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  • 1.
    Ayers, James
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Competence literate but context lacking?: Investigating the potential of study abroad programs to promote sustainability competence acquisition in students2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 13, article id 5389Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The examination of pedagogies that promote effective sustainability learning has led to vigorous academic discussion, as has research regarding the role of competence-based learning for sustainability. This paper investigates the role of a study abroad program, the Engineers without Borders Design Summit, in promoting the acquisition of sustainability competencies in its students. This study analysed both content of the program pedagogy and the written learning reflections of 137 student participants to examine if the program resulted in sustainability competence acquisition. The study's findings suggested that students did acquire sustainability competencies during the program, but also that students may become competence-literate but context-lacking as they acquire competency skillsets without understanding their purpose for use as sustainability tools or to promote sustainability outcomes. Therefore, this study recommends that competence-based education for sustainability requires situation of competence acquisition within sustainability contextualisation to ensure full competence potential is fulfilled. This study suggests that contextualisation can occur in a number of ways, including the use of defined sustainability principles as boundary conditions to frame learning environments, the use of sustainability epistemic teachers as "guides" to connect learning to sustainability and the facilitation of student experiences with unsustainability to promote personally motivated action towards sustainability. © 2020 by the author.

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    Competence literate but context lacking?
  • 2.
    Ayers, James
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Bryant, Jayne
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Missimer, Merlina
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    The use of reflective pedagogies in sustainability leadership education-a case study2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 17, article id 6726Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aims to examine the use of reflective pedagogies in sustainability leadership education by investigating two specific pedagogical tools-the Portfolio and Pod-employed by the Master's in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (MSLS) program at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden. The study analyzed data gathered from student surveys, teacher interviews, and staff reflections to determine the benefits and challenges faced by students and staff in implementing and engaging with these pedagogical tools. Benefits include the provision of distinct structures to guide student reflection towards individual skill development and the use of collective reflection to encourage generative dialogue between students and staff. This holds benefits for collaboration, self-awareness, understanding of multiple perspectives, and creating self-directed graduates. Staff and students also, however, suggest a number of challenges. These include the 'constrictive' nature of guided reflection and the emotional and mental load faced by staff in hosting and holding students through often challenging personal reflective processes. For the potential of reflective pedagogies to be truly realized for Education for Sustainable Development in higher education institutions need to develop an understanding of the impacts that reflective pedagogies have on students and teachers and create institutional structures to support them. © 2020 by the authors.

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    The use of reflective pedagogies in sustainability leadership education
  • 3.
    Bertoni, Marco
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Introducing Sustainability in Value Models to Support Design Decision Making: A Systematic Review2017In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 9, no 6, article id 994Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Manufacturing organizations shall recognize sustainability as a business occasion to capitalize on, rather than an undesirable pressing situation. Still, empirical evidence shows that this opportunity is hard to capture and communicate in global strategic decisions, through planning by tactical management, to daily operational activities. This paper systematically reviews the modeling challenges at the crossroad of value and sustainability decisions making, spotlighting methods and tools proposed in literature to link sustainability to customer value creation at strategic, tactical and operational level. While statistical results show that the topic of sustainability and value modeling is trending in literature, findings from content analysis reveal that recent attempts to promote a value-based view in the sustainability discussion remain at a strategic level, with most of the proposed indicators being suited for managerial decision-making. The lack of support at operational level points to the opportunity of cross-pollinating sustainability research with value-centered methodologies originating from the aerospace sector. The Value Driven Design framework is proposed as main hub from which to derive models supporting engineers and technology developers in the identification of win-win-win situations, where sustainable improvements are aligned with business advantages.

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  • 4.
    Bertoni, Marco
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Multi-Criteria Decision Making for Sustainability and Value Assessment in Early PSS Design2019In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 7, p. 1952-1979, article id 1952Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainability is increasingly recognized as a key innovation capability in the organization. However, it is not always evident for manufacturers how sustainability targets shall be “mixed and matched” with more traditional objectives—such as quality, time, cost, and performances—when designing and developing solutions. The emergence of “servitization” and product-service systems (PSS) further emphasizes the need for making thoughtful trade-offs between technical aspects, business strategies, and environmental benefits of a design. The objective of this paper is to investigate how multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) models shall be applied to down-select PSS concepts from a value perspective, by considering sustainability as one of the attributes of a design contributing to the overall value of a solution. Emerging from the findings of a multiple case study in the aerospace and construction sector, the paper presents a five-step iterative process to support decision making for sustainable PSS design, which was further applied to design an electrical load carrier. The findings show that the proposed approach creates a “hub” where argumentations related to “value” and “sustainability” of PSS solution concepts can be systematically captured in a way that supports the discussion on the appropriate quantification strategy.

