• Source: Scopus

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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 the EU Citizens Award for Sustainable Energy Innovation. I also lead an NWO-funded ORAKLE project on organising learning and knowledge for energy transition in the Province of North Brabant.

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), a position I held until 2011. Within that task, 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.

External positions

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam



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