The doctoral student of IIIEE, Frans Libertson, participated on a discussion panel at the second iteration of Österlens Fredsfestival that was held in Simrishamn in August. The panel discussions focused on the role of culture in sustainable development and the need for “inner sustainability”.
An increasing number of scholars are arguing that there cannot be outer sustainability without also inner sustainability, and that the unsatisfactory progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals is due to a lack of focus on the individual. In essence, we cannot expect societies to become sustainable if the people that inhibits them not also change their behaviors. This has led to a discussion about the need for an inner transformation that leads to inner sustainability. In this transition of the individual, skills and qualities such as self-awareness, self-reflection, emotional intelligence, empathy, trust, courage, optimism, and social learning will be of importance.
Other participants in the panel were Beatrice Järås, actress and musician, and Therese Uddenfeldt, journalist, and the panel was facilitated by Gudrun Schyman, former party leader of the Leftist party and the Feminist party. The discussion revolved around people’s (un)willingness to change and the lack of societal norms that encourage personal development regarding self-reflection, emotional intelligence, and empathy. The panel concluded that society needs role models that emphasizes the skills necessary for inner transformation.
Moving forward, IIIEE will continue to explore in what ways inner sustainability can be included in its education.