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Published: 08 August 2019

Grant received to tackle current sustainability challenges

Surrey Business School's Dr Stelvia Matos from the Department of Strategy and International Business, has won a £20k University Global Partner Network (UGPN) grant proposal, together with the University of Sao Paulo and Professor Steve Morse from Surrey’s Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES). This is a one-year project and will focus on challenges surrounding sustainability, especially in-light of turbulent environments.  

This project aims to tackle the difficulties of utilising sustainability indicators, especially regarding the adherence to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in turbulent environments, such as social and economic challenges borne out of extreme poverty, climate crisis, the rise of fake news, political polarisation and controversial technology innovation such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and genetic modification.

Practitioners and researchers often rely on indicators to measure their performance in addressing societal grand challenges. The United Nations (UN) SDGs have been key in addressing these challenges by providing a set of goals, targets, objectives and indicators on what should be achieved by 2030. However, indicators are at the epicentre of tensions and synergies amongst economic, environmental and societal dimensions of sustainability. 

This project will build on experiences and realities of practitioners in Brazil and the UK, linking sustainability indicators researchers and users to ground discussions on the identification of key implementation challenges, looking for tensions and synergies amongst the UN’s SDGs and related indicators.​

From the UK side, this will be an opportunity to connect with sustainability issues on a representative developing country, which will be crucial to develop further research on the topic. From the Brazilian side, this project will contribute to addressing such deficiency on both research and practice by providing new insights on the development of capabilities and on implementation issues.

Dr. Stelvia Matos commented: “In a broader perspective, by studying and analysing how organisations can more efficiently use sustainability indicators, tackle tensions and exploit synergies, we can stimulate a gain-gain game for the benefit of organisations, society and other stakeholders.”

 

Find out more about research from the Department of Strategy and International Business.