The role of communication for a sustainable future

Sustainable Communication is a research program based on collaboration between the research environment Media and Communication at Jönköping University and JIBS Media Management and Transformation Centre at Jönköping University. The overall purpose of our social scientific research is to study the role of communication in the establishment of sustainable development.

Solving different kinds of sustainability crises, involving the environment and climate change, democracy development, poverty and armed conflicts, which are also the subjects of a global action plan, the UN’s Agenda 2030 declaration, requires effective communication. The point of departure for our research is that communication should not be viewed merely as a complement to actions which aim to achieve sustainable development, but rather as the essential “glue” of all actions which make all efforts and activities possible in the first place.

In this context, communication might involve several different practices, such as interpersonal communication between individuals, between two or more organizations/institutions, or between organizations/institutions and individuals, viewed as users/citizens/consumers. In our research, we focus on the following areas:

  • Communication for social change
  • The climate change issue and its communicative challenges
  • Sustainable development and communication as transmedia storytelling. How can communication be improved by using multiple media platforms simultaneously with audience engagement?
  • Political discourse on social media and the consequences for democracy
  • Cross-sector collaboration/communication among organizations as a method for achieving sustainable development
  • The role of journalism and digital media for sustainable development

In our research, we apply both qualitative and quantitative methods, including ethnography, netnography, participatory research, discourse analysis, among several others.

The following are current or previous funders of our research projects: Formas, the Swedish Research Council, the Country Board of Jönköping/the Climate Council and Svensk Däckåtervinning. For more detailed information about our projects see Ongoing research projects.

Contact: Renira Gambarato, Professor in Media and Communication Science.