oikos Young Scholars Energy Academy 2015

in collaboration with
the Department of Public Policy at the Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences and the Porter School of Environmental Studies

“Managing the Transition to Renewable Energy –
Towards a New Energy Paradigm”

June 7-11, 2015
Tel Aviv University, Israel

New and promising technologies of renewable and alternative energy production are already here, waiting to be used. Knowledge based barriers stand in the way of this potential for the creation of a very large number of jobs. The information barrier spans three important domains. First, there is the misconception that new mechanisms to produce cleaner and more reliable energy are expensive. Then, there is the significant concern about the challenge of distributing the energy coming from these new sources. The decentralized nature of new methods of energy production and the challenge they
entail for the distribution grid and its nature are central concerns. The third domain is the potential for city renewal, public transportation and public health.

If we accept the idea that avoiding climate and nuclear risk is beneficial in the long run, we start asking questions such as how can societies, firms and consumers change track towards a new energy paradigm? How can “investment-grade” policies be designed to efficiently and effectively govern the transition towards renewables? What should we do in order to accelerate the diffusion of such technologies? What are the implications of mass diffusion? How can policies and investment strategies be adapted as renewables move from niche to mainstream market? How can decision-makers in companies overcome the challenges of path dependence? What distinguishes decision-makers who see opportunities in clean energy from those who perceive it as a threat, and how do their attitudes and values influence their behaviour? Is the accelerating evidence of the climate crisis going to accentuate polarization, and if yes, what are the implications for building successful transition strategies? Which end-of life strategies can be identified to smoothen the late non-renewable era, and which counter-dynamics are likely to occur?

The Workshop

In June 2015, Tel Aviv University, the University of St. Gallen, and oikos hosted a special workshop to discuss these issues with young scholars and four leading faculty members from four different disciplinary perspectives. Building on a 14 year tradition of international academies in the field of Sustainability, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, the oikos Young Scholars Energy Academy 2015 provided an intense 4-days academic platform for identifying and advancing relevant and rigorous research. Young scholars were encouraged to share research and conceptual ideas, covering theoretical and empirical contributions on the intersection of Decision Sciences, Policy, Finance, Management, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Sustainability and beyond. Advanced PhD students and young PhDs applied to partake in this workshop that was held at Tel Aviv University, between June 7-11, 2015.

After an update on state-of-the-art research by the faculty, participants shared their papers with other young scholars as well as leading practitioners in industry, financial, public – local and central government – and energy sectors, to advance and spread new research in those crucial segments of the economy. Meetings with the practitioners were designed to enhance dissemination of knowledge and expose industry and other decision makers to practical solutions based on rigorous research with precision and analytical reliability and validity. Young scholars in the workshop improved their training as a whole and allowed practitioners at all levels to benefit from their research while it is
still in progress. Finally an active program of exchange of ideas and experiences made sure the group’s strong multiplier impact on the domain of energy production and utilization around the globe.

The emphasis in the program is collaboration for learning, and dissemination of knowledge with students from various universities, research institutes and laboratories. This program creates a network of information, common language and community partnerships for the benefit of the research and the young scholar’s professional life.


The oikos Young Scholars Energy Academy aims to:

  • Build an entrepreneurially-minded academic network promoting conceptual solutions for the move towards sustainable energy systems;
  • Provide a leading global platform to advance relevant energy research;
  • Support ambitious young scholars’ research activities by improving existing research designs;
  • Support scholars in their skills to publish in leading international journals;
  • Strengthen co-operation between academics, the private sector, NGOs and policy makers;
  • Generate unique findings on innovating, financing, managing and scaling entrepreneurial initiatives driving the energy transition;
  • Create long term collaboration between scholars from multiple disciplines in area of sustainable energy management.

The academy gathered 15 carefully selected international PhD students and young faculty focusing on energy investment, policy and decision-making with four senior faculty members. The academy was also designed to strengthen a global network of young researchers who aim at combining academic rigor with practical relevance.

The four-day intensive programme included the following elements:

Opening and Topic Presentations (Day 1)

Presentations by senior faculty on research and research designs, finding an audience, getting published and developing teaching skills. These presentations and interactive discussion sessions provide participants with a strong basis and understanding of how to develop solid research projects that have an impact.

Practitioner Evening Session (Day 1)

In a panel discussion, forward-thinking practitioners from the energy policy and finance community reflect on their view of current challenges, inspiring young researchers to consider how their work can best be framed to increase their societal impact.

