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Doctoral defense - Nína M. Saviolidis

Doctoral defense - Nína M. Saviolidis - Available at University of Iceland
Fri, 25/06/2021 - 14:00 to 16:00


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PhD candidate: Nína María Saviolidis

Nína M. Saviolidis will defend her thesis Advancing sustainability in economic sectors on Friday, June 25th at 14:00. The defence will take place at the Main Hall and is open to all. It will also be streamed online due to the ongoing pandemic; Doktorsvörn Nína María Saviolidis on Livestream

Title: Advancing sustainability in economic sectors

Opponents: Dr. Jari Lyytimäki, Adjunct professor, University of Helsinki; senior researcher at the Finnish Environment Institute and Dr. Gerald G. Singh, Professor Department of Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

Supervisors: Dr. Snjólfur Ólafsson, professor at the School of Business, University of Iceland and dr. Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir, professor of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Iceland.

Also part of the PhD committee:
Dr. Andrew J. Hoffmann, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, Ross School of Business/School for Environment & Sustainability, University of Michigan.

Chair of the ceremony: Dr. Gylfi Magnusson, professor of Business Administration and president of the Faculty of Business Administration will chair the ceremony.


The necessity of a sustainability transition i.e. large scale transformation to solve grand societal challenges at all levels is not debated. How to go about achieving these necessary transitions is the question. The role and contribution of economic sectors to sustainability is an important aspect to consider for management and policy-making. This thesis is comprised of two different but interconnected streams of research explored in five papers on how economic sectors contribute to sustainability both in terms of their impacts (positive and negative) and in terms of their management of impacts. Paper I sought to contribute to the conceptual understanding of the synergies and trade-offs between a sector and its performance across the 169 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Findings were classified through a ranking system for easily accessible and comprehensive results targeted to policy-makers and managers. Paper II reviewed and applied a previously developed, national-level environmental sustainability indicator set to the Icelandic tourism sector in order to determine whether sectoral environmental impacts can be discerned on the national level. Paper III explored the perspectives of high level managers of medium and large tourism companies and relevant organizations in Iceland in relation to the tourism sector’s management of environmental issues. The study attempted to determine the factors influencing organizational change in the tourism sector in Iceland in response to environmental issues. Paper IV explored the perspectives of high level management among medium and large companies and relevant organizations in the fisheries sector of Iceland and Norway to determine the factors (drivers and barriers) that enable blue growth, i.e. economic growth through sustainable use of aquatic resources. Paper V explored stakeholders’ views on policy tools for achieving sustainability transition in European food systems. The study’s aim was to explore and analyse stakeholders’ proposed solutions for creating sustainable agri-food systems. This thesis contributes to research on sectoral approaches to sustainability with the aim of informing policy and management for achieving sustainability transitions.

About the doctoral candidate

Nína María Saviolidis was born in Reykjavík in 1984 and is half-Icelandic and half-Greek. She has a BSc in psychology from the university of Iceland and an MSc in Environment and Natural Resources from the same institution. She begun to work on her PhD at the Business School in 2016. She has been a teacher assistant alongside her studies. Nína is currently employed as a researcher for the EU funded H2020 project VALUMICS (No 727243). She lives in Reykjavík with her partner, Sebastian Geyer and their two children.


Nína M. Saviolidis

Doctoral defense - Nína M. Saviolidis