Staying hopeful in challenging climates: reflections and projections

Last changed: 01 September 2023

PhD Forum held a seminar with Andrea Kahn, designCONTENT/SLU Urban Futures & SLU Landscape on December 7, 2022.

How to stay hopeful and energized as young researchers working in between social- and ecological issues?”

Using two pieces of literature as prompts to reflect on own work, the discussion explored how and what you hope to contribute to a transforming world, changing academy, and evolving dynamic between academy and society.

Participants (both in Alnarp and online) engaged with texts that look at ‘hope-driven’ work in the world-at-large and the academy: Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities (Haymarket, 2016) an essay collection by independent writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit and Learning to live with a lively planet: Renewing the mission of the European University, inaugural Lecture for the Zennström Professorship in Climate Change Leadership, Uppsala University, 1st October 2019) by Keri Facer, Professor of Educational and Social Futures at the University of Bristol, School of Education.

To initiate discussion on pursuing research in changing and challenging climates – social, academic, and ecological - seminar participants shared brief structured reflections on the assigned literature in relation to their research agendas.

Gathered both in person and digitally, the seminar provided a handful of PhD students the privilege of discussing with Prof. Andrea Kahn a crucial – though often pushed to the background – personal dimension of working and studying Landscape in changing and challenging climates. Students shared reflections while Andrea prompted discussions around the topics of the books cutting to the core of our various angles, motivations, worries and hopes related to our research.


SLU Landscape
SLU Landscape operates as a cross-institutional network for collaboration and joint profiling of work done in the landscape subject area at SLU. It is one of the largest environments for research and teaching in landscape architecture in Europe.