Our society is facing great challenges within a number of different fields. Meeting these societal challenges with knowledge in creative environments that integrate education, research, and collaboration – knowledge environments – is something that permeates Linnaeus University’s vision and work.
Seven of the university’s knowledge environments have been appointed Linnaeus Knowledge Environment. These focus on the fields of education, materials, democracy, water, digitalisation, environment, and health. They all work interdisciplinary and link together subjects, departments, and faculties in order to get a broad take on the societal challenges within each field.
Societal challenge: sustainable health
The societal challenges evolving from global health are complex and require commitment and engagement from multiple perspectives and numerous angles (figure 1). The Linnaeus Knowledge Environment Sustainable Health will take on societal challenges identified from UN's Sustainable Development Goals, which constitute the basis for Linnaeus University’s way of working with sustainability.
In particular, we target goal number three: Good health and well-being for people. This goal aims to ensure a healthy life and promote the well-being of all people at all ages. Here, the global demographic changes as well as lifestyle changes are seen as the most challenging domains.
Parallel to the increasing life expectancy of the earth's population, the birth rate is declining in most countries, resulting in fewer people of working age in the future. These factors, together with increased migration, globalization and changing needs of health care, health prevention and health promotion, are the demographic changes that need to be addressed. These demographic changes are also linked to the changes in current lifestyles appearing today, which for example could be exemplified with malnutrition due to dietary habits that are less healthy.
Moreover, the changing patterns of disabilities and diseases also include the move of health-care from in-patient to out-patient care and further to prevention and health promotion. As this requires organisational changes, the call for solutions within this domain is crucial. Increased collaboration is therefore needed for effective global health care. Specific challenges in relation to this might be the lack of participation, as unequal access to health care demands digitalisation but might lead to exclusion by absence of both competencies and digital devices.
The knowledge environment Sustainable Health includes well established and internationally recognized researchers and research groups. Within the widespread competence seen in the research group of Sustainable Health, we aim to integrate competencies and activities in cross-disciplinary collaboration to identify, find and test sustainable solutions for societal challenges. The research performed within Sustainable Health will also include collaboration with stakeholders locally and globally, contributing to both broader and deeper analysis of health throughout a life course.
With expertise in eHealth, food science, palliative care, optometry, social work and health humanities, the environment will have a unique ability to contribute to the above challenges in a holistic way (figure 2).
In more specific, the fields of research within Sustainable Health are:
- Arts and visual science
- Biochemical methods and environmental chemistry
- Business administration, economics and (social) entrepreneurship
- Computer science and health informatics
- Film science
- Food science and nutrition
- Media and communication science
- Medical humanities science
- Medical science and biomedicine
- Palliative care
- Social work
- Sports science
- Vision science and eye care
Food Science Our research is oriented towards food and nutritional sciences. Our focus is on food quality and product development of new healthy food.
Platform eHealth A strategic platform for eHealth at Linnaeus University that will contribute to collaboration and increased knowledge exchange. Within the platform, researchers from many different…
A list of all research projects carried out within the frame of the knowledge environment Sustainable Health would be extensive. Please find the projects by clicking on the desired research group in the list under the heading Research environments above.
The multidisciplinary background and existing resources of the principal investigators/teachers of Sustainable Health – within medicine, natural and formal sciences, caring sciences, social sciences and humanities – allow holistic systemic perspectives and applications during research, teaching and interaction with society.
Sustainable Health will provide opportunities to create new interdisciplinary educational courses as well as developing current programmes in the health area. This will give our students a distinctive and modern competency that will make them exceptionally attractive for employers. In consequence, this will lead to an increased number of applications to our programmes and greater student satisfaction.
We have well-developed collaborations with various well-regarded universities, both regional, national and international institutions. We also collaborate actively with several county councils/regions, other authorities in Sweden and with companies in the business sector.
Cornelia Witthöft is contact person and chair of Sustainable Health.
- Anna Sandgren Senior lecturer
- António Filipe Teixeira Macedo Senior lecturer
- Cornelia Witthöft Professor
- Dagmar Brunow Associate Professor
- Maria Qvarfordt PhD student
- Mariah Larsson Professor
- Stefan Lagrosen Professor
- Ulrika Järkestig-Berggren Associate Professor