The latest science provides compelling evidence that unprecedented institutional and socio-technological transformations are required to address the global challenges that underpin climate change. In so doing, innovative and bold approaches to climate change leadership are required across all sectors of society, from the local to international level. The Zennström visiting professors directly address many of the most challenging questions that climate change poses to humanity, develop novel solutions, and enable emergent change in the nexus of science, governance and innovation. Evidence and lessons generated by knowledge co-production between academia and society at large, is drawn on to ensure an effective and just climate change leadership.

With the 10-year series of visiting professorships, Zennström Philanthropies and Uppsala University are generating a world-class research node in the area of climate change leadership. In distinct but mutually reinforcing ways, the Zennström professors are asked to envision and conduct ground-breaking research and catalyze the much needed action toward a more sustainable future. They address relevant areas and questions such as:

Earth Systems Capacity and Mitigation: Carbon budgets, calculated through scientific modeling, risk assessment and forecasting, pose new and unprecedented challenges for the research and policy-making nexus: Can acceptable mitigation levels be reached? If so, how? How should the political, economic and technological efforts needed, be shared between stakeholders?

Impact and Adaptation: How can societies increase their adaptive capacity and decrease their vulnerability in order to limit the negative effects of unavoidable climate change? What platforms are needed to produce and share technological, ecological and policy-related advances that also deal with non-adaptable impacts of climate change and irreversible loss and damage?

Societal and Technological Transformation: Technological development and societal change are intrinsically linked. How can we open up new and more sustainable social, environmental and technological pathways, of a kind that change the very basis of how human societies develop? What role can social innovation, disruptive technologies and novel forms of technology development play? And furthermore, how can we accurately evaluate and assess both the benefits and risks of proposed solutions to climate change and then create the pre-conditions in which the most sustainable and equitable solutions flourish?