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  • 5.
    Bratt, Cecilia
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Sroufe, Robert
    Duquesne University, USA.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Implementing strategic sustainable supply chain management2021In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 15, article id 8132Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite increasing business interest in sustainability in general and in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM), the ability to increase suppliers’ ecological and social performance is generally insufficient for many companies. In this study, we outline an implementation process model for sustainable supply chain management. We do so by synthesizing insights from a review of the sustainable supply chain management and organizational learning literature and a case study with a company aspiring to become a global leader in sustainable lighting. By combining these insights, we find that successful implementation of sustainable supply chain management requires sustainability to be anchored in a company’s vision and integrated into all functions. We also argue that organizational learning, especially learning with external stakeholders such as suppliers, an operational definition of socioecological sustainability among stakeholders, and procedural support for the cocreation of strategic plans for change are vital for achieving a truly sustainable supply chain. This definition and cocreation allow for attention to be directed toward strategic ecological and social practices, along with the joint handling of tradeoffs and economic considerations among stakeholders. As we build a foundation for an SSCM implementation process model, we use a science-based framework for strategic sustainable development. We call for more action-based research to uncover the complex nature of sustainable supply chain management, as there are unique challenges and dynamic relationships in every supply chain. © 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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  • 6.
    Carlsson, Liesel
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Callaghan, Edith
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Morley, Adrian
    Manchester Metropolitan University, GBR.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Food system sustainability across scales: A proposed local-to-global approach to community planning and assessment2017In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 9, no 6, article id 1061Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Interest in food systems sustainability is growing, but progress toward them is slow. This research focuses on three interrelated challenges that hinder progress. First, prevailing visions lack a concrete definition of sustainability. Second, global level conceptions fail to guide responses at the local level. Third, these deficiencies may lead to conflicting initiatives for addressing sustainable food systems at the community level that slow collective progress. The purpose of this article is to (1) describe the development of a framework for assessing food system sustainability which accommodates local-level measurement in the context of broader national and global scale measures; and (2) to propose a process that supports community determinacy over localized progress toward sustainable food systems. Using a modified Delphi Inquiry process, we engaged a diverse, global panel of experts in describing "success" with respect to sustainable food systems, today's reality, and identifying key indicators for tracking progress towards success. They were asked to consider scale during the process in order to explore locally relevant themes. Data were analyzed using the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) to facilitate a comprehensive and systematic exploration of key themes and indicators. Key results include a framework of indicator themes that are anchored in a concrete definition of sustainability, stable at national and global scales while remaining flexible at the local scale to accommodate contextual needs. We also propose a process for facilitating community-level planning for food system sustainability that utilizes this indicator framework. The proposed process is based on insights from the research results, as well as from previous research and experience applying the FSSD at a community level; it bears promise for future work to support communities to determine their own pathways, while contributing to a more coordinated whole. © 2017 by the author.

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  • 7.
    Faludi, Jeremy
    et al.
    TU Delft, HS Delft, NL .
    Hoffenson, Steven
    Stevens Institute of Technology, USA.
    Kwok, Sze Yin
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Saidani, Michael
    Université Paris-Saclay, FRA.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Telenko, Cassandra
    Ford Motor Company, USA.
    Martinez, Victor Gerardo
    Polytechnic University, CAN.
    A research roadmap for sustainable design methods and tools2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 19, article id 8174Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainable design methods and tools abound, but their implementation in practice remains marginal. This article brings together results from previous literature reviews and analyses of sustainable design methods and tools, as well as input from design researchers and professional practitioners to identify the needs and gaps in the area. It results in a shared vision of how sustainable design methods and tools can be more tightly integrated into mainstream product design and development, as well as the current state of practice and research in relation to four central questions: What are the needs and values of industry regarding sustainable design? What improvements in sustainable design methods and tools would most drive industry forward? How should researchers move forwardwith developingmore useful sustainable designmethods and tools? Howcan sustainable design be more effectively integrated into industry? A roadmap for the international sustainable design research community is proposed with descriptions of short-, medium-, and long-term tasks for addressing each question. The purpose is to support collective progress and discussions on method and tool development and adoption, and to enablemore tangible success inmainstreaming sustainable design practices in industry. © 2020 by the authors.

