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Arnold Tukker appointed as a guest professor in Indonesia, conducting research on the sustainable development of the economy

A splendid milestone after seven years of collaborative research on the sustainable development of the Indonesian economy. Professor of Industrial Ecology Arnold Tukker has been appointed as a guest professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business of Universitas Padjadjaran (UNPAD) in the Indonesian city of Bandung.

Indonesia may be better off not immediately exporting resources like nickel. Instead, the country could use them to establish its own industry that manufactures vehicle batteries or electric cars. This analysis by a doctoral candidate from Universitas Padjadjarung (UNPAD) gained significant attention in Indonesia. The government invited the doctoral candidate to present his findings and is now seeking investors for such plans.

The beginning of the collaboration

Leiden professor Arnold Tukker was one of the supervisors of this doctoral candidate. The professor of Industrial Ecology at the Centre for Environmental Sciences in Leiden (CML) recounts, ‘UNPAD doctoral candidate Viktor Pirmana asked me to be his co-supervisor.’ That marked the beginning of the collaboration between CML and UNPAD in the areas of well-being, inclusion, sustainability, and economics. Within UNPAD, CML researchers collaborate mainly with theIndonesian Centre for Sustainable Development Goals. Tukker says, ‘And the Faculty of Economics has a strong research group in environmental economics.’

Sustainable development of a rapidly growing economy

Around four years ago, another doctoral candidate from UNPAD started at CML, Irlan Rum. Tukker says, ‘He is investigating the relationship between well-being, income, and ecological footprints at the provincial level. Insights into this are crucial to figure out how a rapidly growing economy like Indonesia’s can develop sustainably.’ Besides Tukker, CML researchers Ranran Wang and Rutger Hoekstra collaborate with UNPAD scientists on such subjects.

Now that Tukker has been appointed as a guest professor, he will spend about two weeks per year in Bandung. ‘This month, I have a dinner with the faculty board to brainstorm about their strategy. Additionally, I will deliver various guest lectures and lead workshops for doctoral candidates to help sharpen their ideas and papers.’ Tukker also anticipates the possibility of more doctoral candidates from UNPAD coming to Leiden. ‘It’s really exciting to connect our knowledge in this way with one of the most important universities in Indonesia and by this, help to make progress on realizing the SDG’s in the fourth most populous country in the world.’

Arnold Tukker at a conference in 2018 on the book on SDG implementation in Indonesia written by former Minister of National Development Planning Prof. Armida Alisjahbana (in orange, she was also promotor of Viktor Pirmana).
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