Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers at Sustainability Science Days 2022
Laura Pereira

Title of the talk: Imagining transformative futures in the Anthropocene

Wednesday 18th of May 9:05–9:35

"There is an increasing call for transformative change to enable more sustainable futures, but it is very difficult to imagine what these visions of transformed futures that are more just, equitable and sustainable for people and nature could look like. I offer a call for us to draw more creative inspiration from our collective imagination to envision and explore what preferable futures could look like so that we have a better sense of what direction we want to be navigating towards."


Dr. Pereira is Associate Professor at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and a senior researcher currently working on the Programme on Climate Smart Livestock in East Africa (PCSL) at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, where she is also the co-PI of the CCAFS scenarios project. Professor Pereira is also affiliated to the Stockholm Resilience Centre where she is involved in work on sustainability transformations and futures, starting a Formas project in 2021 on 'Seeding transformative futures for people and nature in Africa.'

Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Professor Pereira completed her BSc at Wits in Zoology, Ecology and Law before moving to Oxford where she did an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy and a DPhil on the private sector’s adaptive capacity to climate change impacts on the food system. Having completed her DPhil in Geography at Oxford University in 2012, she undertook post-docs in sustainability science at Harvard’s Kennedy School and under the Bioeconomy chair at the University of Cape Town before moving to Stellenbosch University to research development in the Anthropocene. Professor Pereira is interested in the interface between traditional knowledge and innovation, the role of futures techniques in transformative change and developing innovative methods for knowledge co-production in developing country contexts. Her work uses the food system to unpack broader challenges and solutions to the complexity of governance for sustainability transformations.

Professor Pereira sits on the IPBES Task Force on scenarios and models and is a member of the FACCE-JPI Scientific Advisory Board. She maintains an extraordinary appointment at the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition at Stellenbosch University.



Christoph D. D. Rupprecht

Title of the talk: Multispecies Sustainability

Wednesday 18th of May 9:40-10:10

"Reducing sustainability to human needs prevents us from meeting these needs. Multispecies sustainability recognizes that living beings and their well-being are interdependent."


Dr. Christoph Rupprecht is a geographer working on multispecies sustainability and cities from the perspectives of food, agriculture, green space, degrowth and multispecies/more-than-human thinking as an Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental Design, Faculty for Collaborative Regional Innovation at Ehime University. He serves on the editorial team for special issues at the Journal of The Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture, the editorial advisory boards for ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies and the Bulletin of Geography, and as a member of the SCP in Cities Working Group of the Future Earth Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production Knowledge-Action-Network. He has previously worked for the FEAST project at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, and taught as a Adjunct Lecturer at Doshisha University, Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo.

Professor Rupprecht’s PhD in geography, ecology and urban planning was awarded by Griffith University in 2015 for research on informal urban green space in Japan and Australia. His combined BA/MA in Japanese studies, biology and philosophy was awarded by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich in 2009 and included a thesis on participatory green planning in Sapporo.

Professor Rupprecht currently works on a number of research topics broadly related to urban sustainability, from transitions to sustainable food and agriculture systems to young children’s urban green space access, informal food, degrowth in Japan, and more-than-human planning. His interests include urban human-nature interactions, foodshed mapping, food system analysis, environmental justice, political ecology, sustainable consumption and production, and depopulation.


Hanna Ellen Guttorm

Title of the talk: Re-Indigenizing and/or Becoming Comfortable with Vulnerability, Reciprocity and Uncertainty

Thursday 19th of May 9:05–9:35

"This vulnerable world, 

in the middle of uncertainty.

What if sh/c/aring more?"


Dr. Hanna Ellen Guttorm works as a senior researcher at the University of Helsinki focusing on Indigenous studies and is a member of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Sciences. She has revitalized the language of her father, Northern Sámi, and works also as part-time Associate Professor in Sámi Teacher Education at the Sámi University of Applied Sciences in Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino, Norway. She is also chair of Dutkansearvi – Sámi Language and Culture Research Association and editor-in-chief of Dutkansearvvi Dieđalaš Áigečála.

Professor Guttorm is inspired by Indigenous ontologies and post theories with those she does critical and socially, culturally, and ecologically evocative autoethnography in-between arts and sciences. She has a PhD in Education from the University of Helsinki and was HELSUS Fellow between 2018-2020. In her postdoctoral research “Revitalizing the connection with the Earth: Walking and becoming Earth” she examined and imagined towards embodying and reconceptualizing the sustainable connection with the Earth.

Her current research on healing methodologies is funded by Kone foundation and continues the movement – and the dream - towards creative scientific writing, which would invite readers to feel, think, and act differently. Additionally, she participates in multiple collaborative research projects concerning different Arctic Indigenous issues, including Indigenous art and art-related knowledge.


Julia Lohmann

Title of the talk: From Algae to Ocean Literacy: knowing, acting and caring through design

Thursday 19th of May 14:20–14:50

“Biomaterials are more than just materials. They become our familiar spirits and influence all aspects of the creative process.”


Dr. Julia Lohmann is a German-born designer and researcher who investigates and critiques the ethical and material value systems underpinning our relationship with flora and fauna. She is Professor of Practice in Contemporary Design at Aalto University and a founder of the Department of Seaweed, a transdisciplinary community of practice investigating the potential of macro algae as a design material, since 2013.

Professor Lohmann studied at the Royal College of Art, where she has also taught and completed an AHRC-funded collaborative PhD scholarship between the RCA and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Lohmann’s work is part of major public and private collections worldwide and has received awards, bursaries and support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the British Council, Jerwood Contemporary Makers, D&AD, Stanley Picker Gallery, the Arts Foundation, Wellcome Trust and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.