Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Plenary 1: Societal transformation
Wednesday, 11/Sep/2019:
8:40am - 10:20am

Location: Wallenbergsalen
Conference Centre Wallenberg

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Plenary 1: Societal transformation

Mikael Cullberg, Cynthia Mitchell, Dena Fam



Mikael Cullberg

Head of the Governor’s Chancellery at the Swedish County Administration Agency

This presentation offers a public sector perspective on societal transformation and trans-disciplinarity. It is based on the experience of Mistra Urban Futures over more than ten years, including the pre-start-up phase: Mikael was the County Administration’s co-ordinator for M-UF from 2009 to 2014 and then Director of the Gothenburg Local Interaction Platform (LIP) 2014–2016. From 2018 he is a member of the Gothenburg Consortium Council which is made up of the seven organisations that won the bid for Mistra funding 2010–2019.

During 2019 he is also its chairman. The Council is now in the process of preparing for continued collaboration with eight partners from 2020 to 2024.

As a back-drop, the presentation will describe the role of the County Administration, what trans-disciplinarity means to a multi-sectoral public authority, and what such an agency can contribute. It will also dwell a little on the challenges it faces, trying to promote sustainable development. Some examples are given from this experience. We believe that trans-disciplinarity and close collaboration with other organisations is the only way forward.

Then, it will go on to reflections on what forms of organising and structures that are needed, considering the imperative to understand and address complex sustainability issues. What skills and capacities are needed? How do you influence decisions and processes? And finally, what are the experiences so far of trans-disciplinary work, through the local interaction platform of M-UF

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Keynote 2:



Associate Professor Dena Fam

Distinguished Professor Cynthia Mitchell

Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

We live in a period where human activity has become the dominant influence on our planet. As a result of the Anthropocene, we are facing unprecedented challenges to life on earth. Addressing complex sustainability issues that threaten the existence of humans and other species, such as climate change impacts, biodiversity loss, water and resource scarcity, and global food security, requires rapid, far reaching and unprecedented transformations in all aspects of society.

What ought to be the role of TD professionals (academics and practitioners from industry, government and the community) in effecting this scale and speed of change? What would it take to scale up the impact and reach of our TD efforts? What new forms of dispositions, learnings and leadership might help, personally and institutionally?

In true transdisciplinary fashion, this interactive session is an opportunity to collectively explore our perceptions around the roles, opportunities, and responsibilities we have as TD protagonists for societal transformation. We look forward to rumbling* with you.

* with thanks to Brene Brown

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