• Source: Scopus
19992022

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Personal profile

Research profile

I am a sustainability transition scholar with over 20 years international experience. I contribute to theory development on: socio-technical system innovation, governance, sustainable development and innovation. I study novel ways of organising systems through new market models (e.g. P2P) and new institutional arrangements. In that work I unpack upscaling, experimentation by communities, co-creation and new business models. My empirical domains are (smart) energy and mobility, and I sympathise with cities’ agendas. I study renewables and new, multi-system technologies such as blockchain. The geographical scope of my work covers Europe and Global South (Asia, India, Thailand). I use transitions as my home discipline from where I take trans-disciplinary ‘detours’ to other fields.

Being driven by the urgent need to act on sustainability, I regularly engage with practical contexts and I aim to do research that matters. My research is funded by NWO, EU, APN, NRC, DFG and Dutch Ministries. Currently I am a project leader of a € 7.1M Interreg NWE project on community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP). The project considers most effective ways to scale-up community energy initiatives and has recently won two prizes: the EU Citizens Award for Sustainable Energy Innovation and IE&IS Valorization Award. I also lead an NWO-funded ORAKLE project on organising learning and knowledge for energy transition in the Province of North Brabant.

From 2021 I have been appointed the TU/e Sustainability Ambassador. 

I am a regular guest speaker, guest editor, reviewer and I publish in leading journals. From 2017 I am an Associate Editor of Urban Transformations journal.

Academic background

My background is in innovation sciences. As part of my PhD, I studied European renewable energy from the Technological Innovation System (TIS) perspective at Innovation Studies Group of Utrecht University. This work contributed to the conceptualisation of systemic innovation problems and instruments, and to the spatial expansion of the TIS framework.

In paralel I conducted research on sustainability transitions at the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (IVM-VU). My involvement with this field started in 1999 when I became an executive officer of the Industrial Transformation Science Project of the International Human Dimension Program (IHDP). Within that task, until 2011, I 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 work facilitated translation of the novel, though very western, insights about systemic change to other socio-economic and geographical conditions. 

Through this research I became a founding and Steering Group member of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN). In 2015 I established a Global South, and in 2018, a Brazilian chapter of the STRN. In 2010-2017, on behalf of STRN, I have co-developed and implemented a series of challende-based professional trainings for entrepreneurs in sustainability transitions for Climate KIC and InnoEnergy KIC.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

19992016

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