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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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Research Output

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 2 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 others, Pel, 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 32 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 71 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)

    Community-based virtual power plants: against all odds?

    Mourik, R. M., Breukers, S. C., van Summeren, L. & Wieczorek, A., 20 Aug 2019, Sustainable Places 2019. 7 p. (Proceedings; vol. 20, no. 1).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

    Open Access
  • 26 Downloads (Pure)


    Best Teacher Award 1st year Bachelor Sustainable Innovation

    Anna Wieczorek (Recipient), 2016

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

    Best Teacher Award Bachelor Sustainable Innovation

    Anna J. Wieczorek (Recipient), 2017

    Prize: TU/eOtherScientific

    Nominee Best Teacher at TU/e

    Anna J. Wieczorek (Recipient), 27 Sep 2019

    Prize: TU/eOtherScientific

    Nominee Best Teacher Master Innovation Sciences

    Anna J. Wieczorek (Recipient), 2017

    Prize: TU/eOtherScientific

    Nominee IE&IS valorisation prize 2019

    Anna J. Wieczorek (Recipient), Luc F.M. van Summeren (Recipient), Geert P.J. Verbong (Recipient) & Aleid C. Groenewoudt (Recipient), Dec 2019

    Prize: TU/eOtherScientific

  • Activities

    cVPP creating impact

    Anna J. Wieczorek (Invited speaker)
    4 Dec 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

    Community-based Virtual Power Plant: 
How citizens and communities are increasingly becoming part of the energy transition

    Anna J. Wieczorek (Invited speaker)
    28 Nov 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkProfessional

    MoRe session at 5th cVPP consortium meeting

    Luc F.M. van Summeren (Organiser), Sylvia C. Breukers (Organiser), Anna J. Wieczorek (Organiser)
    14 Nov 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesWorkshop, seminar, course or exhibitionProfessional

    Transnational cooperation for empowering energy communities

    Anna J. Wieczorek (Invited speaker)
    10 Oct 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote talkScientific

    Press / Media

    Interreg en de Nederlandse Klimaatakkoord

    A.J. Wieczorek


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Technology alone is not enough

    Anna J. Wieczorek


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Community-based Virtual Power Plant

    Anna J. 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