Senior researcher & advisor
Julia Wittmayer has a background in Social and Cultural Anthropology, and is interested in the changes in the societal fabric that are part and parcel of transitions. She holds a PhD in Social Sciences from Erasmus University titled “Transition management, action research and actor roles: Understanding local sustainability transitions”.
Her research focuses on roles, interactions and meaning-making of actors involved in (transition) governance and in social innovation processes in urban areas and on local scale. A specific focus is on the role of research and transdisciplinary engagements as well as research methodologies. She has been involved in and/or leading a variety of research projects, including EU-funded projects such as TRANSIT, Social Innovation Community, MUSIC or InContext.
Currently, she researches the social dimensions of and the role of social innovations in energy transitions, leading DRIFT’s work in the PROSEU (2018-2021), SONNET (2019-2022), Energy-SHIFTS (2019-2021) and TOMORROW (2019-2022) H2020 projects. Her passion for the role of science in transition has found a new home through her work with citizen science in the ACTION project.
Julia regularly acts as (guest) editor of book volumes (Routledge, Springer) and special issues in a variety of journals. In addition, she has been engaged in policy advice for local and national government bodies across Europe (e.g. German Environmental Agency, Dutch Ministry for Public Health and the cities of The Hague or Ludwigsburg) and lectures at DRIFT’s Transition Academy.
Edited volumes & Special issues:
- Backhaus, J., Genus, A., Lorek, S., Vadovics, E., J.M. Wittmayer (eds.) (2018) Social Innovation and Sustainable Consumption: Research and Action for Societal Transformation. Routledge: London
- Loorbach, D., Wittmayer, J.M., Shiroyama, H., Fujino, J. and S. Mizuguchi (eds.) (2016) Governance of Urban Sustainability Transitions. European and Asian Experiences. Springer: Tokyo.
- Wittmayer, J.M., Pel, B., Bauler, T. & F. Avelino (2017) Editorial Synthesis: Methodological challenges in social innovation research. European Public and Social Innovation Review. 2(1): 1-16.
- Avelino, F., Wittmayer, J.M., Kemp, R. and A. Haxeltine (2017) Game changers and Transformative Social Innovation. Ecology & Society, 22(4): 41
- Bartels, K. & J.M. Wittmayer (2014) Symposium Introduction: Usable Knowledge in Practice. What Action Research has to Offer to Critical Policy Studies. Critical Policy Studies. 8(4): 397-406 DOI:10.1080/19460171.2014.957335
Peer-reviewed articles & Book chapters
- Avelino, F., J.M. Wittmayer, B. Pel, P. Weaver, A. Dumitru, A. Haxeltine, R. Kemp, M.S. Jørgensen, T. Bauler, S. Ruijsink, T. O’Riordan (in press), Transformative Social Innovation and (Dis)Empowerment, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2017.05.002
- Wittmayer J, Bach M, Frantzeskaki N, Loorbach D. (2018) Transition Management: Urban Design Principles and Applications. In Frantzeskaki, N., Holscher, K., Bach, M. and F. Avelino (eds.) Co-creating sustainable urban futures. A primer on applying transition management in cities. Dordrecht: Springer. PP 81-102
- Haxeltine, A., Avelino, F., Wittmayer, J.M., Kunze, I., Longhurst, N., Dumitru, A. and T. O’Riordan (2018) Conceptualising the role of social innovation in sustainability transformations. In: Julia Backhaus, Audley Genus, Sylvia Lorek, Edina Vadovics, Julia Wittmayer (eds) Social Innovation and Sustainable Consumption: Research and Action for Societal Transformation. Routledge. pp 12-25
- Hölscher, K., Wittmayer, J.M. & D. Loorbach (2017) Transition vs. Transformations: What is the difference? Environmental Innovation and Sustainability Transitions. Online first: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eist.2017.10.007
- Wittmayer, J.M., Avelino, F, van Steenbergen, F. and D. Loorbach (2017) Roles in Transition: Insights from role theory for understanding sustainability transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 24: 45-56 DOI: 10.1016/j.eist.2016.10.003
- Avelino, F. and J.M. Wittmayer (2016) Shifting Power Relations in Sustainability Transitions: A Multi-actor Perspective. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 18:5, 628-649, DOI: 10.1080/1523908X.2015.1112259
- Wittmayer, J.M. and D. Loorbach (2016) Governing transitions in cities: Fostering alternative ideas, practices and social relations through transition management. In Loorbach, D., Wittmayer, J.M., Shiroyama, H., Fujino, J. and S. Mizuguchi (eds.) Governance of Urban Sustainability Transitions. European and Asian Experiences. Springer, pp. 13-23
- Wittmayer, J.M., van Steenbergen, F., Rok, A. and C. Roorda (2016) Governing sustainability: a dialogue between Local Agenda 21 and transition management. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. 21(8): 939-955 DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2015.1050658
- Wittmayer, J.M., N. Schäpke, F. van Steenbergen, I. Omann (2014) Making sense of sustainability transitions locally. How action research contributes to addressing societal challenges. Critical Policy Studies. 8 (4): 465-485. DOI: 10.1080/19460171.2014.957336
- Wittmayer, J.M. & N. Schäpke (2014) Action, Research and Participation: Roles of Researchers in Sustainability Transitions. Sustainability Science. 9 (4): 483-496. DOI: 10.1007/s11625-014-0258-4.