Behaviour, policy and future change

It can be difficult to change old ingrained patterns of behaviour. This applies to most people, including those who activel participate in sport and outdoor recreation. Therefore, in our quest for more sustainable sport and outdoor recreation, we wish to explore new ways to bring about change, through knowledge and cooperation,.

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It is a major challenge to generate behavioural changes, at both the individual and societal levels, and the sport and outdoor recreation sector is not immune to this problem. Encouraging people to make more environmentally friendly decisions about their sport and outdoor activities will take time and is a complex process.

Knowledge, development and analysis

We need to gather background knowledge about the manner in which the Swedish sport and outdoor recreation function today before attempting to develop and analyse future solutions with the aim of creating behaviour, which is increasingly oriented towards environmental sustainability. Understanding how digital solutions can influence policies and behaviour is also part of the work.

In order to understand and develop policy and behaviour it is important to address different levels of Swedish public administration and government responsibility, as well as the concerns of private and public actors and organisations in the field, and different groups of visitors, users

Importance of understanding attitudes and behaviours

We aim to explore new ways to bring about change aimed at more sustainable sport and outdoor recreation and to propose a new framework for guiding policy-making in the field in Sweden. Here, it is particularly important to have a better understanding of attitudes and behaviours towards sport and outdoor recreation in order to have the best possible effect and acceptance of changes in approaches and working methods.

The work related to this theme will be conducted in close collaboration with the other research themes in the programme. In the initial phase, learning from the respective research themes will serve as the starting point for optimising the work on behaviour and developing policy solutions for the future. Our long-term hope is to be able to support planning and novel governance systems leading towards increased sustainability in sport and outdoor recreation.


Dimitri Ioannides, Mid Sweden University

Theme leader

Daniel Laven, Mid Sweden University

Associate professor of human geography

Areas of research: Landscapes and protected areas; Tourism and contested space; Local food systems; Heritage, culture  and creativity; Evaluation theory and methods

Peter Fredman, Mid Sweden University

Cecilia De Bernardi, Mid Sweden University

PhD Tourism Studies