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  • 8.
    Galuszka, Jakub
    et al.
    Technische Universität Berlin, DEU.
    Martin, Emilie
    Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI), DEU.
    Nkurunziza, Alphonse
    University of Rwanda, RWA.
    Oginga, Judith Achieng
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Spatial Planning.
    Senyagwa, Jacqueline
    Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI), DEU.
    Teko, Edmund
    Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI), DEU.
    Lah, Oliver
    Technische Universität Berlin, DEU.
    East Africa’s policy and stakeholder integration of informal operators in electric mobility transitions: Kigali, Nairobi, Kisumu and Dar es Salaam2021In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 1-21, article id 1703Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Electric mobility is beginning to enter East African cities. This paper aims to investigate what policy-level solutions and stakeholder constellations are established in the context of electric mobility (e-mobility) in Dar es Salaam, Kigali, Kisumu and Nairobi and in which ways they attempt to tackle the implementation of electric mobility solutions. The study employs two key methods including content analysis of policy and programmatic documents and interviews based on a purposive sampling approach with stakeholders involved in mobility transitions. The study findings point out that in spite of the growing number of policies (specifically in Rwanda and Kenya) and on-the-ground developments, a set of financial and technical barriers persists. These include high upfront investment costs in vehicles and infrastructure, as well as perceived lack of competitiveness with fossil fuel vehicles that constrain the uptake of e-mobility initiatives. The study further indicates that transport operators and their representative associations are less recognized as major players in the transition, far behind new e-mobility players (start-ups) and public authorities. This study concludes by identifying current gaps that need to be tackled by policymakers and stakeholders in order to implement inclusive electric mobility in East African cities, considering modalities that include transport providers and address their financial constraints. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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  • 9.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Isaksson, Ola
    Chalmers University of Technology, SWE.
    Rönnbäck, Anna
    Luleå University of Technology, SWE.
    The need for new product development capabilities from digitalization, sustainability, and servitization trends2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 23, p. 1-26, article id 10222Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Apparent from the latest pandemic, the dynamics and rate of change in society accelerate on a global scale. Ongoing mega-trends in society, such as digitalization, sustainability, and servitization, fundamentally changes the conditions for manufacturers when developing and providing new products. This study clarifies the combined impact and consequences on product development capabilities in manufacturing firms of the three mega-trends: (i) digitalization, (ii) sustainability, and (iii) servitization. The research is based on a pre-study, complemented with a semi-structured interview study at small, medium-sized, and large Swedish-based manufacturing companies, and a systematic literature review. The research makes evident that the main challenge is to empower engineers and development teams to model, present, evaluate, and develop expected and smart digitalized solutions in a time-limited environment and prioritize the most resource efficient and sustainable solution. Therefore, four complementary support resources are suggested: (i) a knowledge management platform, (ii) a data management platform, (iii) a set of criteria and metrics measuring progression, and (iv) support methods and tools to define, model, and evaluate solutions. When integrated into a digital platform, developers can simultaneously access and process the necessary information needed for sustainable, digitalized, and servitized solutions. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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  • 10.
    Lagun Mesquita, Patricia
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. Blekinge Institute of Technology.
    Missimer, Merlina
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Social Sustainability Work in Product Development Organizations: An Empirical Study of Three Sweden-Based Companies2021In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 4, article id 1986Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Companies responsible for product development (PD) and manufacturing play an important role in supporting society in achieving sustainability, and yet they do not always include full sustainability considerations in PD decisions. The social dimension of sustainability has been largely neglected in the PD field and there is very little empirical evidence of social sustainability implementation in general. The aim of this paper is to investigate how social sustainability is currently included in PD organizations and what their motivations are to do so. Results from a comparative case study approach with three organizations include rich descriptions across four dimensions: The scope of the work and their view of interdependencies with other social systems, their definition of social sustainability and the issues they work with, what guides strategic decisions, and how this internal work is structured. The results reveal that the three product development organizations are heterogenous in their approaches to social sustainability and that the more advanced approach shows a better understanding of the complexity of social sustainability and a broader perspective of its interdependencies, which goes hand-in-hand with a way of organizing that overcomes traditional hierarchies and allows for more collaborative and strategic work in this area. This systems perspective also drives what issues are included in an organization’s work; scope and definition of social sustainability become more encompassing and aligned. Finally, our study shows that social sustainability impacts connected to products’ lifecycles, when addressed, are done so by functions outside design activities, as opposed to product developers. A greater understanding of how companies currently approach social sustainability and what challenges they might face in integrating it in organizational and design related practices has been called for; our paper contributes to this but acknowledges that more work is needed.

