The world is becoming more and more complex, according to Birgitta Forsström. The challenges we face are interdisciplinary and complicated, and because of that we need to improve our thinking and understanding across different disciplines.
Birgitta Forsström is the CEO of Stiftelsen Brita Maria Renlunds minne, one of the financiers of Future Challenges in the Nordics.
Why did you want to fund the research programme?
“We believe that basic research where different research disciplines meet is of crucial importance in solving the complex challenges facing the world. In research, we tend to be very sector or silo oriented. However, to solve societal problems, we must become better at looking at challenges together from different points of view. This research program nicely combines not only several countries but also has the ambition to connect researchers from the humanities and social sciences. We believe this is a successful venture.”
What are your expectations of the research programme?
“We hope to see high-quality projects concerning children and youth as well as topics connected to education. Our purpose is to finance activities that specifically benefit / support children and young people. A lot of exciting things are happening in, for example, pedagogy, education, and technology that provide exciting new opportunities in education, but which at the same time can involve new risks and challenges that we do not yet understand. Through research, we can hopefully get good foundations for sensible decisions in the future.”
Why is it important to highlight humanities and social sciences?
“The world is made up of people who make decisions with often rather one-sided or limited information. The amount of information and data available is often too large to process in decision-making processes. If we can help researchers from humanities and social sciences to work together already at the stage of research design and planning, my hope is that this contributes to giving a more multifaceted picture of the world. This in turn helps us to make more informed decisions in the future. This is my very optimistic view, and I hope that the perspective of children and youth can be included in decision-making to greater extent in the future.”