Lectures 2015 – University of Copenhagen

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Lectures 2015


Sharing Cities - A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities

Professor Julian Agyeman and PhD candidate Duncan McLaren spoke on the potential and challenges for cities in the race towards sustainability.

How could sharing shift values and norms, enable civic engagement and political activism, and rebuild a shared urban commons? This question is explored by Agyeman and McLaren in their book 'Sharing Cities' - and it was the focal point at this lecture.

The event took place on 14 December and was moderated by Professor Jens Hoff from the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen.

See the slides here


Arctic Resilience and Humanity's Future on Earth

The Arctic is changing more rapidly than any other biome, and moreover plays a key role in regulating the global climate system. Arctic resilience is therefore a key for world development.

On 23 November, Professor Johan Rockström (Stockholm Resilience Centre) gave a talk on how we become planetary stewards in order to safeguard local development, and the need for sustaining the stability and resilience of all critical biomes on Earth, particularly the Arctic.

Professor of geology Minik Rosing, who is leading the multidisciplinary research initiative Greenland Perspective, responded to the lecture.

The event was moderated by Professor Katherine Richardson, leader of the Sustainability Science Centre.

See Professor Rockströms presentation slides here



Systems Thinking and Sustainability

Thinking in systems is a way of handling our changing and complex world. But what exactly does it mean to think in systems? In this sustainability lecture, Dr. Niki Frantzeskaki from DRIFT, Erasmus University Rotterdam, explored the concepts of systems, agency and sustainability transitions.

The lecture was arranged in cooperation with the student organization TVÆRS and took place on 21 October.

See the slides used by Dr. Frantzeskaki here.


Workshop on Data and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

On 7 October this workshop on the newly adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals was organized jointly by the network for Oresund Early Career Sustainability Researchers (ODYSUS), the Sustainability Science Centre at UCPH, and the Danish UN-Association.

At the workshop, it was debated how to effectively measure the SDGs and how to gather the necessary data.

Before working in smaller groups on these issues, Andreas Poppenbøll (UN-Association Denmark), Maciej Truszczynski (Statistics Denmark) and Henrik Hansen (Professor of Development Economics, UCPH), each gave a talk on the SDGs. You can watch the talks below.


Sustainable Energy for All - an initiative to transform the global energy system

On 26 May Dr. Kandeh Yumkella spoke on the UN initiative Sustainable Energy for All.

Dr. Yumkella is Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Chief Executive for the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4All).

The world faces three great energy challenges in the coming decades:

First, we must end energy poverty - and ensure that every person has access to electricity and modern sustainable energy sources for cooking and heating.
Second, we need to strengthen economic growth in a way that is equitable and addresses growing energy demand.
Third, we need to slow the warming of our planet by reducing global emissions and combatting local environmental destruction from energy.

The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative is working on these challenges facing humankind by facilitating transformations in the global energy system with strong partners in business, civil society, governments and international institutions.

Respondent to the talk was Professor Mogens Brøndsted Nielsen, Center for Exploitation of Solar Energy & Department of Chemistry, UCPH.

See the slides used by Dr. Yumkella here.

See the slides used by Mogens Brøndsted Nielsen here.


Changes in the Gulf Stream System, planetary waves and extreme weather

Global warming does not simply warm up our planet’s surface – rather it has some interesting and complex effects on the circulation of its atmosphere and oceans, which were explored in this lecture on 6 May.

The disproportionate warming of the Arctic has been linked in recent research to changes in the activity of planetary waves and the jet stream in the atmosphere. In the ocean, observations point to an ongoing slow-down of the Gulf Stream System. Both types of circulation change may have profound impacts on us humans.

Professor Stefan Rahmstorf is a physicist and oceanographer, educated at Bangor University and with a phd from Victoria University of Wellington. Since 2000 he teaches Physics of the Oceans as a professor at Potsdam University.

Rahmstorf is a member of the Academia Europaea and served from 2004-2013 in the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). He was also one of the lead authors of the 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC.

See the slides used by Prof. Rahmstorf here.


Sustainable Development Goals - Rethinking Sustainable Development in the Post-2015 Era

In September this year, governments will agree on an unprecedented agenda for how human society should develop to improve social, environmental and economic conditions for all people on the planet. But how do we go from words on paper to implementation of the agenda?

On 25 February, Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, adressed this question. With outset in the recent Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary General, this lecture explored the possible paths to implementation of the Post-2015 agenda, the implications for national and regional governments, and the current knowledge gaps that must be addressed by research communities.

See the slide presentation used by Mr. Martínez-Solimán here.

The Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary General can be found here.
The Open Working Group proposal for SDG's can be found here.
And finally the UN's Sustainable Develpoment Knowledge Platform holds many more resources.