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Sustainability has gone from being a relatively marginal issue to be on the top of the agenda in both the private and public sector. On the one hand, this increased attention has led to more proactive approaches to sustainability, seeing it as an opportunity rather than a risk to be managed. On the other hand, there are doubts as to the efficacy of such approaches to tackle acute social and environmental global problems, if this means that crucial issues are downplayed rather than addressed.

Re-framing sustainability

Re-framing sustainability

The research track re-framing sustainability focuses on critical issues to be dealt with in order to work towards for long-run solutions building on knowledge developed in different disciplines. The research thus aims to bring theories and practices associated with social, economic and ecological sustainability together and re-frame them in order to put them to use in the re-constructing and re-thinking of how to create prosperous and responsible neighbourhoods and organisations, and achieve long-lasting wellbeing of customers and citizens.


This raises important, and sometimes conflicting, political and economic questions about rights, needs, equality, boundaries, values, profit and the optimal allocation of limited resources. Synergies between research, education and cooperation with societal actors are also particularly valuable in this regard and a well-developed part of our activities.

In our cross-sector collaborations we are often involved in projects with the local public administration, local government and organizations such as housing companies, NGOs, civic organizations.


Re-framing sustainability for future business, management and society

The research track re-framing sustainability thus contributes to future business, management and society by supporting the shift from “business as usual” to “business for critical futures” lead by responsible management practices taking place in a continuum between the local and the global, as well as the social and the technological, and grounded in a situated commitment to society.

The collective work within the track re-framing sustainability is organized around 3 different areas which are presented here below together with some example of ongoing projects.

  1. Smart cities and urban infrastructures focuses on the challenges of sustainable development in urban economies.
  2. Democracy and inclusion investigate fundamental democratic questions such as migrants’ inclusiveness and climatic migrations, the changing roles of citizens and citizenship and the interconnections between global warming and justice.
  3. Inclusive health/care and technology for social sustainability at the intersection with digitalization in relation to welfare technologies and the re-construction of care practices.

More information

Fore more information about the researh track Re-framing Sustainability, please contact the track leader

Research leader


Research projects

Exploring the renewable energy system value constellation: Technological opinion leaders and their voices

Project manager: Peter Ekman


Research area: Marketing and strategy



This project aims to study to which degree the market mechanisms is enough to reach Swedish ambitious environmental goals (2020 and 2030). This is done by specifically focusing what and how technical opinion leaders (TOLs) communicates, in which value constellations they communicate, and what the effects on the market are.

The ethics and politics of climate-induced migration

Project manager: Jörgen Ödalen


Research area: The research group for studies in democracy, power and citizenship (DEM)



Global climate change is likely to become a major cause of future migration. Small Island States are particularly vulnerable since territorial destruction caused by sea level rise poses a threat to their entire existence. This raises important issues concerning state sovereignty and self-determination. This project investigates both theoretical and empirical issues related to this problem.

On the working conditions for academics and challenges for higher education posed by massification

Project manager: Jörgen Ödalen


Research area: The research group for studies in democracy, power and citizenship (DEM)



The effects of massification in higher education has been debated heatedly throughout the past years. Since the early 1990s, the number of students in Sweden has doubled and university teachers have become increasingly worried about the academic preparedness of students. At the same time, the government has not matched the increase in students with corresponding resources. This implies a fundamental challenge for individual teachers in higher education, their mental health, and consequently, the conditions to maintain quality of higher education.

The values of local government and the problem of municipal amalgamations

Project manager: Jörgen Ödalen


Research area: The research group for studies in democracy, power and citizenship (DEM)



I Sverige, såväl som i andra europeiska länder, förs diskussioner om kommunernas framtid. En av de viktigaste frågorna i debatten är om det behövs kommunsammanslagningar utformade för att uppnå en optimal struktur av den lokala nivån. Ofta fokuserar dessa dock bara på hur funktionell effektivitet ska uppnås. I detta projekt diskuteras ett antal alternativa sätt att se på det lokala självstyrets värden som går utöver detta snäva fokus på funktionell effektivitet.

IVRIS – Att introducera välfärdsteknik genom realisering av innovationsförmåga i samverkan

Project manager: Silvia Bruzzone


Research area: NOMP-group – New Organisation and Management Practices


Main financing: Vinnova


På kort sikt syftar projektet till att möjliggöra användningen av co-wt.se inom två utvalda organisationer: Eskilstuna kommun och Hjälpmedelscentralen i Eskilstuna. Med hjälp av FoU Sörmland som intermediär är ett långsiktigt syfte att detta sätt att arbeta för ökad innovationsförmåga sprids till fler organisationer i Sörmland.

SInS – Developing the capacity of leading technology-related social innovation in cooperation

Project manager: Lucia Crevani


Research area: NOMP-group – New Organisation and Management Practices


Main financing: Vinnova


The purpose of SInS is, on one hand, to develop a platform to lead social innovation in cooperation by involving practitioners and researchers.

HV3D Assistive technology and welfare technology in 3 dimensions

Project manager: Christine Gustafsson


Research area: Prolonged independent life The research group for studies in democracy, power and citizenship (DEM)


Main financing: KL, The Social Contract and Regional Council of Sörmland.


The overarching aim of the project is to work out a model for decision support for health and welfare organizations when planning to implement health and welfare technology..

Skilled migrants and their career success, a study of individual, organizational and institutional factors

Project manager: Ali Farashah


Research area: NOMP-group – New Organisation and Management Practices


Main financing: Forte


This research project identifies the main individual, organizational, and structural factors for career success of migrants and provides us with an overarching picture.

Balanced Smart Property Management

Project manager: Peter Ekman


Research area: Marketing and strategy The research group for studies in democracy, power and citizenship (DEM)



Balanserad Styrning av smarta fastigheter (BSSF)

Future-proof Cities

Project manager: Eva Thorin


Research area: Resource efficiency with focus on energy efficiency, low emissions and nutrient and material recovery


Main financing: The Knowledge Foundation


The corporate graduate school Future-Proof Cities has a focus on sustainable urban development, and builds on a community dialogue about challenges for Swedish medium-sized towns – a community dialogue in which academia, in collaboration with the private sector and community planning, plays a central part in implementing solutions for sustainable development.

A typology of residents' conceptions of housing in different Västerås' neighbourhood

Project manager: Terence Fell


Research area: The research group for studies in democracy, power and citizenship (DEM)


Main financing: Västerås municipality, Technical and real-estate administration


The project will supply the city of Västerås the necessary and sufficient means to better plan a socially sustainable neighbourhood.

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