Bergen sommer-forskerskole


There has not been added a translated version of this content. You can either try searching or go to the "area" home page to see if you can find the information there

Plenary Presentations

All the plenary presentations are free and open to the public

Photo of audience
Gueorgui Tcherednitchenko


June 23, 10:30 – 12:00
Venue: Auditorium 3, The Law Faculty

Opening keynote
The role of governance in the transition towards sustainable food systems

The food systems are a key area in which significant improvements can be made to move towards sustainable development, in all its dimensions. The transition towards sustainable food systems requires, however, that we combine two reforms in how food systems are governed. First, greater accountability is required, both within countries and between countries. Promises which are made must be kept, and targets announced must be met: increasing the political cost of inaction is one way to ensure this happens.

Secondly, we need to favor bottom-up initiatives, in the form of social innovations that can accelerate the search for solutions that put us on the path towards sustainability. This requires a different understanding of the State’s role, and of the relationship between public authorities, civil society and market actors. Improved accountability and paying greater attention to social innovations should therefore be two priorities in the future SDGs. 

Keynote Speaker: Professor Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food.


June 24, 09:00 – 10:30
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Plenary lecture
Uncertainty and Quality

Our modern (Western) civilisation is based on science and, in particular, on quantitative evidence used as a privileged input to governance.  As science-related policy issues have come to be recognised as complex and more inherently difficult of solution, the conception of the role of science and of quantitative evidence has also developed and matured.  

Today, when science is deployed in the policy context, we are aware of the possibility that facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent. In the light of this new understanding, we can identify several conceptual models of the relation between science and decision-making in governance processes.  We trace their evolution through a deepening appreciation of the process of the use of science in policy with special attention to the role of uncertainty.

Speaker: Professor Silvio Funtowicz, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen.


June 24, 16:00 – 17:30
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Panel debate
World Social Science Report 2013: Changing Global Environment

An open meeting on the role of the social sciences in the study of and public discourse on the causes, dynamics and consequences of climate change. Point of departure is the Unesco/OECD Social Science Council (ISSC)’s World Social Science Report, 2013: Changing Global Environments. The starting point for the report is that “global sustainability requires concerted action to protect the planet's bounty and, simultaneously, to safeguard social equity, human dignity and well-being for all” and that the social sciences can and must make essential contributions to the integrated thinking and responses required.

The report calls for more interdisciplinary research on the human causes, vulnerabilities and impacts of environmental change – and for scientists to work with stakeholders and users of science to deliver “credible and legitimate knowledge for real-world problem solving”. Is this an appropriate vision for the social sciences? Is it realistic? And, if so, how should we move towards it?

Asuncion St.Clair  - Member of the IPCC Working Group on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability and one of the contributors to the ISSCreport - will give a short presentation.  

As a preparation, we advise all to read the summary of the report (available from the ISSC website)

Panelists: Asuncion St.Clair, Senior Principal Scientist Low Carbon Future Programme, DNV GL; Kjetil Rommetveit, Researcher at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, UiB; Tore Furevik, Professor at Geophysical Institute, UiB, and Director of Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research; Thorvald Gran, Professor Emeritus, Department of Administration and Organization Theory, UiB.


June 25, 08:00 – 10:00
Venue: Brand selskapslokaler

Breakfast seminar
How international companies meet global development challenges

Climate change, environmental degradation, poverty and inequality, food and water security, corruption and mal-government, slavery and abusive labour practices are among the global development challenges where the corporate sector generally, and international companies in particular, often have been portrayed as main culprits who contribute to the problems in their search for profit. Today, companies are actively developing policies for handling and finding solutions to these global challenges.

This debate brings together representatives of international companies who share experiences and strategies for handling challenges and apply responsible business practices; and development actors who seek ways to reduce the potential negative impacts of international companies through global regulatory initiatives, and look for new forms of collaboration between private and public actors to meet global development challenges.

Panelists: Asuncion St.Clair, Senior Principal Scientist at the Low Carbon Future Programme, Det Norske Veritas (DNV GL); Hilde Drønen, Chief Financial Officer at DOF ASA; Zaid Hassan, co-founder of Reos Partners, UK; Jamshed Kazi, Director of the Oslo Governance Centre of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Anne-Kristine Øen, Group Communication Manager at Marine Harvest ASA.


June 26, 09:00 – 10:30
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Plenary lecture
Trends in national and global law and policy on abortion

This session will look at the current political and legal situation of abortion in countries and as a subject of global attention in UN human rights work and in the consultations and meetings defining and developing the post-ICPD and post-2015 agenda. It will look at how abortion law and the criminalisation of abortion in most national laws affects the practice of abortion for health professionals and the safety and accessibility of abortion for women, and discuss where the world should be going as regards abortion as an integral and necessary part of fertility control.

Speaker:  Marge Berer, founding editor of Reproductive Health Matters.


