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Personal profile

Research profile

Anna's main expertise is in the transformation of systems providing human needs for e.g. energy, mobility and built environment. Such radical change is considered a precondition for reaching more sustainable paths. Anna studies system innovation processes to identify the most effective, context-sensitive strategies and policy instruments. 

Her current interests focus on the process of upscaling - one of the most critical notions motivating systemic shifts. Anna studies this process in the context of co-creation method and (smart) mobility and cycling experiments. She received a number of grants from APN, NRC, DFG, Dutch Ministries, and NWO. Currently she is a project leader of a € 6.1m Interreg NWE project on community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP). The project focuses on the most effective ways to scale-up local community-driven energy initiatives. In this work, she connects with studies on environmental justice and novel, sustainability-oriented, business models. Because Anna is interested in doing research that matters, most of her work is based on practical cases and involves non-academic collaborations.

Academic background

Anna has conducted research for the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (IVM-VU). Her involvement with sustainability transitions started in 1999 when she became an executive officer of the Industrial Transformation Science Project of the International Human Dimension Program (IHDP), a position she held until 2011. Within that task, she facilitated research on applying insights from the emerging stream of system innovation in the context of analyzing economic and environmental transitions occurring in developing Asia. This research facilitated translation of the novel, though very western, insights about systemic change to other socio-economic and geographical conditions.

Anna is also a founding and Steering Group member of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN). In 2015 she established a Global South, and in 2018, a Brazilian chapter of the STRN. In 2010-2017, on behalf of STRN, Anna has co-developed and implemented a series of professional trainings for entrepreneurs in sustainability transitions for Climate KIC and InnoEnergy KIC.

In parallel, and as part of her PhD, Anna studied European renewable energy from the Technological Innovation System (TIS) perspective at Innovation Studies Group of Utrecht University. Her major input here is in the area of systemic innovation problems and instruments, and the spatial expansion of the TIS framework.  

Anna is a regular guest speaker, guest editor, reviewer and publishes in leading journals. From 2017 she is is an Associate Editor of Urban Transformations journal.

External positions

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


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sustainability Earth & Environmental Sciences
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Projects 2014 2022

Scaling up Co-creation: Avenues and Limits for Integrating Society in Science and Innovation

Bombaerts, G., Bombaerts, G., van der Avoird, M., Vereggen - Tielemans, T., Vereggen - Tielemans, T., Tsui, S., Astola, M., Laes, E., Wieczorek, A., Spahn, A., Benckhuijsen - Mertens, P., Reymen, I. & Royakkers, L.


Project: Research direct

Community-based Virtual Power Plant

Wieczorek, A., Wieczorek, A., van Summeren, L., Verbong, G., Kirkels, A., Bombaerts, G., Jansen, R., Jansen, R., van der Avoird, M., Vereggen - Tielemans, T. & Vereggen - Tielemans, T.


Project: Research direct

Impuls projects between TU Eindhoven, RWS, and PON

Oldenziel, R., Oldenziel, R., Dekker, H., Petzer, B., Bek, P., Sun, Q., Jeekel, H., Verbong, G., Veraart, F., Wieczorek, A., Spahn, A., Kalmbach, K., Jansen, R., Vereggen - Tielemans, T., Benckhuijsen - Mertens, P. & Vereggen - Tielemans, T.


Project: Research direct

From automobility to smart mobility

Verbong, G., Manders, T., Salas Girones, E., Vrscaj, D., Jansen, R., Benckhuijsen - Mertens, P., Vereggen - Tielemans, T., Vereggen - Tielemans, T. & Wieczorek, A.


Project: Research direct

Energy Vision Development

Verbong, G., Verbong, G., Wieczorek, A., Chang Chang, C., Plaschek - Scale, J. & Jansen, R.


Project: Research direct

Research Output 1999 2019

16 Citations (Scopus)

An agenda for sustainability transitions research: state of the art and future directions

Köhler, J., Geels, F. W., Kern, F., Markard, J., Wieczorek, A., Alkemade, F., Avelino, F., Bergek, A., Boons, F., Fünfschilling, L., Hess, D., Holtz, G., Hyysalo, S., Jenkins, K., Kivimaa, P., Martiskainen, M., McMeekin, A., Mühlemeier, M. S., Nykvist, B., Onsongo, E. & 9 othersPel, B., Raven, R., Rohracher, H., Sandén, B., Schot, J., Sovacool, B., Turnheim, B., Welch, D. & Wells, P., 1 Jun 2019, In : Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 31, p. 1-32

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Sustainable development
social movement
civil society
Social Movements

Community-based virtual power plants: against all odds?

Mourik, R. M., Breukers, S. C., van Summeren, L. & Wieczorek, A., 20 Aug 2019, In : Proceedings. 20, 1, 7 p., 25

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademic

Open Access
power plant
institutional change

Dockless bikeshare in Amsterdam: a mobility justice perspective on niche framing struggles

Petzer, B. & Wieczorek, A., 20 Jan 2019, (Submitted) In : Applied Mobilities.

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issueAcademicpeer-review

discourse analysis
36 Citations (Scopus)

Experimenting for sustainability transitions: A systematic literature review

Sengers, F., Wieczorek, A. J. & Raven, R., Aug 2019, In : Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 145, aug 2019, p. 153-164

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Sustainable development
Practice (Psychology)
Social Learning


Best Teacher Award 1st year Bachelor Sustainable Innovation

Anna Wieczorek (Recipient), 2016

Recognition: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

Best Teacher Award Bachelor Sustainable Innovation

Anna Wieczorek (Recipient), 2017

Recognition: TU/eOtherScientific

Visiting professor at UFG Brazil

Anna Wieczorek (Recipient), 15 Aug 2018

Recognition: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific


Activities 2001 2019

Community-based Virtual Power Plant: A new model of energy system organisation

Anna J. Wieczorek (Keynote speaker)
28 Mar 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote talkScientific

Community-based Virtual Power Plant: 
Sustainability oriented, socially relevant

Anna J. Wieczorek (Invited speaker)
27 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

Sustainability transitions and the need for new business models

Anna J. Wieczorek (Invited speaker)
27 Aug 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

System innovations from the multilevel perspective

Anna J. Wieczorek (Invited speaker)
27 Aug 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

Towards transformative change: Rethinking innovation policy for transformation

Anna J. Wieczorek (Keynote speaker)
24 Aug 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote talkScientific

Press / Media

Interreg en de Nederlandse Klimaatakkoord

Anna Wieczorek


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Technology alone is not enough

Anna Wieczorek


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Community-based Virtual Power Plant

Anna Wieczorek


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Student theses

Aggregators and flexibility in the Dutch electricity system

Author: Juffermans, J., 21 Dec 2018

Supervisor: Verbong, G. (Supervisor 1), Wieczorek, A. (Supervisor 2) & Nguyen, H. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Blockchain technology for peer-to-peer trading in the Dutch electricity system: from hype to reality

Author: Buth, M., 31 May 2018

Supervisor: Wieczorek, A. (Supervisor 1), Verbong, G. (Supervisor 2) & Sadowski, B. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Community based Virtual Power Plants: Aligning technical functions with social motivations

Author: Murali, S. & Wieczorek, A., 4 Jul 2018

Supervisor: Wieczorek, A. (Supervisor 1) & Verbong, G. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Don't follow the recipe: the design of policy instruments to stimulate energy innovation within differing institutional contexts

Author: Broek van den, S., 31 Jul 2016

Supervisor: Wieczorek, A. (Supervisor 1) & Alkemade, F. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master