Recently, flows of refugees in Europe and elsewhere have dominated the public discourse. A few days ago it was as if a collective alarm clock rang. People’s imaginations of the horrors of war became clearer and a wave of empathy swept over countries all over the world.
A number of people in the public sphere have pointed out that we find ourselves in something that resembles a third world war. The UNHCR report on the refugee flows is called ”World of War” and 60 million people are estimated to be on the run worldwide. Political systems in many countries are completely shattered and as in previous wars, entire towns and villages are razed to the ground, and our cultural heritage is destroyed. People escape to avoid being raped, tortured and killed and seek security far from home.
Many with me felt heartbroken when the image of drowned Syrian boy Alan spread all over the world. But just as many felt a spark of hope when the police in Munich, due to lack of space, had to advice the public not to come to the train station and meet the newly arrived refugees with open arms. The Stockholm School of Economics now welcomes a fantastic student initiative – a charity concert for refugees.
The Stockholm School of Economics is committed to research and education, turning people into decision-makers with good judgment. Knowledge of the social world and insights into people’s living conditions is a precondition for better decision-making, thus making an impact in our world.
The Stockholm School of Economics would like to be a tool for the creation of a better world through knowledge and dissemination of knowledge. Our sustainability research and the establishment of MISUM, our center for sustainable markets, is part of that ambition. Next fall, the training block Global Challenges will permeate our Bachelor program in Business and Economics. We want to highlight the great challenges that our world faces in the programs we offer, and further focus on the knowledge of context, problem solving, and empathy.
I am convinced that knowledge is the most important ingredient in the recipe of a better world.
SSE President and Professor