The Board has adopted the faculty’s sustainability action plan. The implementation work begins now, and in the long term it will involve the entire faculty. So far, five working groups with priority areas have been set up and networks of external sustainability experts have been formed.
The sustainability goals will be implemented in the degree programmes, research and administration. The faculty's sustainability plan is based on Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, which will be implemented in accordance with Lund University's Sustainable Development Strategy 2019-2026 and the faculty's Strategic Plan 2019-2024.
- Sustainable development should be an ongoing process in all operations in Sweden today, including a faculty. “We believe there needs to be a paradigm shift in how we view sustainability work and what we can do from the medical perspective," says Professor Heiko Herwald, Vice Dean responsible for collaboration and sustainability.
Heiko Herwald explains that the sustainability efforts are based on the philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt's concepts of learning and the role of the university.
- This is about how we live and very much about ethics and morals. Like Humboldt, the Faculty of Medicine believes that academic freedom must be one of the most important goals to preserve. When this is guaranteed, concepts, curricula and research projects can be matched with goals in Agenda 2030.
There are now five working groups with priority areas of responsibilities according to the faculty's Strategic Plan. Working group leaders, doctoral students and student representatives have been appointed. In spring 2021, the groups will be staffed. A survey is underway to find representatives of the different groups, but also to find willing ambassadors who can act as contact persons in the different parts of the operations. The working group leaders have met twice so far. The external experts participated on one of these occasions.
-The paradigm shift is based on knowledge and volunteerism. Good communication is crucial to get there. In spring 2021, we will focus on building foundations for future work. Everyone should be on the same page! Says Heiko Herwald.
External experts who have either already participated or are participating in the development of a sustainability plan have been identified and an initial meeting has taken place. The external network includes; Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Diocese of Lund and Multihelix.
- The point of the external network is to learn from others, and adapt to others. For example, if it is to work, our sustainability plan must go hand in hand with that of health care.
- Lund's diocese uses an expression that I like; "don't leave anyone behind". How could we use that from a medical perspective, Heiko Herwald wonders.
Education and sustainability
There is already a doctoral education with sustainability elements. The aim of the course is for the doctoral student to learn to reflect on the importance of academic research in society at large and how academic research can help solve society's challenges.
- Training should be given more prominence when sustainability efforts are designed. “This also applies to the university's overall sustainability plan, but we want to change that," says Heiko Herwald.
Kristina Åkesson, future dean at the faculty, emphasizes the importance of thinking in terms of sustainability at the faculty.
- It is crucial in relation to our courses, our research and everyone we interact with, and such an approach includes concern for employees and students. We must constantly think about how we can contribute and what we can do better. The sustainability plan is a first step in this direction.
A newsletter earlier this spring described how sustainability work is linked to Humboldt's theory of learning and the role of the university.
Working Group 1
Education and research
Karin Broberg, Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Working Group 2
Kajsa M Paulsson, Antigen presentation
Working Group 3
International and national relations
Lars Hagander, Paediatrics, Surgery and Public Health, Paediatric Surgery
Working Group 4
Employeeship, leadership and management
Saema Ansar, Neurosurgery
Working Group 5
Resources and tools
Ebba Malmquist, Occupational and Environmental Medicine
PhD student representative
Director, Raoul Wallenberg Institute
Carita Ibarra Kristensen
Diocesan deacon, Diocese of Lund
Ursula Hultqvist Bengtsson
CEO and founder Multihelix
Associate Professor and Senior Physician Region Skåne
Social strategist with focus on public health and social sustainability, Lund Municipality
Text: Sofia B Liljedahl