Hello, and thanks for visiting my website! I aim to make academic research in the area of sustainability more widely accessible to help close the ‘idea-action gap’ for sustainability and share a few of my own thoughts.
What I do
- Professor in Sustainable Business at Maastricht University, Maastricht Sustainability Institute
- Visiting professor at Lund University, IIIEE in Sustainable Business Management and Practice (formerly full Professor in Sustainable Business Management and Practice) and visiting professor at Lappeenranta University of Technology
- Fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)
- Co-founder of HOMIE
- Advisory board member at TNO and Philips Foundation
- Advisor to a diverse number of organisations (large and small) on sustainable business
I am Professor in Sustainable Business at Maastricht University, Maastricht Sustainability Institute. At Maastricht University, I am responsible for the Sustainable Business research theme and I am tasked with the development of the new Master’s in Sustainable Business together with York University, UK. I am also leading the new ERC funded research project Circular X, which is about experimentation with new circular service business models together with a multidisciplinary team of researchers.
I hold a PhD from the University for Cambridge, Department of Engineering, which was funded by Unilever, and an MSc in International Business (Maastricht School of Business and Economics), and conducted a master’s programme in economics and management at the Sorbonne, Paris. For my PhD with the Low Carbon Materials Processing Group (now Use Less Group) I investigated how consumer goods manufacturers such as Unilever, who funded the work, can reduce their product life cycle carbon footprint. For this, I developed and tested tools to help expand and evaluate corporate portfolios of eco-innovative ideas, and developed eco-innovative strategies for future action.
Previously, I worked as a research assistant on the project: “Well Dressed – The present and future sustainability of clothing and textiles in the United Kingdom”, which was funded by Biffa and M&S. The report proposed a range of future opportunities to improve the sustainability of the textiles and clothing industry.
For the Centre for Industrial Sustainability at Cambridge, I was working in close collaboration with other academic institutes, industry, NGO’s and policy makers to find ways to help the industrial system become more sustainable on the short and longer-term. One of my projects was project REDRESS with M&S about innovation to drive garment recovery and retain the value of clothes over time.
In my former role as Professor in Sustainable Business Management and Practice at Lund University IIIEE I had been coordinating a research group and theme in the field of “Sustainable Business” seeking to bridge theory and practice in the fields of sustainable business (model) innovation and design, as well as sustainable consumption and circular economy with the aim to guide the transition to a low resource and resilient economy. Projects included Mistra Rees on resource efficient and effective solutions, CIRCUSOL, on trialling business models to support circular economy solar solutions, and IPACST on understanding the interplay between Intellectual Property (IP) and sustainable business models to accelerate sustainability transitions.
As a co-founder and advisor to HOMIE pay per use home appliances, I am responsible for the academic foundation of the company and guiding further research and the strategic direction of future circular and sustainable business experimentation. HOMIE uses the interconnectedness of modern technologies and moves away from the classic product ownership model to new, more sustainable business models. We focus on driving sustainable consumption and circular economy transitions. HOMIE is a spin-out from Delft University of Technology.
For the EU projects RESCOM and ERN at TU Delft, two collaborative research consortia, I looked into design, supply chains and new business models for a closed loop economy. For project CIRCUIT – a H2020 Marie Curie Innovative Training Network – we explored different aspects, such as sustainable consumption, design and new technology, of new service-driven business models for the Circular Economy.
As part of my Fellowship role at CISL, I’ve been acting as a tutor, supervisor and speaker on executive programmes in sustainability leadership, such as the Master of Studies (MSt) in Sustainability Leadership.
In 2013, I spent some time in the Bay Area (San Francisco/ Berkeley) to investigate how sustainable start-ups might achieve scale, followed by a visiting Fellowship at Yale University, where I was teaching and doing research at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and running workshops for entrepreneurial initiatives such as the Sabin Prize and the Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health at Yale.
Before, I worked for DHL, Accenture and ING. I’ve always been fascinated about how sustainability may be embedded in business practices. Through my work I regularly advise and works with delegates from a wide range of FTSE 100 companies, SMEs and start-ups.
My research interests include: closing the idea-action gap in the area of sustainability through business experimentation, sustainable business models, sustainable consumption, circular economy, eco-innovation and -ideation, and the role of business in system-wide change.
Feel free to contact me via LinkedIn or via my institutional email address: Nancy.Bocken [@] maastrichtuniversity.nl