062: Ocean governance, unsustainable science and the Stockholm Resilience Center with Henrik Österblom

Stefan and Michael interview Henrik Österblom.

Henrik is the Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Center and a Professor at the University of Stockholm in Sweden.

He has a PhD in Marine Ecology from the Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University, and a Master’s Degree in Behavioural Ecology from the Department of Zoology at Uppsala University.

He is interested in marine ecosystems and ways to improve ocean stewardship. Starting as a seabird ecologist, with a particular interest in social interactions between alcids, he has worked on understanding how the Baltic Sea is managed, how international collaboration emerged to address non-compliance in Southern Ocean fisheries, and how transnational corporations shape the present and future ocean. Ongoing work is focusing on the role of science in society and the cultural evolution of global prosocial behavior. He has worked at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and as Special Advisor to the Swedish Government in the Secretariat for the Environmental Advisory Council.

Österblom has facilitated the Keystone Dialogues, a global co-production project including major private actors in global seafood, which has resulted in the establishment of the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) initiative, aimed to transform global seafood towards more sustainable practices. This project is funded by the Walton Family Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. He is also principal investigator of project New solutions to marine problems, aimed at accelerating marine ecosystem knowledge through the use of autonomous drones and artificial intelligence and funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation.

Österblom is a member of the Expert Group for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy and member of the IMBER Human Dimensions Working Group. He serves on the international advisory board of the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies (SARAS²), as board member of Race for the Baltic, and as chairman of the SeaBOS Fundraising foundation. He is subject editor for Ecology and Society, and PLOS One.

Henrik’s SRC page


Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship project

Unsustainable science (extended pdf also includes a Spanish version of the paper): https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(19)30017-X?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS259033221930017X%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

SARAS work on connecting science and art: https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/issues/view.php?sf=112

The keystone actor analysis:  https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127533

Developing SeaBOS and its initial results:


The “Ocean 100” analysis: