As an action researcher, Nena’s aim is to make transition management more effective and just. Her focus is on addressing people’s ‘agency’ (i.e. capacity to act) and help people to understand systems and develop pragmatic strategies for change, based on their personal role and power. Currently she maps the Dutch state of transition in the domain of climate adaptation – an action-research project in collaboration with the ministry of I&W. She works on Energy-SHIFTS – a Horizon2020 project that integrates social science and humanities research into EU policy to accelerate a just renewable energy transition. Topics that currently interest her are climate adaptive urban development, sustainable food systems and new forms of democratic governance.
Nena holds a BA in cultural anthropology and a MSc in industrial ecology. During her studies she took courses in psychology, arts, global economics, communication, business strategy and design. She combines understanding of culture (such as social behavior, power relations, belief systems) with her knowledge of sustainable technology to unravel complex problems and develop strategic action. She takes on an action-oriented approach which is rooted in social science and design thinking. Facilitating (creative) workshops is one of her favorite activities.
Before joining Drift, Nena gained experience in the social-startup sector, the municipality of The Hague and L.D.E. Centre for Sustainability. Her master thesis was conducted at Waternet in Amsterdam, where she investigated the effectiveness of innovation strategies for developing an integrated urban water-energy infrastructure for Strandeiland, Amsterdam.
Outside of work Nena likes to go to exhibitions, concerts and discussion nights. She will take any chance to escape city life to go camping, hiking or rock climbing. You can also ask her about Zen Buddhism and meditation.