Sustainable Vikings: Lessons Learned from the Nordics

by Alison Spencer

On February 7, IES’ Nordic Studies Program was pleased to welcome Robert Strand, Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Business and member of the faculty at the Berkeley Haas School of Business, for a talk entitled “Sustainable Vikings.” In his presentation, Strand discussed his upcoming book project of the same name and his experience studying sustainability practices in Nordic countries. His research revolves around the idea that the world faces urgent sustainability challenges, and Nordic countries can provide an example of how to solve them.

Strand presented an overview of indices such as the Human Development Index and the Global 100, which consistently show Nordic countries near the top in terms of quality of life, commitment to sustainability, and progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. He also discussed how Nordic cultures view creation of shared value as a responsibility for corporate managers. This emphasis on cooperation makes it easier to work toward sustainability initiatives which require collaboration among various stakeholders.

Strand concluded his talk with his hope that UC Berkeley can become a platform to raise global interest and inquiry into how Nordic countries have successfully pursued sustainable development. The talk was followed by an engaging Q&A period with an audience of 30 people. This event was co-sponsored by the Center for Responsible Business.