Social Innovation and Sustainable Business Talks podcast series – #1


The project is partly supported by The Mötesplats Social Innovation project funded by Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency, and the Media, Management and Transformation Research Centre (MMTC) at Jönköping International Business School in Sweden.

In this podcast series, you will hear what practitioners from sustainability-oriented companies and academics from different fields focusing on social innovation and sustainability research think about the major challenges and future opportunities in the transition to the circular economy.

One of the perspectives in the discussions will be social innovations needed in addition to technological innovations to support more sustainable consumer behavior. The aim is to inspire business developers in companies to further develop more sustainable business ideas and promote social innovation.

The podcast closes with practically relevant research questions for researchers that will help us in the academia to focus on the key issues in transitioning to the circular economy.

Podcast #1

Listen to the podcast at Spotify, Libsyn, iTunes (search for Vertikala samtal) or below.

Hosting the podcast #1: Dr. Ulla Saari, Senior researcher at the Media, Management & Transformation Research Centre (MMTC), and assistant professor of sustainable business at Jönköping International Business School.

Industrial sector in focus of the discussion: automotive sector

Company representation: DI Johann Bachler from AVL List GmbH, Austria,

Guest from Academia: Prof. Rupert Baumgartner from University of Graz, Austria

Short bios of discussants

Rupert J. Baumgartner is professor of sustainability management at the Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Austria. Since 2011 he is director of this Institute and he acted from 2012 to 2019 as Vice-Dean for research of the Faculty for Regional-, Environmental- and Educational Sciences/University of Graz. He is board member of the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS).

Before joining the University of Graz, he was senior researcher in the field of strategic management and industrial ecology at the Åbo Akademi University in Finland and at the University of Leoben, Austria. He published more than 50 journal papers in leading academic journals, 3 books and more than 20 book sections. His main research interests are corporate sustainability management, sustainability assessment, LCA, industrial ecology/circular economy, and sustainability-oriented innovation.

He was named as DuPont Young Professor 2016 and he was awarded with the Seraphine-Puchleitner-Price 2017 by the University of Graz as the best PhD-supervisor. Since November 2018 he is the director of the Christian-Doppler-Research Laboratory for Sustainable Product Management enabling a Circular Economy.

DI Johann Bachler studied Mechanical Engineering/Economics at Technical University Graz, Austria, graduation 1995. During this time staff member at the Institute for Two-wheelers and Small Capacity Engines, and private employee of Prof. Dr. R. Pischinger. 1995 – 2000 IAV GmbH in Berlin, Germany – project manager and team lead Serial Production Calibration Diesel Engines. Since 2000 AVL List GmbH in Graz, Austria. 2000 – 2010 – Head Serial Production Calibration Diesel Engines. 2010 – 2014 Task Force Leader Knowledge Management and Internal Efficiency.

Since 2014 Co-ordinator global R&D in the business unit ‚Powertrain Engineering‘. Since 2017 build up of topic ‚Sustainability in Powertrain Engineering’ with the target of de-carbonization over entire life-cycle and circular economy solutions for the transport sector.

Dr. Ulla Saari holds a PhD degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Engineering from the Tampere University of Technology, and a M.A. degree in Languages and Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her current research topics include: sustainability, sustainability-oriented innovation, sustainable production and consumption, and sustainable business models. She also has 20 years’ experience in the high-tech industry in various senior manager level roles in international organizations.

Social Innovation and Sustainable Business Talks

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