June 26, 13:00 – 15:30
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Plenary workshop
Social Labs to Meet Global Development Challenges: Or why planning is killing us & prototyping will save us

Complexity is increasing everywhere. We are living on a planet that is more and more interconnected. As a result we are seeing complex challenges at multiple scales, be that in our schools or the wider systems we depend on. Dominant responses to complexity, based on planning based approaches do not work. So what should we do? Zaid Hassan, author of "The Social Labs Revolution: A New Approach to Solving our Most Complex Challenges" will argue that social labs represent a new and more adequate approach for addressing complex challenges. 

Speaker: Zaid Hassan, Co-founder of Reos Partners, Oxford, UK


June 26, 16:00 – 17:30
Venue: Auditorium, Jekteviksbakken 31 (Juss II)

Film and debate
Foreign investment, natural resources exploitation and local development

This session will start with the screening of the film Stealing Africa. How much Profit is fair?, followed by a debate chaired by Håvard Haarstad, Post Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Geography, UiB.

About the film: In Ruschlikon, a sleepy village in Switzerland, the wealthy residents are receiving more tax revenue than they can use since the arrival of Ivan Glasberg, CEO of commodity giant Glencore. Yet in Zambia, where Glencore owns a majority stake in the country’s biggest copper mining operations, tax is an issue that’s contributing to its poverty.

Stealing Africa. How much Profit is fair? is produced by Why Poverty?


June 27, 09:00 – 10:30
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Plenary lecture
Governance of small-scale fisheries: Their neglected importance and the pressures from above and below

This talk explores the function and role of small-scale fisheries from a governance perspective. It will outline the significance of small-scale fisheries, particularly in developing countries, while highlighting the serious lack of data. Many small-scale fisheries are characterised by self-governing mechanisms that may have other values than conservation and economic efficiency.

The sector is vulnerable and under increasing pressure for governance reforms, entailing a two-pronged approach of area closures and effort control, often resulting in further marginalisation and conflicts. The reluctance to conform to Western-inspired management models creates negative images of small-scale fishers, particularly for using indiscriminate fishing methods. Recent findings however, challenge the mainstream fisheries narratives and suggest that exploitation patterns of small-scale fishers are often closer to an ecosystem approach than conventional selective fisheries. 

Speaker: Jeppe Kolding, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Bergen.


June 27, 16:00 – 17:45
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Panel debate
The International Criminal Court and the politics of global justice

The almost exclusive focus of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on African countries, and the choice of particular actors, have led to criticism regarding the political independence of the ICC, and its capacity to fulfill its aim of promoting and protecting human rights independently of political interests, and without reproducing world´s power inequalities.

This debate aims to present some of the current positions regarding the role of international mechanisms as the ICC, which role the ICC is playing, and if the ICC is fulfilling its aim of providing global justice.

Panelists: Adam Brancher, Associate Professor, San Diego State University, and Senior Research Fellow, Makerere Institute of Social Research, Uganda. Nobuo Hayashi, Researcher, University of Oslo.


June 30, 09:00 – 10:15
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Plenary lecture
Global governance of global public goods for health

Production and provision of global public goods is a hot topic in global development and governance discussions. Public goods are traditionally assured by national governments, since the market do not have financial incentives to engage in provision and dissemination of goods that no one can be excluded from, no charge can be levied for use and costs cannot be recouped. But in global politics, there is no ‘global government’ to undertake this role.

How can we solve the global challenges we face concerning underproduction of knowledge and research and development for poor populations? Avoiding antimicrobial resistance? Secure vaccine development and pandemic flue preparedness?  How can we ensure provision of global public goods when incentives are scarce, financing strained, responsibilities unclear and interests’ conflict?

Speaker: John-Arne Røttingen, Professor II at Institute for Health and Society at the University of Oslo.


June 30, 16:00 – 17:30
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Plenary lecture
Saving women from themselves: neoliberal development, rights, and violence against women in India

The lecture will draw on Dr Roy's current research into the modes of women’s rights activism that have emerged on a terrain of neoliberal development in contemporary India. She draws on the case of a feminist NGO in Eastern India that focuses on the economic empowerment of subaltern women through a strong ‘women’s rights’ approach. THis is exemplified in a campaign to halt the rising incidents of child marriages.

The ethnographic context unravels key assumptions behind such noble campaigns, from the manner in which the subaltern subject (the ‘girl child’) is constituted as an object of saving to the way such campaigns serve particular transnational developmentalist ends. A real appreciation of the complex terrain of women’s victimisation and agency might make for very different responses both within and outside of development.

Speaker: Dr. Srila Roy, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.


July 1, 09:00 – 10:15
Venue: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development

Panel debate
Ethical challenges related to publication

This seminar takes on the issue of ethics in relation to open access, citation impact, and other aspects of research publication. What is citation impact and why is it so important for researchers? Does it reflect the scientific merits of a given paper?

