As coordinating leader of the Biosphere Stewardship stream, Lisen facilitates the advancement of this field of research at the SRC by bringing people and insights from various projects together in synthetic activities. Biosphere stewardship is a phenomenon that emerges from regenerative relationships between people and living systems. The concept directs attention to the capacity of humans to act in concert with living systems, rather than in ways that erode them. On a human-dominated planet, biosphere stewardship is becoming increasingly important. The stream addresss questions such as:
What constitutes biosphere stewardship? How does biosphere stewardship vary across settings and actors involved?
How can biosphere stewardship be nurtured?
What is our role as sustainability scientists in this regard?
Lisen is a member of the scientific committee for the Resilience 2017 conference.
Most of her research has been conducted in UNESCO biosphere reserves. Biosphere can be seen as natural experiments with adaptive governance, adaptive co-management and biosphere stewardship. In these settings, she explores processes and outcomes of adaptive co-management, stakeholder participation, and learning, using interviews, surveys and workshops. A key research interest is what kinds of leadership help in navigating complex social-ecological systems.
In 2009, Lisen was awarded a PhD in Natural Resource Management from the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University.
During her post-doctoral research, she coordinated the development of the PECS programme, assisted the Swedish delegation in the negotiations on establishing IPBES, and initiated a project on diversity and collaboration funded by Ebba och Sven Schwartz Stiftelse (2011-2016).
She also initiated two research projects funded by the Swedish Research Council: GLEAN (A global survey of learning and participation in ecosystem management) and BiosACM (Diagnosing processes and outcomes in adaptive co-management). All of these projects focus on UNESCO biosphere reserves. In addition, she conducts research in the project Managing bundles of ecosystem services with multiple users in Helge å catchment, funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
She is trained in qualitative methods, resilience assessments, ecosystem services assessments, and facilitation.
Throughout Lisen’s career, she has engaged in the interface between science and society, bringing knowledge to action in processes ranging from municipal planning to international negotiations. She has done research on ecosystem services with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, conducted resilience assessments with Swedish Biosphere Reserves and municipalities, and contributed as expert member in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme Strategy group. She is on the board of Albaeco, and on the advisory council for Stormvarning.
In 2012, she founded the Pontus Schultz Foundation, which has developed in an important platform for some 300 CEOs, experts and change makers in the Swedish business community, gathering in yearly high-level events to advance sustainability for prosperity.
In 2017, she was invited as an interdisciplinary participant in the first Antarctic Biennale, engaging with artists to develop new visions for the future.
Lisen is an appreciated teacher who currently leads the adaptive governance module in the SRC master programme, and she often gives lectures at universities as well as to companies, governmental bodies, civic associations and the public. Topics include: resilience assessments, qualitative methods, surveys, social-ecological inventories, ecosystem services, and local solutions to global challenges.
Katja Malmborg, PhD candidate
Research news | 2018-04-19
New study of UNESCO biosphere reserves sheds light on how people learn to live with social-ecological complexity
Research news | 2017-10-12
Stockholm Resilience Centre acts as impact partner for their Global Solutions Program
Research news | 2017-08-08
Centre scientists and CEO’s of world largest seafood companies form coalition to turn seafood industry more sustainable. New PNAS study highlights the importance and process of science-business partnerships
Research news | 2017-06-01
Possibly. Assessment of four UNESCO biosphere reserves reveals "myriad" of positive results
2018 - Journal / article
Learning is considered a means to achieve sustainability in practice and has become a prominent goal of sustainability interventions. In this paper we explore how learning for sustainability is shaped by meaning, interpretation and experience, in the context of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves (BRs). The World Network of Biosphere Reserves brings environmental conservation, socio-economic development and research together in ‘learnin...
2017 - Journal / article
This paper examines relationships among perceived processes and outcomes in four UNESCO biosphere reserves (BRs). BRs offer a unique opportunity to examine these relationships because they aim to foster more adaptive and collaborative forms of management, i.e. adaptive co-management (ACM). Accounting for the outcomes of ACM is a difficult task and little progress has been made to this end. However, we show here that ACM effor...
2016 - Journal / article
‘Success’ is a vigorously debated concept in conservation. There is a drive to develop quantitative, comparable metrics of success to improve conservation interventions. Yet the qualitative, normative choices inherent in decisions about what to measure — emerging from fundamental philosophical commitments about what conservation is and should be — have received scant attention. We address this gap by exploring perceptions of w...
2016 - Journal / article
Adaptive management is an approach to environmental management based on learning-by-doing, where complexity, uncertainty, and incomplete knowledge are acknowledged and management actions are treated as experiments. However, while adaptive management has received significant uptake in theory, it remains elusively difficult to enact in practice. Proponents have blamed social barriers and have called for social science contributi...