The social dimension of transitions is central to Sylvia’s work. How are citizens and end-users involved in sustainability processes? How does the institutional context influence the possibilities of participation? What are the different experiences, needs, perspectives in relation to what is necessary and desirable? Based on practice-oriented social science research, in cooperation with various stakeholders and disciplines, she is committed to inclusive and equitable transition processes.
Currently, themes that stand out strongly are energy communities, the design of and participation in smart grids and new flexibility arrangements, environmental justice, energy poverty, the transition way from natural gas, as well as processes aimed at nature-based solutions for urban climate adaptation.
Sylvia has a Master’s Degree in Political Science, International Relations (politics of developmental issues in relation to environmental disputes in Southeast Asia). Her PhD research (2001-2006) addressed the social, political and institutional conditions for onshore wind power deployment – comparing the Netherlands, North-Rhine Westphalia and England (University of Amsterdam, 2007). At Utrecht University (2006-2008), she conducted research on the use of stakeholder dialogue methodology in highly controversial debates. Before joining DuneWorks in 2012, she worked at the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN – today TNO) on projects addressing behavioural change and energy efficiency; project developers views and approaches with regard to citizen participation in Carbon Capture and Storage; and on Sustainable Lifestyles.