Panelists: Susanne Mikki a Senoir Academic Librarian at the University of Bergen Library. Irene Eikefjord is a Senoir Librarian at the University of Bergen Library. Matthias
Kaiser is Head of the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, UiB.


July 1, 16:00 -17:30
Venue:Bergen Resource Centre for International Development, Jekteviksbakken 31

Round table
The New Development Agenda: Eradicating Poverty by 2030?

The fastest reduction in poverty in human history was recently reported: half a billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty since the turn of the millennium. This optimistic assessment was shared by world leaders in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 when they agreed to continue the job set out by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The international community has been working on a post-2015 development agenda with the aspiration to eradicate extreme poverty from the face of the earth by 2030. The UN’s High Level Panel Report indicates that new goals and targets should be grounded in respect for universal human rights, underlining the need for sustainable development for all. Despite the progress in the discourse and level of ambition, it can be argued that current aspirations do not go far enough in addressing the structural causes of poverty and the world’s increasing inequalities.

This round table will critically assess the claimed dramatic reduction in poverty. Speakers will analyse the data and arguments provided by international organisations and world leaders supporting the reported progress towards achieving the MDGs in general, and the goals related to the reduction of extreme poverty and hunger in particular. They will also discuss possible causes of progress and setbacks in the global poverty reduction efforts. What are the lessons learned from the MDGs process that can contribute to poverty eradication by 2030?

A 45-minutes interactive Q&A session with the audience will be a central part of the programme.

Speakers: Professor Thomas Pogge, Yale University; Professor David Hulme, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester; and Alberto Cimadamore, CROP.


July 2, 9:00: 10:30
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Plenary session
Differentiated Citizenship: A North/South Dialogue

Many countries struggle to accommodate cultural practices that could be construed as harmful to women and that undermine their universal human rights. In the North, these cultural practices are often linked to “immigrant communities” that has to be accommodated in democratic rights based societies. In the South, and specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa, cultural practices are protected under customary law that became distorted as a consequence of colonisation. This keynote address will attempt to look at the binary between cultural and rights in the global North and the South in an attempt to see if it can be dislodged.

Speaker: Professor Amanda Gouws, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.


July 2, 12:00: 13:15
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Lunch lecture
A sneak preview of The World Development Report 2015: Mind and mindsets
Development Report 2015: Mind and mindsetsThe World Development Report 2015 is based on three main ideas: people think fast, relying on intuition more often than careful analysis; thinking employs mental models rooted in particular cultures, with the result that context has large effects on human judgment and behaviour; and social emotions and social norms motivate much of what people do.

This richer understanding of decision-making emerging from contemporary research, suggests that development professionals and policymakers need to look more deeply inside the economic actor, at the individual’s mental processes.  They also need to look outside the individual, at the cultural mental models, social contexts and norms that enable and constrain how people think. The main message of the Report is that is that every policy rests on explicit or implicit assumptions about how people make choices, and that those assumptions are incorrect more often than we believe.

Speaker: Varun Gauri, the Development Research Group of the World Bank and Co-director of the World Development Report 2015.


July 2, 16:00 – 17:30
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Plenary lecture
Climate Justice

Among those first and most severely affected by climate change are countries and populations who have contributed the least to global warming and environmental destruction. What does justice require in a situation where we are in urgent need to move to new, sustainable development paths? How should be divide responsibilities for emission cuts, for the transformations needed to adapt to changing conditions, and for losses and damage caused? What are the responsibilities of societies (and companies) who have developed and benefited from decades high carbon-emission and production of fossil fuels? And how should we in this situation think about the responsibilities of the world¹s poor, and about their rights ­ including the right to development?

Speaker: Nnimmo Bassey, Director Health of Mother Earth Foundation.


July 3, 09:00 – 10:15
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Plenary lecture
Corruption – a global development challenge

This lecture explores the interplay between governance and corruption. Corruption impedes development due to the economic, political and social costs produced by rent-seeking, graft, bribery, patronage and other types of corruption. The lecture first provides an analytical framework to understand costs of these different types of corruption on governance and development. Then, it shows how anti-corruption reforms can be evaluated. It ends by reflecting on the principles and evidence for some of the most popular anti-corruption reform approaches. The lecture is based on a decade of work by the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre at the Chr. Michelsen Institute measuring the costs of corruption and how to control corruption in developing countries. 

Jesper Johnsøn is Senior Advisor at the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Bergen.


July 3, 16:00 – 18:00
Venue: Auditorium 4, The Law Faculty

Panel dabate
Approaches for the characterisation and management of uncertainty and quality of knowledge

This session will present and discuss the concept of post-normal science and its applications in various approaches for uncertainty management and quality assessment in science for policy.

Jeroen van der Sluijs is Associate Professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University. Andrea Saltelli leads the Econometric and Applied Statistics Unit of the European Commission at the Joint Research Centre in Italy. RagnarFjelland is Professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, UiB. Roger Strand is Professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, UiB