He has a PhD in Physics from Stockholm University and has been a Scholar in the Swedish Secretariat of Future Studies. His field of interest lies in the interface between science and policy. The scientific part deals with a complex of issues related to systems understanding of environmental challenges and sustainable development, specifically the interconnections between natural science and social science/humanities (risk studies, governance studies, cultural and “human dimensions" including environmental ethics).
The policy part of his field of interest focuses on how scientifically generated information connects to policy advice functions in an interactive way (system of knowledge production).
Svedin has published a number of books and articles on environmental issues, future studies, sustainable development and research policy.
Before taking on the position as Director of International Affairs at Formas, Svedin was the Director of Research at the Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research (FRN). He has also worked as Professor in Water and Environmental Studies at the University of Linköping.
Selected international assignments include:
Chair of the EU Consultative Forum on the Environment and Sustainable Development (until 2001)
Chair of the International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research (IGFA) (until 2004)
Chair of the international evaluation committee of the Institute of Advanced Studies, United Nations University, Tokyo
Member of Swedish delegations to various UN, OECD and EU bodies (as Program Committees in FP 5-6-7.)
Member of the EU 5-year evaluation of the EU/JRC-system of institutes
Research news | 2017-05-30
Emerging research on people’s attachment to places can unlock capacity to better deal with change
Research news | 2013-11-04
Social memory of agricultural practices important for biodiversity and food security
Research news | 2012-11-01
Sustainable cities must also account for imported goods and services
2017 - Journal / article
To develop and apply goals for future sustainability, we must consider what people care about and what motivates them to engage in solving sustainability issues. Sense of place theory and methods provide a rich source of insights that, like the social-ecological systems perspective, assume an interconnected social and biophysical reality. However, these fields of research are only recently beginning to converge, and we see gr...
2015 - Book chapter
The increased expansion of urban oriented challenges calls for the need to develop related policies in a sustainable development fashion. This means to be alert to the grand challenges to connect environmental/ecological—social—cultural—economic and technical factors. These challenges exist in all parts of the globalized world, not least in the EU domain. But the different parts of the world will have to find their specific w...
2015 - Book chapter
In the long human history from the period of the use of stone ax tools and the agricultural revolution to the various phases of the industrial revolution from the 18th century and onwards all sorts of innovative approaches have been applied by humans for the sake of survival and prosperity. In earlier days the environmental impacts due to these solutions were limited—although not always locally or even regionally negligible as...
2014 - Book chapter
The increased expansion of urban oriented challenges calls for the need to develop related policies in a sustainable development fashion. This means to be alert to the grand challenges to connect environmental/ecological—social— cultural—economic and technical factors. These challenges exist in all parts of the globalized world, not least in the EU domain. But the different parts of the world will have to find their specific w...