Biography of Kristin Vala Ragnarsdottir

Professor at Institute for Sustainable Development and Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland.

Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir studied geochemistry at the University of Iceland and at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (USA). She was Director of the London Geochemical Society and member of the European Association for Geochemistry and the Geological Society. After studying geochemistry for more than 10 years, Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir has switched to the sustainable development research.

From 2008 to 2012, she was Dean of the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Iceland. She is member of the Icelandic Academy of Sciences, of the Geological Society, of the Royal Arts Society.

Up to 2008, Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir was Professor of sustainable development at Bristol University (Great Britain). From 2005 to 2008, in Bristol, she organized public discussions, known as Sustainability Café, aimed at creating urban sustainability. These discussions have led to many changes in Bristol and have increased the number of green projects.

Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir is head of Iceland’s Strategy for Sustainable Development 2002-2020, organized by the Prime-Minister of Iceland. Since 2009, she has been working with the grassroots organization Icelandic Ministry of Ideas (aimed at finding solutions for the future of the country) and with the Prime-Minister of Iceland in order to find ways to deal with the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis. She is a member of a number of scientific panels at the Icelandic Ministry of Science.

Vala´s research engagement, publications and teaching focus on evaluating natural resources and their link with the economy, developing structure and indicators for the wellbeing economy, determining soil sustainability indicators, finding fabric for sustainable communities with focus on food security, and imagining sustainable futures with steps towards them through back-casting. Her most recent interests are linking the energy Sustainable Development Goal with other SDGs, casting light on corruption and developing groundwork for the circular- and bioeconomy.

Today, Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir also works on developing soil sustainability indicators, on national food security, on accessibility of resources and on creating conditions for sustainable communities.

Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir is one of the editors of The Solutions magazine (Portland, USA). Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir is a member of the Balaton Group.