Stockholm university
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Sustainability science I

Explore the challenges of sustainability, together with leading scholars and practitioners. This course lays the foundations of sustainability, presents key debates, and explores ways forward, with a particular emphasis on business and sustainable development.

Plant in glass jar in snowy landscape
Photo: Paul Rosero Contreras

In this course you will learn from sustainability scientists who are elaborating different aspects and frontiers in sustainability science, including if and how businesses engage in sustainable development . You will also meet guest speakers who are working at the interface of sustainability science and business practice.
You will learn about what sustainability means, the history of this concept and how it has influenced international policy and business practice.
You will explore cases that illuminate key aspects of sustainability and illustrate different theories of how to shift corporate actions towards more sustainable practices.
You will learn about the key debates in sustainability and business and develop a capacity to engage with them and make well-informed arguments.
The course is offered as a part of the Bachelor Program “Business, Ethics and Sustainability”, but can also be taken as a separate course.

  • Course structure


    The course consists of two parts:

    • The biosphere and humankind, 10 credits
    • Corporations and sustainable development in the Anthropocene I, 5 credits

    Teaching format

    This is an on campus, full time course and your participation in the learning activities is crucial for reaching the learning goals. Lectures are typically scheduled in the mornings of Tuesdays and Thursdays, whereas seminars take place in the afternoons of Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Mondays and Wednesdays are to extent possible set aside for self-studies and group work.


    We assess knowledge based on written home exams (including reflective logs) and seminar activity.


    Lisen Schultz


    Lisen Schultz is a sustainability scientist at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), and program director for the SRC’s Executive program in resilience thinking, which connects CEOs of influential companies to the frontiers of sustainability science. Lisen has a PhD in natural resource management from Stockholm university.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Biggs, R., Schlüter, M. & Schoon, M. L. (Eds.) Principles for building resilience: Sustaining ecosystem services in social-ecological systems. Cambridge University Press 2015.

  • Course reports

  • More information

    The core teaching team consists of:

    Associate professor Tim Daw, sustainability scientist and principal researcher based at the SRC with long experience in bringing social and ecological understandings of coastal areas together to advance both biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation, in collaboration with other scientists as well as with governments and international organsiations such as FAO, UNDEP and the WorldFish Centre.  

    Professor Örjan Bodin, sustainability scientist and principal researcher at the SRC with an MSc in Physics and a PhD in Systems Ecology/Natural Resource Management. Prior to his academic engagement, Bodin was working in the telecommunication and IT industries for nearly a decade. In addition to several theoretically oriented studies, he has engaged in case studies of small-scale fisheries in east Africa, high sea fishery in the Southern Ocean, agriculture in southern Madagascar, and regional land use management in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Postdoctoral researcher Niak Koh, focused on how biodiversity policies can be designed and implemented to meet our global goals for protecting and restoring nature. Research topics include the design of effective economic policies and the intersection of human rights and biodiversity law. Prior to joining the SRC, Koh worked with research and communications at environmental consultancies. Her background includes business development and pricing analysis.

  • Contact

    Student office
    Study counsellor for basic level