Morgan Fröling holds a PhD in Chemical Environmental Science from Chalmers University of Technology, and is presently a Professor of Ecotechnology and Environmental Science at Mid Sweden University. Over time his research has included studies of local environmental problems and technical solutions, understanding and assessing systems and environmental systems effects, and stakeholder involvement for change. He believes that the ability to shift perspective is crucial for moving towards sustainable development.
1. You have been at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Chalmers, how come you ended up at Mid Sweden University in Östersund?
By mistake, I saw an advert for a position and I realised this described exactly what I wanted to do. I was glad to see that people were thinking like me. I liked it at once. The connection between research and the community is appealing to me. Mid Sweden University often has greater possibilities to be part of the local society, than the big universities. To me it is important that the new insights research provides can be used locally, but it has to be research at the forefront too.
2. What are the environmental challenges and opportunities for this region?
We have large bank account of natural resources (including water and land), but there is a great risk we spend those resources without thinking of the consequences for us and our children. One example is how we try to attract new inhabitants by letting them build at the lake shore. It is old knowledge that that will lead to polluted water and only hundred meters from the shore will make a difference on water quality. We need to think wiser. We act as if our resources are unlimited and we take them for granted. We need a new mentality!
3. What would you say is necessary for us to achieve a sustainable live in this region? Being a professor I guess you will say knowledge.
I would say stubbornness and willingness. Basically we have the knowledge, but the knowledge needs to be transformed into action and we need new experiences on how to do things differently. This means that every ones capacity and creativity is needed in order to achieve a sustainable future.