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Carl Bennet and Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation sponsor professorship in sustainability studies

Carl Bennet and the Marianne & Marcus Wallenberg Foundation join forces to sponsor a new professorship at the Stockholm School of Economics. This enables internationally acclaimed Martina Björkman Nyqvist to continue her important research on development economics and children’s health and education as the new Carl Bennet & Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Chair in Economics.

Driving sustainable development and alleviating poverty are at the top of the agenda for two of Sweden’s biggest actors in the business world and the non-profit sector. In 2017, Carl Bennet and Marcus Wallenberg initiated a project called Swedish Industry for Quality Education in India. This is also how they got aquainted with the work of Martina Björkman Nyqvist, who they have now decided to sponsor through the establishment of the new Carl Bennet & Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Chair in Economics.

“Improving living conditions, health and education for people across the world is a major challenge. We know from experience, not least from the work of Professor Björkman Nyqvist, that these efforts need to be based on solid scientific evidence. We are happy to be able to support the important research carried out at SSE,” says Carl Bennet.

A professorship focused on poverty reduction

Eradicating poverty is a crucial goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – but the hard-won progress has been set back significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic and is now exacerbated by rising inflation and the war in Ukraine. A major challenge for both international aid and social programs on a local level is efficacy. How do we know what works so we can put our effort and money where they are the most likely to affect positive change?

Professor Martina Björkman Nyqvist studies what programs and initiatives actually make a difference for integration, education and health. Using a Nobel Price-winning method – randomized control trials – she is evaluating social inclusion programs such as Kompis Sverige (Buddy Sweden), as well as education programs and health programs in India and a number of African countries.

“That two of Sweden’s most prominent leaders choose to donate to a professorship focused on poverty reduction shows that Swedish society is serious about long-term social sustainability,” says Martina Björkman Nyqvist. “I am very honored for the trust that has been shown and will continue to contribute to the field of development economics with rigorous evaluations of programs aimed to fight poverty in the poorest parts of the world.”

Mobilizing forces

Göran Sandberg, Executive Director at the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation adds:

 ”There is a strength in combining industry, NGO’s and academia. Coming from different sectors, we also bring a different set of experiences and skill sets to the table. When it comes to meeting a global challenge, we all need to mobilize forces to make progress.”

Martina Björkman-Nyqvist joined the Stockholm School of Economics as an Assistant Professor in 2011 from the Department of Economics at Bocconi University in Italy. She currently serves as the director of MISUM, the Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets. She is also affiliated with the Jameel-Poverty Action Lab (J-Pal), a CEPR Research Fellow, and a BREAD Affiliate.

About the Stockholm School of Economics

The Stockholm School of Economics is rated as a top business school in the Nordic and Baltic countries and enjoys a strong international reputation. World-class research forms the foundation of our educational offering, which includes bachelor, master, PhD, MBA, and Executive Education programs. Our programs are developed in close cooperation with the business and research communities, providing graduates substantial potential to attain leading positions in companies and other organizations.

The School is accredited by EQUIS, certifying that all of its principal activities – teaching as well as research – maintain the highest international standards. The Stockholm School of Economics is also the only Swedish member institution of CEMS and PIM, which are collaborations between top business schools worldwide, contributing to the level of quality for which our school is known.

SSE Dept. of Economics Misum Health Development Inequality Education Social economics Sustainability Economics News Press release