Sustainability Transitions Theme
Sustainability Transformations theme
Esben Rahbek Pedersen
Sönnich Dahl Sönnichsen
Mission & Activities
The notion of ‘sustainable transformations’ serves a dual function in the strategic development of CBS Sustainability. On the one hand, it is a shared theme that provides inspiration and input for scholarly activity across the different research groups. On the other, it designates particular efforts to investigate cutting edge developments in sustainable development and engage with a broader sustainability agenda.
While maintaining a primary focus on the roles of modern businesses and developments in the private sector, we consider sustainability as a societal concern that involves cross-sectoral opportunities and challenges and calls for transdisciplinary engagement, knowledge creation and problem solving. Considering the predominance of technical and environmental sciences in sustainability scholarship, we want to stress the importance of studying and providing nuanced accounts of the social conditioning of (systemic) problems and solutions. That is, we want to embrace the social side of sustainability.
Among the relevant focal points for our research are the functioning of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a development tool, developments in circular economy and sharing economy, sustainable/smart cities, responsible supply chain management, sustainable business models, materiality and indicators. We will be drawing on a wide range of theoretical disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, political science, business economics, operations management, marketing and ICT along with the business and society literature. Moreover, we strongly emphasize the need to find ways to bridge gaps between silos/disciplines and engage in interdisciplinary research collaboration with the technical and environmental sciences.
We are dedicated to research based teaching and to ensure that sustainability and corporate responsibility are integrated into future curriculum development at CBS. Members of the hub contribute to teaching and program development at the undergraduate, graduate and masters levels. Among the foci of the courses (core courses and electives) currently offered are:
- Corporate social responsibility and sustainable development
- Responsible management
- Circular economy
- Sharing economy
- Sustainable supply chain management
- Sustainable consulting
We are dedicated to the integration of transdisciplinarity into courses and programs. We consider collaboration with student organizations as an important resource for knowledge development, learning and dissemination (see below). The development of a Living Lab at CBS is one way to engage students in practical experimentation and problem-solving in relation to pressing sustainability issues.
We see it as an important part of our joint purpose to take an active role in seeking dialogue, interaction and collaboration with external constituencies, including business, civil society organizations and policy-makers. The CBS Sustainability Seminar Series is one of the tools supporting this aim.
We also consider it as part of our purpose to support collaboration across departments and disciplines at CBS and to take the initiative in bringing people from different research environments together around sustainability issues. We consider students and student organizations important resources for such bridging efforts.
Importantly, we also take active roles in supporting the uptake of sustainability within the CBS organization, including strategy and policy development.