Benno Werlen was appointed holder of the UNESCO-Chair in May 2018. From 1997 to 2018, he held the Chair of Social Geography at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. He has researched and taught geography at the Universities of Fribourg, Kiel, Zurich, Cambridge, Salzburg, Geneva, Nijmegen, and at the ETH Zurich. Benno Werlen is the founder and executive director of the International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU), which the three global science bodies of the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities proclaimed in 2016. He has served as a member of the European Research Council (ERC) and advisor to the World Cultural Forum Taihu. In 2016, he was awarded the International Geographical Union's Lauréat d'Honneur for his scientific lifetime achievement. In his research, Benno Werlen focuses on the theory and methodology of geography, globalization, and the regionalization of everyday geography, societal relationships with space, place images and urban/regional development, cultural dimensions of geographical practices, global sustainability, as well as political regionalism and nationalism.