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Agenda 2030 PhD courses

The Agenda 2030 Graduate School provides interdisciplinary PhD courses based on the societal challenges related to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The courses are open to all PhD students at Lund University and free of charge. Admission priority will be given to the PhD students within the Agenda 2030 graduate school. There is a possibility for PhD students from other universities and master students to participate in courses - please contact the course coordinator of the specific course for further information. Below you find information about currently offered courses, course registration and course coordinators.

PhD courses, Spring 2022

Sustainable Cities and Communities

22 April- 13 June, Faculty of Engineering

The world is urbanizing at a high speed. A large portion of wealth and culture, but also of pollution, stress, and crime, originates from cities. The careful planning of cities and communities plays a key role in the transition to a more sustainable and resilient society, something that is also recognized by the UN in the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. But what is sustainability? How can we make our cities more sustainable? What are the most important challenges in a modern, democratic city? To have a chance at reaching this, we need to better understand each other’s views on sustainability and realize the limitations of our own position. This course is multidisciplinary with teachers and participants from several faculties. It is envisioned as a starting point for discussions and participants' reflections on their own and others’ approaches to the concept of sustainability.

PhD courses, Autumn 2022

Small acts and big effects - Why should individuals act in a way that promotes Agenda 2030 goals and can we make them do so?

12 - 30 September, Faculty of Humanities and Theology

The course gives a deeper understanding of collective harm cases and the inefficacy problem. Collective harm cases are situations where there will be bad consequences if enough people act in a certain way, but where no individual act makes a difference to the outcome. Climate change, pandemics and consumer choices provide examples. In such situations, each individual might reason along the following lines: “Since my act does not make a difference to the outcome, I have no reason to refrain from performing it”. The problem is to tell where the reasoning goes wrong. This is the inefficacy problem. During the course, we read and discuss renowned solutions to this ethical problem, including consequentialist solutions, macro-economic solutions, and more. There are 20 seats available on the course.

  • Course description and schedule (PDF, 106 kB, new tab)
  • Course registration: Send an email to Annika Wallin, see address below
  • Deadline for registration: 22 August
  • Course organisers: Annika Wallin (Cognitive science) and Mattias Gunnemyr (Practical philosophy)
    annika [dot] wallin [at] lucs [dot] lu [dot] se
    mattias [dot] gunnemyr [at] fil [dot] lu [dot] se

Sustainable land use

3 October - 11 November, Faculty of Science

The sustainable use of land is a central component to reaching many of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. This course caters to both graduate students who want to embed their research topic in broader processes of global societal challenges related to land use, as well as those wanting to learn more about the biogeochemical and ecological processes setting the possibilities and constraints of land use and methods of measurement upon which sustainable land use is evaluated.

  • Course description (PDF, 193 kB, new tab)
  • Course schedule to be announced
  • Course registration and deadline to be announced
  • Course coordinator: Johanna Alkan Olsson
    johanna [dot] alkan_olsson [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se

Justice, equality, and the 2030 Agenda

31 October - 29 November, Faculty of Social Science

The course provides a critical introduction to the 2030 Agenda from the perspectives of justice and equality. The course emphasizes the challenges involved in implementing the 2030 Agenda in both the Global North and the Global South, analysing processes of stratification, social exclusion, discrimination and unequal opportunities. The course takes a multi-scalar approach, linking global processes, politics, institutions and structures to their local practices, outcomes and experiences. The course invites doctoral students to connect their own research to the themes of the course, regardless of their disciplinary background.

Transformations towards sustainability: Responsible consumption and production

31 October - 15 January 2023, School of Economics and Management

The course will revolve around the system transformations needed to achieve SDG12 on sustainable consumption and production in a globalized world. The students will be provided with perspectives from a variety of disciplines such as economic history, economics and business administration, innovation-, development- and sustainability studies, etc. to understand the opportunities and challenges of transforming current systems of production and consumption. The course will cover different levels of analysis from individuals and organizations; industries and whole economics and global systems. Illustrations will come from a variety of areas and from both the Global North and the Global South.

  • Course description (PDF, 278 kB, new tab)
  • Course schedule to be announced
  • Course registration: Send an email to the course coordinator, see below
  • Deadline for registration: 3 October
  • Course coordinator: Ellen Hillbom and Susanne Arvidsson
    ellen [dot] hillbom [at] ekh [dot] lu [dot] se
    susanne [dot] arvidsson [at] fek [dot] lu [dot] se

A law to save the world?

29 November - 31 January 2023, Faculty of Law

This course offers critical analysis of the sustainable development goals and the discourses and interests they serve. Material from a range of disciplines - history, politics, economics, and law is used for a better understanding of where Agenda 2030 is coming from and where the world it brings into being might be heading. The course focuses in particular on the relationship between sustainable development and our existing global legal order.The course brings all three spheres of sustainable development - the economy, the environment and the social into focus. For each area, three different sets of questions are discussed: 1. Viability or futility of Incremental change, 2. Harmony between or conflicting goals, and 3. Alternative futures.


Ylva van Meeningen
Research administrator
ylva [dot] van_meeningen [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 (0)730-81 49 68