Phd Candidate on Drivers of Landscape Change in India, ETH Zürich
Swen wants to understand people, understand systems, and why people tend to be quite bad at organizing their systems sustainably.
With an academic background in Soil and Water Conservation, Agroforestry and specializing in local knowledge and understanding stakeholders, Swen is now working to combine the natural sciences with the socio-economic ones, to allow for a systems thinking approach to complex problems. Swen is currently at the final stages of his PhD with ETH Zurich, looking at drivers of landscape change in traditional slash and burn agriculture in India. Before that, Swen explored the impacts of global climate change on smallholder farmers in Kenya together with Bangor University in the UK, and the World Agroforestry Centre.
Ever since Swen was young, he wanted to be a farmer, and one day he might be. In the meantime he decided to work with farmers and other resource managers, to help improve their systems and livelihoods. Farmers are like magicians, using only sunlight, water, some nutrients and hard work, they produce something we can’t go without. And yet, they’re often the poorest of us all… I want to know why.