The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It
bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop
sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all
aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it
aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in
1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The
University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes
and Programmes worldwide.
Munich Re Foundation Chair on Social Vulnerability
The Munich Re
Foundation (MRF) Chair on Social Vulnerability has been accommodated at UNU-EHS
since 2005 to support and initiate policy relevant research on social
vulnerability. This project has been extended to 2012 due to its success in the
first project period between 2005 and 2009.
of social vulnerability links the environments where people live to their
social interactions, institutions and systems of different cultural values. In
its broadest sense, social vulnerability refers to the inability of people,
societies and organizations to cope with negative impacts from natural hazards
or other shocks/disasters.
consists of seven internationally renowned professors acting on a rotating
basis for one academic year. They explore the cultural and economic dimensions
of social vulnerability, including institutional and governance factors.
has engaged over 120 top PhD candidates from around the world in the annual
summer academy, and has created an active social vulnerability network among
students, prestigious academic institutions and professors.
A series of
policy relevant publications dealing with social vulnerabilities from
interdisciplinary perspectives has been generated by the summer academy
participants and the chair holders.
Expanding the social vulnerability research agenda
Increasing literature on social vulnerability
Building capacity of young
professionals working with the MRF Chair network
Establishing the Munich Re Foundation Chair on Social Vulnerability as a recognized catalyst force
MRF Chair project
strives to engage in innovative research that investigates the issues of social
vulnerability, in particular, the nexus of environmental change and migration
the MRF chair-holders who provide a broad base of expertise in social
vulnerability science, MRF project educates a young generation of scientists
and familiarize them with policy language through various activities, in particular,
the annual Summer Academy
Dissemination: the Chair project produces a series of policy relevant
publications by young professionals and the MRF chair holders. These
publications deal with social vulnerabilities from interdisciplinary perspectives
and provide policy makers with practicable recommendations.