The Gunnerus Sustainability Award 2017

The Gunnerus Sustainability Award 2017 to Carl Folke

Professor Carl Folke has been awarded the 2017 Gunnerus Sustainability Award for his outstanding scientific work to promote sustainable development globally.

(Press release from NTNU and DKNVS 29 August 2017)

Carl Folke. Foto.

The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (DKNVS) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) established the international Gunnerus Sustainability Award, which confers a prize of NOK 1 million (approximately USD 130,000), plus a gold medal and diploma.

The Gunnerus Award honours outstanding scientific work for sustainable development globally and aims to promote research and strengthen the scientific basis of sustainability. The award will be presented during NTNU’s sustainability conference on 19 October.

The award winner

Professor Carl Folke is science director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, and director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. 

He is one of the founders of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and of the Resilience Alliance, and has played a key role in developing the International Society for Ecological Economics.

Folke has university degrees in economics, administration and biology, with a focus on ecology. He is an elected member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences.

The award winner has been an environmental adviser to the Swedish government. He has collaborated with UN organizations in areas such as biodiversity, ecosystem services, water management and sustainable cities.

Folke has participated in the work on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He has been a member of many scientific councils and committees, such as the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California, and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change.

Significant contributions

Folke has contributed in significant ways to sustainability as a field of research and is internationally considered to be one of the most important researchers in designing this new area of research.

In particular, he has helped stimulate research to better understand complex socio-ecological systems. He has been a pioneer in the pursuit of fruitful dialogue and cooperation between the  social sciences, economics and natural sciences to illustrate the important sustainability challenges facing society.

Folke’s initiative has opened new perspectives in understanding the dynamic interaction between human beings and nature, the features and services of ecosystems, as well as how socioeconomic conditions help to manage and maintain ecosystems' ability to cope with changes – their so-called resilience.

The award winner has created interdisciplinary environments for cooperation and contributed to the development of new research areas and approaches that have been adopted in science, education, politics and management, and more recently in the business community.

Leading the way

Folke’s research stresses the importance of living systems at different levels of community development. It shows how we can strive for resilience in the ways we direct and administrate systems where society and nature interact. His work illustrates – in superb fashion – how social progress, prosperity and well-being depend on developments in the biosphere.

Professor Folke has given many scientific lectures as an invited expert at conferences around the world, in addition to his public lectures, seminars for politicians and media interviews.

In 1995, Folke was awarded the Pew Scholar Award in Conservation and the Environment. In 2004, he received the Sustainability Science Award of the Ecological Society of America.

Professor Carl Folke is a most worthy winner of The Gunnerus Sustainability Award 2017.

29 Aug 2017

Contact information

Contact information

Carl Folke: +46 (0) 70 845 01 02

Secretary General of DKNVS: Kristian Overskaug, +47 995 76 444,

Rector NTNU: Gunnar Bovim, +47 954 67 446,

Pro-rector for Research at NTNU: Bjarne Foss, +47 924 22 004,

The Gunnerus Sustainability Science Award

The Gunnerus Sustainability Science Award

The Gunners Sustainability Award logo. Illustration.

The Gunnerus Award in Sustainability Science will be awarded at a formal ceremony on Thursday October 19th 2017 at 18:15 at Clarion Hotel and Congress in Trondheim.

Register for an exciting evening and three course meal with drinks and musical entertainment.

Register to attend the Ceremony

About Carl Folke

About Carl Folke

The research magazine Gemini writes about Carl Folke

Photos of Carl Folke

Photo credit: M. Axelsson/Azote for Stockholm Resilience Centre

About the Gunnerus Sustainability Award

About the Gunnerus Sustainability Award

The Gunnerus Award in Sustainability Science conferred by the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, honors outstanding scientific work promoting global sustainable development.

NTNU Sustainability Science Conference

NTNU Sustainability Science Conference

The award is conferred at the NTNU Sustainability Science Conference 19 October 2017 organized by NTNU Sustainability.