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    MesquitaMissimer social sustainability work
  • 11.
    Laycock Pedersen, Rebecca
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robinson, Zoe P.
    Keele University, GBR.
    Surman, Emma
    Keele University, GBR.
    Understanding Transience and Participation in University Student-Led Food Gardens2019In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 10, article id 2788Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In an increasingly mobile world, transience is becoming the norm. Sustainable community food initiatives, therefore, must organise to withstand high turnover of volunteers. Using a case study of the United Kingdom’s National Union of Students’ food growing scheme in universities, this paper aims to map the causes and effects of short-term, irregular, and low participation using a causal loop diagram to understand how to mitigate their negative impacts and improve participation. Data was gathered through interviews, workshops, photovoice, a fishbowl discussion, and a reflective diary. We found three amplifying feedback loops increasing short-term, irregular and low participation, their causes, and their impacts. These feedback loops were precariously buffered by a continuous in-flow of new potential participants each academic year. We also found that the stakeholders of these gardens conceptualised time akin to both temporary and permanent organisations, and these differing conceptualisations were a source of tension. Furthermore, although ‘organisational amnesia’ was a problem, the gardens were still learningful spaces. We recommend both upstream and downstream solutions are implemented to buffer the impacts of transience and suggest that university and students’ union staff could play a crucial and subtle supporting role.

