Thank you all!
After nine years, I have decided to leave my assignment as Director at the IIIEE. Together with you I have had the privilege to further develop the Institute in being an innovative and creative arena for interdisciplinary education and research within Lund University. It has been a time of engagement and joy in providing and sharing knowledge for a more sustainable future; endeavors desperately needed in the world of today. At the IIIEE we believe that we as a society do have a choice and that governments, businesses and all of us can make a difference. We emphasize that "Business as Usual" is not acceptable. We encourage learning in how to advance a more sustainable future, through our research and our educational programs. I am proud of the things we have achieved together.
Over the years, we have built a strong institute for the purpose of advancing knowledge on how to catalyze the transition to low-carbon and resource efficient economies. Together we have developed four strategic plans, a joint vision and a clear identity of the institute – advancing sustainable solutions. The research is stronger than ever, four strategic themes have been formed, the number of professors has increased from one to seven, the number of large externally funded projects has been growing every year, several researches have been invited to and involved in high-level scientific and societal assignments, and the number of publications in academic journals have increased. Together we have provided and communicated important insights on how to tackle various sustainability challenges.
We have continued to enhance our educational programs and they are now as strong as ever. The educational programs have always been a flagship of the institute and will always be. We are all so very proud of the talented students seeking their future at the institute to become leaders of tomorrow to meet the challenges of a more sustainable development. We are equally proud of our PhD students and have in recent year developed the PhD article incubator to provide a platform and structure to empower our PhD students on topics related to interdisciplinary research, applied research, interdisciplinary methodology approaches and paper writing.
Moreover, the visibility of the institute has increased due to our successful Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCSs) and podcasts, our active engagement in media, social media, international assignments and open seminars at the IIIEE. The MOOCs alone have reached out to more than 100,000 participants from more than 180 countries since its start in 2015.
In all, the economic situation for the institute has been improved and we have been able to go from a deficit of more than 10 MSEK to a surplus; we have used less funding from the IIIEE Foundation than envisioned in 2010, and each year we manage to obtain 25-30 MSEK in external research funding. The total turnover has increased from 30 MSEK a year to 50 MSEK a year.
All this, and so much more, thanks to a lot of hard work by IIIEE Staff, IIIEE Board members and IIIEE students.
Thank you all, it has been an honor and a privilege to work with you,