In The Spotlight

The Lazy Dawn of Ecomodernity

Ceres21, SUM and BI are organizing an open seminar on ecomodernityA team of scholars from Europe, China and Africa will launch comparative perspectives on ecomodernity in business, culture and politics. They will be challenged by a group of international commentators

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Core Researchers

Core Researchers


Paddy Coulter is a Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford University and a Senior Associate of St Antony’s College as well as an Associate Fellow at the university’s Environmental Change Institute (ECI). He is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Bournemouth’s Media School and was an Advisory Board member of the University of Bath’s Wellbeing in Developing Countries ESRC Research group.


Dr Karl Gerth teaches modern Chinese history at Oxford University and is a fellow and tutor at Merton College, Oxford. His latest book is As China Goes, So Goes the World: How Chinese Consumers are Transforming Everything, which explores the wide-ranging ramifications of China’s shift toward a market economy over the past thirty years. He has conducted research in China and Japan on consumerism for over twenty-five years.


Audrey Gadzekpo Audrey Gadzekpo is a Senior Lecturer and Ag. Director School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana.  She has been a visiting scholar at Northwestern University, and her teaching and research interests focus primarily on various aspects of the media in Africa (development, gender, politics and governance). She also has more than 20 years of practical experience as a journalist, working variously as a reporter, editor, contributor, columnist, talk show host, socio-political commentator, and magazine publisher/editor.


Carlos Joly has an A.M. in Philosophy from Harvard University and is an independent investment manager and investor with 20 years experience integrating environmental and social considerations in portfolio management. He is co-founder of UNEP Finance Initiative and Co-Chair of Expert Group that drafted the UN Principles of Responsible Investment. He was Senior VP of Storebrand Investments, Norway, before that Vice President of Citibank in New York, London, Buenos Aires. In 1996 he received the Tomorrow Environmental Leadership Award. He is Visiting Professor of Finance and Sustainable Development at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, Toulouse and a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Development and Environment, U of Oslo. Carlos has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Kellogg Business School, Haute Ecole de Commerce, Universite de Paris-Dauphine, and the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and has written many articles on finance, climate change, and the environment.


 Amadu Mahama is an independent Energy and Development Consultant with over 20 years of experience in the Energy Sector in Ghana. He spent over a decade as a Senior Manager with the Volta River Authority, one of the largest electric utilities in Africa. He is the founder of NewEnergy, an Energy Research and Development organization with Energy Access programmes targeting rural areas and underserved urban communities. Recently he played a key role in the preparation of the Master Plan for Rural Electrification in Ghana using Renewable Energy. Amadu is a graduate of the Universities of Ghana, and the BI Norwegian School of Management where he holds a BSc degree in Finance and MSc degree in Energy Management respectively.


 Alberto Martinelli is Professor of Political Science at the University of Milan and past president of the International Sociological Association From 1987 to 1999 Martinelli was the dean of the faculty of Political Science at the University of Milan.Member of the national council of science and technology since its start, he is also the author of books and essays on social systems and comparative politics, entrepreneurship and economic development, modernization and global governance, and social policies.He is one of the founders of the journal, Reset, and is an editorialist of theCorriere della Sera.From 1984-85 and 1996-1998 he was advisor to the Italian Prime Minister for social policies and president of the national committee for the integration of immigrants.His most recent book was published both in English, by Oxford University Press (Transatlantic Divide), and in Italian by Università Bocconi Editore (L’Occidente allo specchio).


Atle MidttunAtle Midttun is co-director of the project and is professor at the Norwegian School of Management, Institute of Innovation and Economic Organisation, Director of the Centre for Corporate Responsibility, and Co-Director of the Centre for Energy and Environment. Before joining the Norwegian School of Management, he worked at the Group for Resource Studies under the National Research Council, at the Institute for Social studies, Oslo and the Institute of Sociology, University of Oslo. He was a visiting professor at the Université Paris Sud, the University of Michigan, and a visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Max Planck Institute for Social Research.


Line Sundt Næsse is CERES21 project coordinator and research assistant at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo. She holds a MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Bergen with field-research done in Paraguay and a BA from UiB, NTNU and the University of Portsmouth. She has worked and studied in Latin America, East Africa, Russia, India and the UK in both private and public sector.