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  • 12.
    Missimer, Merlina
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Lagun Mesquita, Patricia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Social Sustainability in Business Organizations: A Research Agenda2022In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 14, no 5, article id 2608Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the economic crisis in 2008, the world has seen a partly negative shift in social progress, highlighting that current economic models and practices do not guarantee long-lasting societal and human wellbeing. Economic models and business practices are deeply intertwined; thus, businesses play a major role in the advancement of social sustainability, and academic research can offer support in navigating the complexity of this issue. However, social sustainability tends to be under-researched. This article summarizes the discussion in general business management, product development, and supply-chain management, and from this suggest a research agenda to help in guiding systematic change in business organizations towards social sustainability. The article identifies ten main challenges and offers five recommendations to move the field forward, namely, a more explicit engagement with and discussion of social systems-science based ideas, and a more explicit determination as a field to converge on key pieces leading towards a clearer definition of the concept. Lastly, it recommends that research needs to focus on how to overcome fragmented organizational structures, how to achieve true integration into existing processes and tools, and how to support organizations to become more dynamic in working with these issues. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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  • 13.
    Mouritz, Mike
    et al.
    Curtin University, AUS.
    Newman, Peter
    Curtin University, AUS.
    Newman, Renée
    Edith Cowan University (ECU), AUS.
    Bryant, Jayne
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Smith, Aimee
    Edith Cowan University (ECU), AUS.
    Olsen, Elaine
    The Fourth Space, AUS.
    Leadership in Sustainability: Collective Wisdom, Conversations, Creativity, Contemplation and Courage, the Five Pillars of a Master’s Teaching Unit2022In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 14, no 9, article id 5070Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides an overview of insights and lessons learned from nearly 20 years of running a Master’s unit called Leadership in Sustainability and how it has been used to foster change agents in small business enterprises, as well as other parts of our economy and community. The unit is based on five ‘C’ pillars, which are discussed in this paper to show how the teaching was able to assist potential leaders in their journey towards sustainability. Collective Wisdom is the theory of how leaders have used their imagination to solve collective ‘wicked problems’ and how sustainability requires such wisdom. The unit covers such theory from innovation, complexity, leadership, management and sustainability literatures, and the students are required to show they used this in solving a problem. Conversations are the main tool that is used because only through integrating diverse opinions have solutions been found to such problems as sustainability. The unit is based around case studies from leaders (including SMEs) who have approached sustainability from various perspectives, and conversations were created with the leaders to illustrate this. Creativity is introduced as a tool that draws upon different layers of perspectives on how to tackle wicked problems, as well as facilitating the breadth of conversations and actions required to solve them. The unit requires students to make a creativity contribution and the teachers provide assistance in how to make this work. Contemplation is designed to show how leadership requires reflection to enable the creativity and conversations to reach the depth and breadth required. The unit introduces students to the Theory-U tools to help instil the link between creativity and reflection or contemplation in addressing sustainability challenges and enabling leadership that creates change in personal, organizational and social systems. Finally, Courage is shown as a necessary part of the role of a leader in sustainability to make the magic of collective and creative solutions, based on conversations and contemplation, come to life through a demonstration-based transition. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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  • 14.
    Nikulina, Varvara
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. Blekinge Institute of Technology.
    Simon, David
    Mistra Urban Futures, SWE.
    Ny, Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Baumann, Henrikke
    Chalmers, SWE.
    Context-adapted urban planning for rapid transitioning of personal mobility towards sustainability: a systematic literature review2019In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 4, article id 1007Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainability related challenges in mobility planning have been recognised at the international level and the urgency for change has been widely discussed among scholars. However, there seems to be no general agreement on the best ways of pursuing such change. To seek answers to the question of how to pursue change, this study analysed the development of the broad research fields of mobility, urban planning and transitions, and the overlap of these bodies of literature. Both academic and non-academic literatures were covered. By means of a systematic literature review, as well as bibliometric studies, several prominent research themes that address change from planning and transition perspectives were identified. Moreover, these themes describe different viewpoints and challenges in mobility planning. These include planning and policy for sustainable mobility and accessibility, backcasting and scenario planning, indicators in planning, modes of transport, decision-making, studies of global North and global South, as well as overarching themes of equity, equality and justice, roles of institutions, and co-production of knowledge. Strategies for staying up to date with these fields were also identified. In the literature covered, the temporal dimension in mobility planning was described in four different ways, but little was found about how accelerated transitions towards sustainable mobility can be achieved. Further knowledge gaps were identified in relation to behavioural change, policy development, institutionalisation of planning capacity and social sustainability in mobility planning. This created an outline for possible future studies.

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  • 15.
    Opiyo, Eliab
    et al.
    St Joseph University Tanzania, Tanzania.
    Jagtap, Santosh
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Keshwani, Sonal
    Dayananda Sagar University, India.
    Conceptual Design in Informal Metalworking Microenterprises of Tanzania2023In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 15, no 2, article id 986Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Product design is a key aspect of human intelligence and creativity, attracting not only experts but also people without any formal design training. Although numerous people in developing countries design and manufacture products in metalworking microenterprises in the informal sector, there is still little knowledge about their design process. This paper aims to fill this gap in design knowledge. We aim to investigate the design processes in metalworking microenterprises in the informal sector of Tanzania. In particular, we aim to explore how these microenterprises identify consumer needs and requirements, how they determine the specifications for the product, how they generate and evaluate alternative product concepts, and how they define product details. To address these aims, semistructured interviews were carried out in metalworking microenterprises operating in the informal sector of Tanzania. The findings reveal many facets of their design processes, providing a sound basis upon which design methods and tools can be developed to support their design activities.

