Bergen Summer Research School

Varieties of Knowledge Societies and the SDGs

The SDGs

Main content

Course leaders: Tor Halvorsen, Associate Professor, Department of Administration and Organization Theory / UiB Global, and John Higgins, Professor, University of Cape Town

The role of universities in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and a sustainable development (including reaching the Paris Agreement goals) is crucial for our future. Universities are however embedded institutions; shaped by the societies they have been historically evolving within, and thus, also influencing these societies in a variety of ways. 

In the same way we talk of varieties of capitalism, we may also talk of varieties of knowledge societies. And due to this, we also see a variety of ways that knowledge may contribute to the implementation of the SDGs, and of the ways the SDGs may influence knowledge institutions.

The course will reflect on these varieties and our future ability to deal with the burning issues of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement within knowledge society relationships.

Please refer to the BSRS programme for common BSRS sessions

Course programme

Monday 12 June
How does varieties of knowledge societies shape response to the global challenges and the SDGs? General introduction to the course and presentation of individual projects
Tor Halvorsen (UiB)

A global mobilization for academic freedom
Jens Sørensen (University of Gothenburg)

Tuesday 13 June
Varieties of academic freedom and how its influence on SDG-responses
John Higgins (University of Cape Town)

A global mobilization for academic freedom (cont.)
Jens Sørensen (University of Gothenburg)

Wednesday 14 June
From strong to weak knowledge societies; and consequences for response to SDG. The case of the Arab world.
Anne Bang (UiB)

SDGs. How to understand the value of knowledge networking between different knowledge societies the discourse of the D (in the SDG) in a north-south perspective
Jorun Nossum (Norad)

Thursday 15 June
Tor Halvorsen and John Higgins cont.

Friday 16 June
Varieties of capitalism - varieties of knowledge societies: Whose SDG knowledge counts. Conversation between the lecturers, comments to student presentations, based on introduction from Tor Halvorsen

Course literature

North–South Knowledge Networks: Towards equitable collaboration between academics, donors and universities (pdf)
Tor Halvorsen and Jorun Nossum (eds), African Minds, Cape Town, 2016.

International Journal in African Higher Education, Vol. 3, nr. 1 (2016) - the whole issue.