Assistant Professor

Anna Wieczorek

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Research Profile

Anna Wieczorek’s main expertise and interest lies 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 is a project leader of the € 6.1m Interreg 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’s 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 helped translate 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 contributed to the development and implementation of professional training 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. 

Educational Activities

  • Sustainability Transitions and Responsible Innovation
  • Design for a Sustainable Future: specializing / SOCIETY
  • Managing Sustainable Technology

Ancillary Activities

  • Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Instituut voor Milieuvraagstukken