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  • 16.
    Schulte, Jesko
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Company Risk Management in Light of the Sustainability Transition2018In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 10, article id 4137Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many of the most important business and economic risks are directly linked to environmental and social issues. This includes both threats and opportunities, not only in relation to reputation, which is often mentioned in this context, but, even more importantly, in relation to innovation capability and legislative change on inevitably more and more sustainability-driven markets. It is, however, unclear through which mechanisms such sustainability risks currently affect companies and how they can be systematically identified and managed. Based on the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, this study investigates the dynamics and implications of society’s sustainability transition from a company risk management perspective. In addition, exploratory and descriptive studies were conducted at two large product innovation companies to identify current risk management practices and preconditions for sustainability integration. The results reveal that a society moving closer towards a collapse of environmental and social systems leads to increasing sustainability-related threats for unsustainable businesses and increasing opportunities for sustainable businesses. Also, risk management is found to be a promising way for maneuvering in a smart zone between being too passive and being too pro-active in relation to sustainable innovation.The study participants at the case companies were knowledgeable about risk management in general but were largely unfamiliar with risks associated with sustainability and no processes or support tools exist to work systematically with such risks. Key steps to accomplishing an integration of a strategic sustainability perspective into risk management are proposed as: (i) identifying the effects of sustainability issues on internal and external stakeholder value; (ii) actively including sustainability in objective setting and cascading objectives across the levels of the organizational hierarchy; and (iii) developing concrete support for identifying, assessing, and managing economic sustainability risks. Thereby, companies can enhance their competitiveness while providing leadership in the sustainability transition.

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    Schulte, Hallstedt 2018 Company Risk Management in Light of the Sustainability Transition
  • 17.
    Schulte, Jesko
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Self-Assessment Method for Sustainability Implementation in Product Innovation2018In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 10, no 12, article id 4336Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Companies, striving towards an effective and systematic integration of a strategic sustainability perspective in product innovation, need to treat the implementation of necessary processes and tools, as well as their continuous improvement, as a project in itself. An efficient way to measure the current sustainability implementation level in the organization, as well as guidance for progression, is required. To meet this need, a novel self-assessment was developed, which provides companies with a tool to assess and visualize their current capabilities in relation to key elements for successful sustainability integration in the product innovation process. It includes a scale of different sustainability implementation levels to support building a roadmap for systematic implementation, and to measure progress over time. This research is based on results from previous descriptive work within the area of sustainable product development and learning from applying strategic and tactical assessment tools for eco-design and sustainability maturity. Besides the contribution to practice, this study also contributes to knowledge by specifying detailed aspects for each key element that must be considered to guide sustainability integration. Also, insights from applying different existing tools in real cases are provided. The newly-developed self-assessment method was applied and validated at two case companies. Independent and continuous use of it by the companies beyond this particular study indicate the practical value of the method.

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    Schulte Hallstedt 2018 Self-Assessment Method for Sustainability Implementation in Product Innovation
  • 18.
    Schulte, Jesko
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Ny, Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Electric road systems: Strategic stepping stone on the way towards sustainable freight transport?2018In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 10, no 4, article id 1148Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Electrification of the transport sector has been pointed out as a key factor for tackling some of today's main challenges, such as global warming, air pollution, and eco-system degradation. While numerous studies have investigated the potential of electrifying passenger transport, less focus has been on how road freight transport could be powered in a sustainable future. This study looks at Electric Road Systems (ERS) in comparison to the current diesel system. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development was used to assess whether ERS could be a stepping stone on the way towards sustainability. Strategic life-cycle assessment was applied, scanning each life-cycle phase for violations against basic sustainability principles. Resulting sustainability "hot spots" were quantified with traditional life-cycle assessment. The results show that, if powered by renewable energy, ERS have a potential to decrease the environmental impact of freight transport considerably. Environmental payback times of less than five years are achievable if freight traffic volumes are sufficiently high. However, some severe violations against sustainability principles were identified. Still, ERS could prove to be a valuable part of the solution, as they drastically decrease the need for large batteries with high cost and sustainability impact, thereby catalyzing electrification and the transition towards sustainable freight transport. © 2018 by the authors.

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    Electric road systems
  • 19.
    Schulte, Jesko
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Villamil, Carolina
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Strategic Sustainability Risk Management in Product Development Companies: Key Aspects and Conceptual Approach2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, no 24, p. 1-20, article id 10531Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Society’s transition towards sustainability comes with radical change, which entails significant threats and opportunities for product development and manufacturing companies, for example related to new legislation, shifting customer preferences, and increasing raw material prices. Smart risk management therefore plays a key role for successfully maneuvering society’s sustainability transition. However, from a company perspective, it remains challenging to connect the macro-level societal change with tangible risks for the business on the micro level. Based on interviews with academic and industrial experts, this study identified 21 key aspects for sustainability risk management. Drawing on these results and research from the areas of transition design, strategic sustainable development, and sustainability risk management, a conceptual approach for strategic risk management within the sustainability transition is presented. It builds on layered, double-flow scenario modelling in which backcasting from a vision, framed by basic principles for sustainability, is combined with forecasting from the present. The implications of such scenarios, i.e., risks, can then be identified and managed. By doing so on different scales, connections between macro- and micro-level change can be established. Thereby, product development companies shall be supported in making sustainability an intrinsic part of decision-making across the strategic, tactical, and operational levels to increase competitiveness while contributing to the transition towards a sustainable society. 

