SEI is an independent international research institute. We have been engaged in environment and development issues at local, national, regional and global policy levels for more than 20 years.
SEI was formally established in 1989 by the Swedish Government and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in October 2014. The Institute has established a reputation for rigorous and objective scientific analysis in the field of environment and development.
Our goal is to bring about change for sustainable development by bridging science and policy. We do this by providing integrated analysis that supports decision makers.
How we work
We believe that scientific insights can guide us through change and should inform decision making and public policy. We also believe that local knowledge and values are crucial in building sustainable lives. Our approach is often highly collaborative, and stakeholder involvement has always been at the heart of SEI’s work. Our projects help to build capacity and strengthen institutions to equip our partners for the long-term.
Our researchers are gathered into four thematic teams that tackle overarching issues like climate change, energy systems, vulnerability and governance, as well as specific problems such as water resources and air pollution. Our work on energy scenarios, sustainability modelling and vulnerability assessments has gained particular recognition.
SEI is an innovator, and has consistently shown the vision to confront issues before they enter the mainstream: our pioneering work on renewable energy and sustainable sanitation has its roots in the early days of the Institute.
Who we work with
We engage with our four core audiences in the North and South: academia, public policy decision makers, media and NGOs. SEI has a trusted position as a convener of dialogues that bridge different constituencies -- North and South, business and research, policy and research -- through events such as the Nobel Dialogues at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
We also reach out to a broader spectrum of change makers by engaging with the business sector and presenting insights that are relevant for companies - for example, in May 2012 SEI co-hosted a conference for 300 business leaders with the Stockholm School of Economics.
SEI publishes widely in peer-reviewed journals and hosts Climate and Development journal, the leading international peer-reviewed journal on the links between climate and development.
What makes us different
We combine the qualities of:
- a non-profit and non-partisan research institute
- an honest broker in handling complex environmental, developmental and social issues
- a research institute committed to rigorous and objective scientific analysis to support improved policymaking
- an agent for change that promotes transitions to a more sustainable world.
SEI’s five-year strategy and four research themes
Our five-year strategy for 2010–2014 is founded on a wide-ranging consultation with partners and stakeholders around the world. The strategy takes a global outlook on the next decade’s key environment and development challenges, and focuses on where SEI’s competence can best meet these challenges and advance sustainable development.
To this end, we have transformed SEI’s previous research programmes into four overarching themes:
- Reducing climate risk
- Managing environmental systems
- Transforming governance, and
- Rethinking development.
These themes will enable us to take our research to a new level. For example, by integrating sustainable sanitation, water resource management, air pollution abatement, and stewardship of ecosystem services we will be able to support a new green revolution in Africa that responds to the need for climate adaptation.