Brighton professor claims top Shanghai award

University of Brighton Professor Marie Harder awarded The Magnolia Silver Award by Fudan University

It is a municipal honour given to expatriates for outstanding contribution to Shanghai’s economic, social or cultural development. The white magnolia is the flower of the city; “symbolizing a pioneering and enterprising spirit”. 

Professor Harder, the University of Brighton’s Professor of Sustainable Waste Management, is currently a China National Thousand Talents Professor, based at Fudan University. Here she was invited to set up an international level group from scratch in an area of need in sustainable development over five years.

Professor Harder is focusing on Shanghai’s 25,000 gated communities, each with their own waste station: this sets the stage for multiple experimental interventions in behaviour change. Over the last three years Professor Harder has worked to explore determinants of behaviour change as food waste separation systems are rolled out, and to draw lessons from case studies in waste management and investigations of narrow sets of parameters in social psychology, with the aim of producing clear advice and handbooks for non-governmental organisations and local groups to facilitate behaviour change.

Professor Harder is focusing on Shanghai’s 25,000 gated communities, each with their own waste station: this sets the stage for multiple experimental interventions in behaviour change.

The project so far has shown that typical governmental implementation of policy by informing residents is ineffective for food waste recycling, and much more complex and subtle behavioural change concepts need to be invoked.

The Magnolia Award was set up by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipal Government in 1989. Once a year, it is awarded to 50 foreign individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Shanghai’s economic development, social progress and international exchange and cooperation. They are working with or are affiliated with businesses and organisations in Shanghai.

The winners were given certificates and a medals by Zhang Xiaosong, Director of Foreign Affairs Office of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government.  The recipients were from 17 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Americas, and represented various professions, including business leaders, technicians, managers, teachers and scholars.

Zhang said: ‘Shanghai’s achievements over the years would never have been possible without the participation of expatriates, particularly the Magnolia Award winners.’

Professor Harder also commented on her award; “I am very honoured to receive this award, and I hope there will be more benefits to Shanghai for my work in the near future.”

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