Image credit: World Economic Forum/Boris Baldinger

The University of Exeter is to enter its first partnership with the World Economic Forum to develop a new global initiative for the poles.

The Hoffmann Fellowship on the poles is a two-year post hosted alongside the science communications platform Arctic Basecamp that will help the Forum develop a new project in support of the Arctic and Antarctic biospheres.

Both regions are experiencing some of the most rapid warming on Earth, with the Arctic currently warming four times faster than the global average.

The Hoffmann Fellow will help to develop an integrated approach to tackling the common threats they face, and the implications for the rest of the world affected by polar tipping points.

In partnership with the leadership of the University of Exeter on environment and climate research, the Hoffmann Fellow will help build and drive collaborations between the World Economic Forum, the University of Exeter, Arctic Basecamp and external stakeholders to improve science-based communication and multi-stakeholder collaboration in support of the poles.

Alexandra Gerbasi, Dean of the University of Exeter Business School, said: “This Fellowship inside the World Economic Forum places Exeter at the cutting edge of global discussions on nature and climate as a key part of a new international initiative with transformative potential.

“Environmental sustainability is a core value of the University of Exeter Business School, running through our research, education and operations, as well as a cornerstone of the University of Exeter’s 2030 Strategy, and I am optimistic this exciting initiative can help bring about positive change to the polar regions.”

Gail Whiteman, Professor in Sustainability at the University of Exeter Business School and the founder of Arctic Basecamp, said: “This is a unique opportunity for someone who has specialist knowledge of the polar regions as well as the ability to convene various stakeholders and their perspectives at the highest level to get involved with the research and outcomes of more than 100 key project areas.  

“I look forward to working closely with the new Hoffmann Fellow as we look to bring together leading voices and perspectives from science, Indigenous peoples, local communities, industry leaders, innovators and youth and develop a global strategy for the poles that responds and provides solutions to the systemic risks brought about by the climate crisis.”

The Hoffmann Fellowship Programme, which offers early-career academics the opportunity to work at the intersection of society, science and technology through a joint appointment between the World Economic Forum and leading academic institutions, is funded by André and Rosalie Hoffmann.

André Hoffmann is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Board of Trustees and co-chairs the Hoffmann family foundation alongside his wife, Rosalie Hoffmann.

In July 2022 they were both made honorary graduates of the University of Exeter.

Find out more and apply for the Hoffmann Fellowship on the poles here.