German-Danish Research and Doctoral Program on the Future of Supply Chains
Many of the products we consume today are the output of global supply chains. This can be explained by the fact that some of the required raw materials can only be found in certain regions of the world as well as by companies looking to take advantage of global labor cost differences in order to reduce production costs. However, local working conditions in many of these global supply chains, especially in low-wage countries, often lack transparency and are not without problems. Today’s supply chains are mostly designed to be global and as efficient as possible. At the same time, they are designed as linear chains, which are geared towards one-off consumption. Considering our climate and biodiversity crises, resource limitations and a globally expanding middle class, this approach – also known as take–make–dispose – is problematic. The principles of today’s supply chains thus appear to be unsustainable given our planetary boundaries. But what should our future supply chains look like instead? The Supply Chain of the 21st Century – Towards Ethical, Social and Circular Business Models, a joint project between Copenhagen Business School and Nordakademie – University of Applied Sciences Hamburg & Elmshorn, addresses this question. Within the scope of this three-year research and doctoral program, two PhD students are being funded to work on this topic in a scientific and practical manner. Their results are expected to be published and presented at relevant conferences. The corresponding cooperation agreement was signed by the two universities in July this year. The aim is to create value for both business and society. Associate Professor Andreas Wieland supervises the project at CBS, while on the German side Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Fürstenberg is the supervisor of the project. Key to challenging conventional wisdom is conducting research in an interdisciplinary manner by combining supply chain management with fields such as those of politics and ecology, where different methodological and theoretical assumptions prevail. The project receives financial support from the Nordakademie Foundation. The non-profit foundation, established in 2017, is involved in promoting internal and external projects in the fields of academia and research, education, and art and culture. NORDAKADEMIE – University of Applied Sciences has been offering practical study courses with outstanding study conditions for more than 25 years. In addition to five dual bachelor’s degree programs, this includes eleven extra-occupational master’s programs as well as continuing education and certificate courses and a doctoral program. The university is system accredited.