Mikael Román is Senior Research Fellow at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), with a PhD in political science from Department of Government at Uppsala University, Sweden. He specializes in the areas of: policy implementation and evaluation; international relations; science, technology and public policy; environmental regulation; and corporate strategies. Before joining SEI, Román had a Senior Researcher position at Stockholm School of Economics, and between 2000 and 2002 he was a “Wallenberg post-doc scholar” at Center for International Studies, MIT.In recent years, Román has worked extensively on energy and climate change issues, with particular focus on the United States and South America, mainly Brazil.


Philippe SchmitterPhilippe Schmitter has previously taught at Stanford University and the University of Chicago, and is now professor of political and social sciences at the European University Institute in San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy. He is coauthor and coeditor, with Guillermo O'Donnell and Laurence Whitehead, of Transitions from Authoritarian Rule (1986) and author of How to Democratize the European Union . . . and Why Bother? (2000).



Elin Staurem is research assistant at BI Norwegian Business School, the Institute of Innovation and Economic Organisation and administrative manager at the Centre for Corporate Responsibility. She has a MSc in Industrial Ecology and a BA in European Studies and Foreign Languages, both from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.



Bron Taylor is President of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture and editor of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture.  He has written widely in about environmental ethics and grassroots movements, with special attention to their religious, moral, and political dimensions. His works include Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future (forthcoming in 2009), the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (2005), and Ecological Resistance Movements  (1995). Taylor was appointed as the Samuel S. Hill Ethics Professor at the University of Florida in 2002, where he teaches in its graduate program focusing on religion and nature.  He is also the host of, which is a gateway to his initiatives, research, and teaching.



Kristine TiedjeKristina Tiedje is Associate Professor in anthropology at the University of Lyon 2 in France. She received her PhD in anthropology at the University of Oregon (USA) and did a postdoc at the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale in Paris. Kristina has worked extensively on human-environmental interactions, protected area management, tourism and cultural politics. She is the author of essays and articles on indigenous environmental movements and indigenous rights, and environmental politics in Latin America. She currently serves as secretary at the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC) and also is a member of the Editorial board at the affiliated journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (JSRNC). Currently, Kristina Tiedje a visiting scholar in anthropology at the University of Minnesota while working on a book manuscript on rights and culture in Mexico.



Lars Trägårdh is Professor of History and Civil Society Studies at Ersta Sköndal University College in Stockholm, Sweden. He received his PhD in history from UC Berkeley in 1993 and worked for 10 years as assistant professor in history at Barnard College at Columbia University, New York. He is currently the co-editor of a forthcoming CERES21 book on civil society and monitory democracy. 




Wang Jin is Associate Professor of sociology at the School of Government, Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) in Guangzhou, China. He received his PhD in sociology from the University of Iowa. He is currently director of the Center for the Public, Science, and Sustainability Studies (CPSS) which is a joint research center established by the School of Government at SYSU, the Chinese Research Institute of Science Popularization (CRISP) in Beijing, China, and the Gothenburg Center for Public Learning and Understanding of Science (gcPLUS) at Gothenburg University in Sweden. The center’s research activities focus on international comparative studies on global sustainability issues from both the perspective of public-science relationship and the perspective of public policy. 



Nina Witoszek

Nina Witoszek is director of the project and is research professor at the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo. Before joining Oslo University she worked at the Universities of Oxford, the National University of Ireland in Galway, and the European University in Florence. She held visiting professorships at the University of Cambridge and the University of Stanford and, since 2008, has been affiliated with the Centre for Advanced Studies at the Royal Norwegian Academy of Science.

Joseph YaroJoseph Awetori Yaro is a Senior Lecturer of the Department of Geography, University of Ghana. His main research interest concerns sustainable development in rural Africa. He teaches courses in Rural Development, Research Methods, Philosophy in Geography, and Resource Analysis.  He is currently working on issues of land rights vulnerabilities; food price rises and food insecurity; and climate change adaptations. He is also a visiting scholar at the Department of Human Geography during the annual Summer School program at the University of Oslo, Norway



Tia TahayaTia Yahaya is an M-Phil student and a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Geography and Resource Development. His research interest is in the area of medical geography and rural development. He has five years of professional teaching experience in geography in the Senior High School.