Director of education

+46 8 674 7014


Profile summary

  • Adaptive governance
  • Bridging organisations
  • Resilience Assessments
  • Learning
  • Participation
  • Biosphere reserves
  • Stewardship

Lisen Schultz is the programme director for the centre's executive programme in resilience thinking. She is also responsible for the organisational development of the centre

In her role as director of education and deputy director of transdisciplinary, Schultz focuses on maintaining and developing our organisation in its mission to support excellence and innovation. She has also designed our executive programme in resilience thinking, together with the Pontus Schultz Foundation, and is responsible for its delivery and development.

As coordinating leader of the Biosphere Stewardship research stream at SRC, Schultz 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 and the stream explores, e.g. how it emerges in various settings and how it can be nurtured.

Schultz is also an appreciated teacher who 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.

Schultz holds a PhD in Natural Resource Management from Stockholm University, awarded in 2009. She is trained in qualitative methods, resilience assessments, ecosystem services assessments, and facilitation.

During her post-doctoral research, she coordinated the development of the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) and initiated a research 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, 2011-2017) and BiosACM (Diagnosing processes and outcomes in adaptive co-management, 2013-2017).

Most of Schultz’ 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.

Throughout Schultz’ career, she has engaged in the interface between science and society, bringing knowledge to action in processes ranging from municipal planning to international negotiations. For example, she has done research on ecosystem services and on biosphere reserves for Agenda 2030 with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, she has conducted resilience assessments with Swedish biosphere reserves and municipalities, and she assisted the Swedish delegation in the early negotiations on establishing the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).


• Contributor in the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2001-2005)
• Member of the scientific committee for the Resilience 2017 conference
• Interdisciplinary participant of the first Antarctic Biennale 2017, an expedition to Antarctica, engaging with artists to develop new visions for the future.
• Founded the Pontus Schultz Foundation in 2012, which developed into an important platform for CEOs, experts and change makers in the Swedish business community to advance sustainability for prosperity.
• Member of the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO since 2018
• Expert member of UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme Strategy group (2015-2016)
• Board member of ClimateView

Key publications

Schultz, L., Treijs, E. 2021. Kursen – 10 lektioner för ett hållbart näringsliv. Natur & Kultur.

Schultz L., S. West., A, Juaréz Bourke, L. d’Armengol, P. Torrents, H. Hardardottir, A. Jansson and A. Mohedano Roldán. 2018. Learning to live with social-ecological complexity: an interpretive analysis of learning in 11 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. Global Environmental Change 50: 75–87

Westley, F. R., O. Tjornbo, L. Schultz, P. Olsson, C. Folke, B. Crona and Ö. Bodin. 2013. A theory of transformative agency in linked social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society 18(3): 27

Schultz, L., A. Duit. and C. Folke. 2011. Participation, adaptive co-management and management performance in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. World Development 39(4): 662–671

Schultz, L., C. Folke and P. Olsson. 2007. Enhancing ecosystem management through social-ecological inventories: lessons from Kristianstads Vattenrike, Sweden. Environmental Conservation 34 (2): 140–152

Publications by Schultz, Lisen