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    2020 Schulte et al. Strategic Sustainability Risk Management in Product Development Companies - Key Aspects and Conceptual Approach
  • 20.
    Scurati, Giulia Wally
    et al.
    Politecnico di Milano, ITA.
    Bertoni, Marco
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Serena, Graziosi
    Politecnico di Milano, ITA.
    Francesco, Ferrise
    Politecnico di Milano, ITA.
    Exploring the Use of Virtual Reality to Support Environmentally Sustainable Behavior: A Framework to Design Experiences2021In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 1-20, article id 943Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The current and future challenges of sustainable development require a massive transformation of habits and behaviors in the whole society at many levels. This demands a change of perspectives, priorities, and practices that can only result from the development of more aware, informed, and instructed communities and individuals. The field of design for sustainable behavior is answering this need through the development of products, systems, and services to support the change of people’s habits and decision-making processes. In this regard, Virtual Reality (VR) is a promising tool: it has already been explored to drive sustainable behavior change in several situations, through a wide range of devices, technologies, and modalities. This variety provides uncountable opportunities to designers, but it comes with a series of ethical, psychological, and technical questions. Hence, VR developers should be able to distinguish and identify possible strategies, delivering suitable solutions for each case study. In this work, we present a framework for the development of VR experiences to support sustainable behavior change, based on a systematic review. We consider the various features to manage and possible alternatives when creating a VR experience, linking them to the behavioral aspects that can be addressed according to the project’s aim. The framework will provide designers with a tool to explore and orient themselves towards possible sets of optimal choices generating tailored solutions.

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    fulltext
  • 21.
    Thomson, Giles
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Ny, Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Nikulina, Varvara
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Borén, Sven
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Ayers, James
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Bryant, Jayne
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    ‘Rapid Scenario Planning’ to Support a Regional Sustainability Transformation Vision: A Case Study from Blekinge, Sweden2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 17, article id 6928Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a case study of a transdisciplinary scenario planning workshop that was designed to link global challenges to local governance. The workshop was held to improve stakeholder integration and explore scenarios for a regional planning project (to 2050) in Blekinge, Sweden. Scenario planning and transdisciplinary practices are often disregarded by practitioners due to the perception of onerous resource requirements, however, this paper describes a ‘rapid scenario planning’ process that was designed to be agile and time-efficient, requiring the 43 participants from 13 stakeholder organizations to gather only for one day. The process was designed to create an environment whereby stakeholders could learn from, and with, each other and use their expert knowledge to inform the scenario process. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) was used to structure and focus the scenario planning exercise and its subsequent recommendations. The process was evaluated through a workshop participant survey and post-workshop evaluative interview with the regional government project manager to indicate the effectiveness of the approach. The paper closes with a summary of findings which will support those wishing to conduct similar rapid scenario planning exercises to inform policy planning for complex systems.

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    fulltext
  • 22.
    Watz, Matilda
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Using Group Model Building to Foster Learning for Strategic Sustainable Development2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 20, p. 1-16, article id 8350Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Capability for strategic planning and decision-making toward sustainability requires both individuals and organizations from different sectors and disciplines to develop necessary skills and competencies. Therefore, a growing discussion has emerged within academia and practice around how pedagogical methods and tools can be utilized for this purpose. This paper seeks to contribute to this discussion by asking ‘in which way may group model building be used to foster learning that leads to competency for strategic sustainable development?’. The potential of the group model building (GMB) process’ steps and associated modeling to foster learning for strategic sustainable development (SSD) was analyzed using four case examples. Theory on learning for sustainability and key sustainability competencies were linked to elements of a process for strategic planning toward sustainability within the framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD) as a reference model. The results provide a discussion on how GMB can be utilized to foster sustainability competencies and learning for sustainability that can contribute to SSD, hence a basis for continued research and ideas for course and curriculum development.

