MISUM: the Mistra Centre for Sustainable Markets

In our deregulated, increasingly globalised society, the importance of markets is steadily growing. However, not enough is known about the workings of individual markets. Misum’s aim, as an international, multidisciplinary knowledge hub, is to promote the contributions of markets to sustainable development. It seeks to provide knowledge of, and education in, sustainable markets and to act as a forum for researchers, decision-makers, companies and other interested parties.

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The aim is to establish the Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (Misum) as an international centre to enhance understanding of — and navigate the transition towards — sustainable markets. The Center is also intended to contribute knowledge of, and education in, sustainable markets and to serve as a meeting place for researchers, decision-makers, businesses and other interested parties.

What is the challenge?

The debate on whether a market-based economy is sustainable often concludes that the economic system needs restructuring. In our deregulated, globalised world, markets are increasingly important. Swedish examples of how targeted control measures can modify markets are electricity, healthcare, telephony and pharmacies. While structural transformation in some markets depends on changes in external circumstances, aspects of social sustainability underlie the changes in other cases.

Much knowledge of how individual markets function — knowledge that could help to enhance their sustainability — is still lacking. Markets are controlled with legislation and policy instruments, but also shaped in complex associations among numerous stakeholders: politicians, public agencies, companies, interest organisations and individuals, at local, national and global level. To devise new systems and tools that can foster sustainable development while boosting Swedish competitiveness, we must understand the markets better than we do today, create new types of collaboration and support the transition to sustainable development.

How can the programme contribute to a solution?

Misum (the Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets) aims to establish itself as a world-class international centre serving to enhance understanding of — and steering society’s transition towards — sustainable markets. Misum also seeks to provide knowledge in the area of sustainable markets, and to serve as a meeting place for researchers, decision-makers, businesses and other interested parties. Phase 2, starting in 2020, is raising the Center’s ambitions to find solutions to social and environmental problems and to encourage a transformation of society.

Misum is hosted by the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), where it is a key catalyst for linking environmental and social sustainability issues with challenges to sustainability in management and governance. Numerous SSE departments are associated with Misum, which also collaborates with other academic bodies both in and outside Sweden, and with relevant stakeholders in society. In order for Misum’s research to be widely disseminated within academia and beyond, a new team with its own local and international research environments will be integrated in Phase 2.

Misum is organised in three knowledge platforms focusing on sustainable markets at macro, meso and micro level respectively:

  • Business Models
  • Accounting Frameworks
  • Human Capital and Economic Development.

Each of these platforms will receive skilled support in sustainable finance, provided by experts in a ‘sustainable finance initiative’.

Who will benefit from the results?

Misum will supply knowledge and practical tools relevant to the assorted market stakeholders: researchers, decision-makers in the business sector, politicians, public agencies and organisations of various kinds. Misum will also strive to inspire the faculty members and management at the Stockholm School of Economics, using the Center’s research findings, to reform its traditions and forms of education to equip and inspire students and future leaders for sustainable markets.