Sustainability transformations over time and space

The mission of the group is to contribute with high-quality research on fundamental issues related to grand societal challenges of globalization and climate change, as well as transformations towards sustainability (ST), such as renewable energy transitions and social innovations in a global perspective.

The research group on Sustainability transformations at the Economic History Department brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines (economics, economic history, philosophy, human ecology, sociology and political science) to understand how unsustainable practises and sustainability transformations unfold over time and at a global scale. In different projects, we explore the complex interrelations of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of transformations towards sustainable development.

Specifically, we investigate the interrelations of energy, climate change, trade and inequality, led by Professor Astrid Kander. We also investigate social, technological and institutional innovations in relation to transformations towards sustainability, led by Professor Cristina Chaminade.


The group has produced several historical databases, notably:

  • SWINNO on Swedish innovations 1970–2017
  • GlobInn on innovation and internationalization in Europe and Emerging Economies (2009-2011)
  • LEG on long term energy and growth in Europe 1800-2010
  • TEG on long term energy, trade and growth in Europe 1870-1935
  • TCBA (Technology adjusted carbon footprints) 1995-2009 for the entire world.
  • CIGaS also holds a collection of firm-based in-depth case studies on innovation and internationalization of Swedish, Indian and Chinese companies. 

The sustainability transformation group has research projects and programs funded by several national and international agencies: VINNOVA, Energimyndigheten and Eforis, The Swedish Research Council, Marianne and Markus Wallenberg Foundation and Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser, as well as international funders such as the European Union (Horizon2020) and the Nordic Council. Currently the total funding received through the different programs and projects is more than SEK 35 million.

Additionally, we occasionally work as advisors of different national and international organizations. As an example, currently we have expert assignments with international organizations such as UNCTAD (United Nations Commission for Trade and Development), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the European Commission.

More reading

The database Swinno


Astrid Kander
Professor, professor
Phone: +46 46 222 74 83, +46 70 994 23 29
Room: Alfa1:2085

Astrid Kander

Cristina Chaminade
Professor, professor
Phone: +46 46 222 33 34
Room: Alfa1:2036

Cristina Chaminade
Last published: 2021-04-09