Contributing to a Sustainable Society

Contributing to a Sustainable Society

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2371-0.ch010
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Sustainable Society

Society comes from Latin word societas. A society is based on people and their relationships with others (Van der Giessen, 2013). Han Olff, Professor of Ecology and Director of the Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Studies at the University of Groningen, writes persuasively: “Sustainable society is not only about finding new energy sources, but also about preserving the quality of our environment and learning how people interact in society” (Olff, 2013, p. 11). Project management is at the heart of learning how to interact with people known as stakeholders, for planned achievement. Successful project delivery cannot occur without observing government policy intervention and stakeholder interaction. The requirements of policy support and people interaction are even stronger in managing project sustainability. What should we learn about a sustainable society? How can project management contribute to building a sustainable society?

To answer these questions, it is best to look at what university research is underway. Academic research contributes to making right policy choices today in order to have sustainability outcomes tomorrow (Van den Berg, 2013). Many research studies relate to sustainability, notably at the University of Groningen, a university founded in 1614, which focuses its research on sustainable society. Taking a multifaceted approach to societal challenges by connecting different research disciplines, the university has established six research clusters to tackle these challenges:

  • 1.

    Good Governance;

  • 2.

    Diversity, Inclusion and Pluralism;

  • 3.

    Sustainable Cooperation;

  • 4.

    Quality of Life;

  • 5.

    Sustainable Landscapes; and

  • 6.

    Sustainable Citizenship.

Within these clusters, researchers are encouraged to address broad research questions in cross-disciplinary fashion.

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