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    fulltext
  • 23.
    Wälitalo, Lisa
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Missimer, Merlina
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    The Organization of Social Sustainability Work in Swedish Eco-Municipalities2022In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 14, no 5, article id 2770Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Even though large parts of a municipal administration's work are aligned with social sustainability, this dimension has been somewhat more challenging and there seems to be a vast diversity in how it is approached. Academic literature on the systematic organization of this work is sparse. The aim of this study was to understand how Swedish municipalities organize their work with social sustainability and to find best practices. A survey among 21 municipalities and follow-up interviews with three of them were conducted. The study revealed that the organization of social sustainability work varies considerably among municipalities and that no simple patterns relating to size or existing organizational structures can be detected. Each municipality seems to be finding its own way and is more or less successful in strategically working with this area. Best practice focused on creating additional structures for collaboration across departments, with external actors, and across sectors to at least partly overcome the silo approach engrained in a municipal structure. It was also connected to the active involvement of leaders, clear mandates, and that a common vision for social sustainability was communicated. These lessons can be transferred to other municipalities and help them move towards social sustainability in a strategic way.

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    fulltext
  • 24.
    Wälitalo, Lisa
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    An overarching model for cross-sector strategic transitions towards sustainability in municipalities and regions2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 17, article id 7046Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Municipal and regional governments can play a key role in global society's transition towards sustainability. However, municipal leaders often lack a sufficient overview of sustainability and thereby the capacity to coordinate efforts across sectors. Several municipal planning frameworks are available but vary greatly in terms of definitions, scope, and hands-on advice on processes. To complement and unify approaches, the framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD) has been developed. It utilizes backcasting from operational boundary conditions for the full scope of social and ecological sustainability. This study aims to evaluate a recently developed model for long-term implementation of FSSD across sectors for more cohesive cooperation towards sustainability. This is done through participatory action research (PAR) in ten Swedish municipalities and regions. The evaluation is done to examine if the implementation model (i) lives up to its purpose to help sectors cooperate effectively by using the FSSD as a shared mental model, (ii) aid the handling of previously identified barriers to strategic sustainable development in municipalities and regions, (iii) may contain barriers of its own for appropriate use and (iv) has room for improvement. We used observations, dialogues, and surveys to capture the strengths, weaknesses, enablers, and barriers of the preliminary implementation model. While the compliance of the model varied, our findings show a general appreciation and identified the needs for the approach. From experiencing barriers for the application of the model, practitioners provided several ideas for additional support, such as assessment and alignment support of on-going work and further developed guiding material. In a second phase of the PAR project, application of the implementation model will continue, and such additional support will be developed and evaluated. © 2020 by the authors.

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    An overarching model for cross-sector strategic transitions towards sustainability
  • 25.
    Österlin, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, SWE.
    Schlyter, Peter
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Spatial Planning.
    Stjernquist, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, SWE.
    Different worldviews as impediments to integrated nature and cultural heritage conservation management: experiences from protected areas in Northern Sweden2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 9, article id 3533Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the management of protected nature areas, arguments are being raised for increasingly integrated approaches. Despite an explicit ambition from the responsible managing governmental agencies, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Swedish National Heritage Board, attempts to initiate and increase the degree of integrated nature and cultural heritage conservation management in the Swedish mountains are failing. The delivery of environmental policy through the Swedish National Environmental Objective called Magnificent Mountains is dependent on increased collaboration between the state and local stakeholders. This study, using a group model building approach, maps out the system's dynamic interactions between nature perceptions, values and the objectives of managing agencies and local stakeholders. It is identified that the dominance of a wilderness discourse influences both the objectives and management of the protected areas. This wilderness discourse functions as a barrier against including cultural heritage conservation aspects and local stakeholders in management, as wilderness-influenced objectives are defining protected areas as environments "untouched" by humans. A wilderness objective reduces the need for local knowledge and participation in environmental management. In reality, protected areas depend, to varying degrees, on the continuation of traditional land-use practices. © 2020 by the authors.

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    Different worldviews as impediments to integrated nature and cultural heritage conservation management: experiences from protected areas in Northern Sweden
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