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Rudolf Agricola School

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Scientific Council

For the Agricola School 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 the Agricola School 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.

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Prof dr. Aleid Brouwer

Faculty of Spatial Sciences

Expertise: regional development, inequality, welfare, wellbeing, quality of life, purposeful entrepreneurship. Sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems.

A sustainable society is a society that is ready for the transitions ahead of us. A society with equal opportunities for all, now and in the future.

Basak Bilecen

Dr. 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

Prof. dr. mr. 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.

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Prof. dr. Boudewijn de Bruin

Faculty of Economics and Business.

What should business do to mitigate climate change? I am interested in answering this question using methods from ethics, law, economics and business, with a focus on the role and responsibilities of sustainable finance.

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Prof. dr. ir. Christiaan Both

Professor of Animal Ecology. Faculty of Science and Engineering

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Dr. Ellen van der Werff

Associate professor environmental psychology. Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences

Expertise: Environmental psychology, pro-environmental behaviour; behavioural change strategies.

I am interested in factors influencing consistent pro-environmental behaviour and strategies to change environmental actions. My main research interests are environmental self-identity and strategies to promote behavioural change. I enjoy collaborating with researchers from other disciplines and applying my research to real life problems.

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Dr. Emma Folmer

Assistant professor sustainable entrepreneurship. Campus Fryslan

In my research I focus on the spatial and institutional context of entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. I am currently involved in research projects on community energy initiatives and sustainable entrepreneurship education. I am specifically interested in the (contextual) factors that contribute to entrepreneurial success in the sustainability domain, as well as in the conceptualisation and measurement of the outcomes of sustainable entrepreneurship efforts, i.e. positive impact or positive social change. I enjoy collaborating with social and sustainable enterprises in research and teaching.

Frank Hindriks

Prof. dr. 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

Prof. dr. na 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 the Agricola School to support more collaboration in sustainability research and education, and to increase societal impact.

Joram Tarusarira

Dr. Joram Tarusarira

Expertise: 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.

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Jorien Zevenberg

Lecturer Science & Society and PhD Sustainable nature conservation. Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Expertise: nature policy, sustainability transitions, sustainable and nature-inclusive agriculture.

Ongoing biodiversity decline demands a new approach to nature conservation in which nature and agriculture become more integrated. The transition towards sustainable nature conservation and nature-inclusive agriculture is the focus of my research. I’m especially interested in what is needed to upscale this transition from pilots to mainstream.

Julia Martinez-Arino

Dr. 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 the Agricola School, I hope to contribute to reflections about how socio-cultural and religious diversity play out in the construction of sustainable societies.

Kars de Graaf

Prof. mr. dr. 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

Dr. 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.

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Dr. Marek Neuman

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts

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Dr. Rieneke Slager

Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business

Corporations have a major role to play in sustainability transitions. My research focuses on the ways in which stakeholders, including shareholders, can help or push corporations to play an active role in tackling sustainability challenges. This includes the way measurement, through e.g. ratings, as well as direct dialogue between shareholders and corporations, can influence corporate sustainability behaviour.

Sara Strandvad

Dr. 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.

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Dr. Sepideh Yousefzadeh Faal Daghati

Associate Professor, Intersectional Wellbeing and Decoloniality, Campus Fryslan

Simon Friederich

Dr. 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.

Wander Jager

Dr. 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 the Agricola School, as it is our platform where different scientific lenses meet and work together on a clear vision on our sustainable future.

Last modified:25 May 2023 12.09 p.m.
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