Sustainable development: past – present – future

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Geocentrum Småland
  • Lecturer: Dr Magdalena Kuchler
  • Organiser: Research Programme Natural Resources and Sustainable Development
  • Contact person: Magdalena Kuchler
  • Phone: 018-471 6885
  • Docentföreläsning

The Department of Earth Sciences hereby invites all interested to a docent (associate professorship) lecture in the subject Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.



Over the last three decades, the concept of sustainable development has gradually become a much-used “buzzword” within academia, governments, civil society, business and industry. The concept has been applied in many research papers, course syllabuses, investment portfolios, planning strategies and political decisions around the world. Despite its ambiguity, sustainable development has slowly but convincingly gained a broad recognition as the essential component of global, national and local policies, in both developed and developing countries. But what is sustainable development?

Instead of explaining this concept by confining it to one specific definition or one particular document, it is pertinent to learn about and understand sustainable development through the prisms of its origins and historical evolution, as well as present and future trends. Starting from the pre- and early-industrial concerns surrounding natural resource use and population growth, through the surge in modern environmental movements and rising tensions between developed and developing countries in the 1960s and 1970s, sustainable development has gradually emerged  from a number of milestone documents (e.g. “Our Common Future”) and landmark international conferences (e.g. 1992 Earth Summit) in the second half of the twentieth century.

By outlining the roots and progression of sustainable development, the lecture provides an overview of how the concept has been shaped and expanded, and what key conceptual shifts have occurred until today. The lecture also addresses future trends and challenges as the concept becomes even more widely adopted.

The lecture is an obligatory teaching test for those applying for admittance as docent (associate professor) and it should be possible for students and others with basic academic education in the relevant field to follow it. The lecture will last for 45 minutes and afterwards the audience may ask questions. The lecture will be given in English.



Chairperson: Professor Patrik Rönnbäck

Representative of the Associate Professorship Board: Professor Hemin Koyi