Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation

Sustainable Society

Sustainable Society About us

Scientific Council

For Sustainable Society it is important to be strongly embedded within the scientific community. Therefore we have established a Scientific Council with members from different faculties of the University of Groningen. They function as:

  1. An advisory board in further developing Sustainable Society within the UG. They bring expert knowledge from their academic discipline to the internal UG debates with the intend to link their field to wider societal challenges under our umbrella.
  2. The linking pins between our office and their faculties. They facilitate access for us to find the right information and people if necessary.
  3. Support to create a sustainable interdisciplinary network (in and outside the university) and make it larger.
  4. Ambassadors when people have questions/ideas.


Meet the members who show clear interest in societal challenges and find out why they are so passionate about working towards a Sustainable Society.

Basak Bilecen

Basak Bilecen

Expertise: Sociology of migration, relational sociology, social network analysis, social inequalities, transnational social protection, internationalization of education

Social inequalities represent the biggest challenge for all societies hindering also sustainable futures. Without understanding the embeddedness of persons and content of their social relationships in-depth we cannot fully grasp social hierarchies and inequalities. To this end, I conduct research investigating life worlds of individuals through a multi-sited and mixed-methods logic of research.

Bjorn Hoops

Björn Hoops

Expertise: Property law, expropriation law

Climate change and the depletion of natural resources threaten the integrity of our society. I am passionate about developing legal instruments that make it easier for us to make our way of life more sustainable.

Frank Hindriks

Frank Hindriks

Expertise: Ethics, Social Ontology and Political Philosophy

In my research about collective responsibility and sustainable institutions, I aim to identify why people often fail to cooperate or fail to do so in a way that is fair to everybody. My work is motivated by the conviction that, in order to make things better, we first have to understand why they are not yet as good as can be. I apply this approach to topics ranging from gender discrimination to corporate responsibility and from social justice to climate change.

Ina Horlings

Ina Horlings

Expertise: Socio-spatial planning, sustainability, place-based development, leadership, values

I am interested in how people shape sustainable places together, how they take the lead in this, and why. In the context of pressing issues such as climate change a transformative change is needed with regard to the way we build cities, use our resources, and produce and consume food. This requires not just a change in human behaviour but also in values and worldviews which guide our behaviour. I participate in Sustainable Society to support more collaboration in sustainability research and education, and to increase societal impact.

Jenny van Doorn

Jenny van Doorn

Expertise: services, service technology, customer engagement, sustainability, food waste

I am passionate about sustainable society's challenges because it is important to leave the earth in a good state for future generations. The challenging part for me is to uncover why people make less sustainable choices, and how that can be changed, ideally in a way that people do not see behaving sustainably as a burden.

Joram Tarusarira

Joram Tarusarira

Exoertise: Religion and politics, conflict, peacebuilding and reconciliation, community development, civil society and social movements

Conflict and violence threaten the sustainability of the world. Through my research on religion, conflict and peacebuilding, I strive to problematize religiously articulated conflict and violence, with a view to finding pathways towards sustainable peace, that is characterized not only by the absence of violence but also the presence of social justice.

Julia Martinez-Arino

Julia Martínez - Ariño

Expertise: religious diversity, public policies, governance, urban religious heritage

In a context of increasing socio-cultural diversification, religion and religious identities often become the source of social unrest and contestation. In my research, I am interested in how different societal actors conceptualise and govern religious difference in order to maintain social cohesion. Through my participation in Sustainable Society, I hope to contribute to reflections about how socio-cultural and religious diversity play out in the construction of sustainable societies.

Kars de Graaf

Kars de Graaf

Expertise: Administrative law, environmental law, sustainability law

As a researcher I am fascinated by the role of law in society and specifically by the role law plays and should play in the transition towards a sustainable society. My research focuses on relevant legal instruments that public law and environmental law provide in order to achieve sustainability goals.

Marc Pauly

Marc Pauly

Expertise: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy

For a sustainable society, I think we need forms of democracy and governance that are broadly participatory. Looking for ways to involve people in decision making in a deeper way will I think create political emancipation, counteract polarization and lead to a better democracy.

Sara Strandvad

Sara Strandvad

Expertise: Cultural production processes, sociology of art, creative work and judgement practices

The creative class is said to be a driving force in our society. At the same time, creative workers often find themselves working in precarious working conditions. In my research, I look into how sustainable solutions can be created for self-employed workers in the creative sector.

Sierdjan Koster

Sierdjan Koster

Expertise: Entrepreneurship and regional economic development, regional labour market effects of automation

Increased socio-economic inequalities between people and between places jeopardize an inclusive and sustainable society. My aim is to contribute to our understanding of these socio-economic individual and geographical disparities and to explore solutions that work for all.

Simon Friederich

Simon Friederich

Expertise: Philosophy of Science and Mathematics, Epistemology, methods

Human flourishing seems to require access to relatively cheap energy. But these days that energy comes mostly from burning fossil fuels, which in turn threatens human flourishing by contributing to climate change. I am particularly intrigued by the question whether we should invest a significant amount of resources in further development and deployment of nuclear energy in addition to increasingly harvesting surrounding energy flows such as solar and wind energy.

Susanne Tauber

Susanne Tauber

Expertise: Moral motivation, social identity and intergroup behavior, organizational change

I am fascinated by the role morality plays for societies in transition. Morality can drive change, but it can also divide societies. In my research, I try to understand why and how morality supports society’s resilience.

Tina Kretschmer

Tina Kretschmer

Expertise: Young people's development in social context, peer dynamics, transition processes adolescence through adulthood, quantitative methods

For a society to be sustainable, it needs to counter inequality, reward prosocial behavior more than actions that benefit the individual but harm the group and raise healthy and happy young people. I am involved in Sustainable Society to explore how different disciplines and stakeholders within and outside the university can work together to create the conditions that enable such societies.

Wander Jager

Wander Jager

Expertise: Social complexity, agent based simulation, innovation diffusion, opinion dynamics

Natural scientists inform me about the challenges we face as humanity, such as fostering biodiversity and adapting to climate change. Being a social complexity scientist myself, I explore the dynamics of how communities prepare and respond to sustainability threats. I am enthusiastic about Sustainable Society, as it is our platform where different scientific lenses meet and work together on a clear vision on our sustainable future.

Last modified:26 February 2020 4.57 p.m.
Follow us onyoutube twitter