SERSD student 2019-2021
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Alicia Björnsdotter is interested in the intersection between large transformative ideas, niche innovations and current power structures, as well as both rural and urban initiatives creating synergies between ecosystems and human well-being.
- Political science and economics
- Alternative economic systems, future visions
- Nature-based solutions, re-greening, agroforestry
- Qualitative methods
- Eastern Africa and the Sahel
Having always looked for opportunities to interact with disciplines and focus areas other than her own, Björnsdotter decided to apply to the programme after coming in contact with GRAID and SwedBio during a Sida internship. She hopes to gain tools and knowledge to in the future help bridging gaps between her own field and the natural sciences, as well as between science, policy and practice in general.
Björnsdotter has previously studied Political science and Economics at Uppsala university, International Relations at McGill University and Economic history and International Environmental Law at Institut d’études politiques de Paris, as well as worked with public administration and translation of french and swahili within government agencies.
Previous to her studies, she spent tree years travelling and WWOOFing around the world which, especially working with Greenpeace and indigenous communities in Western Canada, sparked a passion for human-nature relationships and the political, economic, and social structures that hinder or enable these.
So far, Björnsdotter has engaged mainly in topics related to sub-Saharan Africa as a region. She focused her bachelor thesis on Africa-China relations, has initiated and carried out initiatives related to small-scale farming and agroforestry in rural Malawi, and spent six months in Ethiopia as a trainee within Sida’s regional programme, where she focused mainly on projects related to the African Union, disaster risk reduction in the Horn of Africa as well as forest management and climate related security risks in Western Sahel.