Eivind Engebretsen

Professor of Interdisciplinary Health Science

New Sustainable Health Unit

SUSTAINIT will empower sustainable action through education and research

This week we launched the new Sustainable Health Unit (SUSTAINIT) at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo (UiO), with a start-up seminar for all employees.


As the head of SUSTAINIT, I feel incredibly proud and privileged to launch this new initiative with such a great team. At the seminar we started the important process of defining our identity, articulating our ambition, and identifying some core dilemmas and attention points.



SUSTAINIT consists of three centres. Two of these exist already – Centre for Global Health and Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Education (SHE) – and one is new: The Pandemic Centre. All three centres address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), SDG3 in particular, and they are strongly thematically related: sustainable healthcare education requires a global perspective and future pandemics are one of the core challenges for global health. But the centres also have different strengths and focus areas: while SHE is a Centre of Excellence in Education with a mandate to foster excellence in education for sustainable development, the Centre for Global Health has a strong focus on capacity development and knowledge sharing between North and South. The new Pandemic Centre will primarily support and coordinate interdisciplinary research activities on pandemics.


  • By bringing these three initiatives together in one unit, SUSTAINIT serves several purposes: To promote education and research that contributes to critical reflection and increased knowledge about sustainability and the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals in the health field.
  • To create synergies between research, education and capacity building.
  • To create dialogue and strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • To be a driving force and contributor to UiO’s international collaborations (including the European University Alliance Circle U.) around these topics. More broadly – and as formulated by some of the groups at the seminar: SUSTAINIT will
“advance critical multidisciplinary frameworks for sustainable health research and education”.
We will
” empower sustainable action through generating knowledge and tools to enable a broad spectrum of actors”.

And we want to

“contribute towards achieving redistributive planetary health justice through transforming research, education, policy and practice”.

New strategy

This seminar was the first step in the process to define our new strategy, which will be launched in June 2023.


I look forward to an exciting year at SUSTAINIT!


(Photos: Ernst Kristian Rødland)

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