The Nils Klim Seminar: "Aligning Digitalisation and Sustainability"

The 2021 Nils Klim Seminar is held in honour of 2021 Nils Klim Laureate Daria Gritsenko.

What kind of governance can align digital technological disruption with sustainability transition challenges?

In order to survive and thrive, contemporary societies need to prioritise human development in harmony with the environment. Digitalisation holds potential to help us with challenges of sustainability transition. Yet, adverse effects of digital technology on individuals, institutions, and nature complicate the picture. To benefit from digitalisation and ensure our well-being within planetary boundaries, we need political intentions and collective action that bring sustainability to the forefront.

There will be an introduction of the topic by the 2021 Nils Klim Laureate, Daria Gritsenko, followed by presentations by invited guests, a panel discussion and Q&A. All speakers will participate via videolink.

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Daria GritsenkoDaria Gritsenko: Introduction of the topic

Daria Gritsenko is Assistant Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Helsinki. Holding a PhD in Social Sciences and a title of Docent in Environmental Policy, Gritsenko focuses on the governance dynamics in response to the changing natural and technological environments. Gritsenko is awarded the Nils Klim Prize in 2021 for her outstanding research contributions in the intersection between political science, environmental studies and digital humanities.


Victor Galaz

Viktor Galaz: "Sustainability in an Era of Dark Machines"

As the pressure of human activities accelerates on our living planet, so too does the hope that these machine intelligent technologies will be able to increase societies’ capacities to detect and to respond to a changing planet, and provide tools for dealing with its detrimental repercussions. In this talk, I will explore the converging trends of rapid planetary and technological change (especially artificial intelligence), and some key challenges for governance and sustainability politics.

Viktor Galaz is Associate Professor of Political Science, and Deputy Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, and Program Director at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences).

Marianne RyghaugMarianne Ryghaug: "Governing emerging technologies and enacting futures. Towards transitions to a sustainable world​​"

The social sciences have for a long time been concerned with understanding the relationship between social change and technological change. As argued by many social theorists the last 250 years industrialization and modernization can be described as deep socio-technical transition with outcomes such as increased resource- and energy intensity and reliance on fossil fuels, increased labor productivity and mechanization. As a response, an explicit focus on sustainability transitions has emerged as a way of understanding and engaging with the challenges of climate change and sustainability. To what extent do digital transformations within energy, transport and mobility seem to foster transformations to more sustainable futures? How do we ensure that transitions enabled and co-produced with digitalization processes become just, fair, and more humane? Acknowledging that transformative change cannot be achieved without transforming how we look at problems also entails a focus on building capacity for anticipatory governance and scientific practices. 

Marianne Ryghaug, Professor of Science and Technology Studies and Head of the Center for Energy, Climate and Environment, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).


Håvard HaarstadHåvard Haarstad

The event will be moderated by Håvard Haarstad, Professor of Human Geography and Director of the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation, University of Bergen.




to 12:00, CEST.
Practical information
Time: 10:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. (UTC+2)
Virtual event only.
No pre-registration needed.