appointment will further strengthen the center’s research focus on how the global food system interacts with the biosphere.
Gordon is an internationally recognized scientist. Her research integrates insights from resilience thinking,
“I am deeply grateful for the generosity showed by the Curt Bergfors Foundation, and look forward to use this opportunity to further strengthen our capacity, push the frontier in research on the future of sustainable and resilient food systems to improve human and planetary health.”
Closely aligned with current research
One of the professorship’s research areas will explore national, regional, and global scenarios, identifying alternative development pathways for more resilient food systems that help achieve national and global goals.
The subject description of the professorship is: “interdisciplinary research on sustainable development, with studies of the interactions between ecological and social systems, and in particular how the food systems affect the biosphere and human health”.
As such, the new professorship will be closely aligned with Stockholm Resilience Centre’s current research efforts, concentrating on one of the greatest challenges of our time: how to produce enough nutritious food for a growing world population while also decreasing the pressure on the planet’s climate and ecosystems.
“Only with a better understanding of our food systems and their impact can we find and support the initiatives around the world that can secure a safe and resilient food supply.”
Curt Bergfors, Founder, the Curt Bergfors Foundation
“The professorship is a fundamental step in the foundation’s mission to advance knowledge on how today’s food systems interact with the health of people, the biosphere and the planet. Deeper interdisciplinary research and innovative and cross-border solutions are needed to successfully transition to sustainable food production over the next ten years.”
Lars Peder Hedberg, former Director-General, the Curt Bergfors Foundation
To achieve a wider understanding of the complex interactions and impacts of the global food system, the foundation will fund research at leading universities and other institutions worldwide. The program includes broad commission-like research efforts involving many scientists over several years and more narrowly defined research projects that will clarify the food systems’ functionalities and alternative development strategies.