Paper Sessions (Day 1, 2, 3, 4)

Paper presentations and feedback sessions allow PhD students and young faculty to present their paper and research proposals and receive feedback from fellow participants and senior faculty. The goal is to raise the academic quality of the research projects and papers and prepare them for publication in leading journals. The papers are distributed to the participants a month prior to the academy.

More information check the Call for Paper here.

  • Vered Blass, Head of Innovations in Industrial Ecology Lab, Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Miranda Schreurs, Director of the Environmental Policy Research Centre and Professor of Comparative Politics at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • Itai Sened, Professor of Public Policy, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Rolf Wüstenhagen, Good Energies Chair for Management of Renewable Energies, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Adi Sarid, Tel-Aviv university, Israel

profile imageAdi Sarid

PhD Student, Tel-Aviv University

Adi Sarid is a PhD student at the department of industrial engineering at Tel-Aviv university, working under the supervision of prof. Michal Tzur. He completed his MSc  in the department of statistics and operations research in Tel-Aviv university under the supervision of prof. Saharon Rosset, and BA in mathematics, statistics and operations research in the Israel Institute for Technology (Technion) in Haifa. Adi also holds a position at the Sarid Research institute, a privately (family owned) research firm. Previously he worked in the IDF in various operations research positions at the Navy and at the Planning Directorate.

His current academic research areas involve deterministic optimization techniques and mathematical modeling, mainly in the context of electrical (smart) grid infrastructure. Adi also has extensive knowledge in statistics and quantitative research methods.

Adi lives in Netanya (Israel), married and is a father of two.

Amit Ashkenazy, TU Delft, Netherlands

Picture AmitAmit Ashkenazy 

PhD Student, TU Delft

Amit Ashkenazy is a co-founder of Sustainability Foresight, which specializes in environmental policy and strategy. Sustainability Foresight supports governmental agencies, cities, companies, foundations and NGOs to promote sustainability through local action, national legislation and inter-governmental collaboration. Amit directed the Social-Environmental Caucus in the Israeli Parliament, and worked as senior policy analyst on environmental policy and markets in Israel and abroad. He holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University, and he is currently pursuing a PhD in Technology, Policy and Management from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Anna Ebers, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Anna EbersAnna Ebers

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of St. Gallen

Anna Ebers is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of St.Gallen researching energy investor behavior. Her current interests lie in the nexus of public policy and energy investment, particularly focusing on permitting processes for large wind installations. She also works on community finance and investigates the perceptions of renewable energy by Swiss consumers.

Anna obtained her PhD from State University of New York in Syracuse, NY, where she was a Fulbright Fellow. She focused on bioenergy policies and their impacts on installed capacity. Anna is passionate about rural electrification and has travelled to Mexico to investigate options for disseminating solar technologies among the rural poor.

Annika Styczynski, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

StyczynskiAnnika Styczynski

PhD Student, Freie Universität Berlin

With a background in political science and environmental studies, I engage in a combination of research, education and innovation activities. I am currently based at the Environmental Policy Research Center (FFU) at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. I am also affiliated with Resilience Centers Global (RCG) New Delhi, India as technology and policy adviser.

Broadly speaking I work on the governance of socio-technical transitions. Specifically, I am interested in how to accelerate the implementation of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency improvements (focusing on electric mobility coupled with renewable sources of electricity) as part of the sustainable transformation of urban regions in both the developed and developing country context.

I have over 8 years of academic and international research experience. I have conducted and participated in European (German and Norwegian), Japanese, U.S. American, and Indian research and innovation projects. Since 2009, I have produced over a dozen publications in a diversity of formats and presented at a number of national and international conferences. I am also a teacher and supervisor in an American study abroad Bachelors program.

Arzu YORKAN, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Yorkan-PhotoArzu YORKAN

PhD Student, Freie Universität Berlin

Arzu Yorkan is a doctoral candidate at the Free University of Berlin, pursuing her research at the Environmental Policy Research Center and Berlin Center for Caspian Region Studies. Her doctoral studies taken from 2008 to date have focused on energy cooperation between Turkey and the European Union in particular and international cooperation in general. Apart from her doctoral research, she has been working for ten years as an energy expert for two well-known Turkish think tanks based in Istanbul, TASAM and BILGESAM. Moreover, Ms. Yorkan has produced many academic and policy works regarding Turkish energy market and EU energy policy published especially in Turkish academic and business journals, and magazines such as Bilge Strateji, Para, Global Enerji and BusinessWeekTürkiye. She is often taking place in international – Germany, the UK, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan – and Turkish media regarding Turkey’s energy policy. Finally, her forthcoming book “EU-Turkey Energy Relations between Market and Geopolitics: the Politics of Cooperation” is underway and will be published by the end of this year.

Avi Luvchik, Ministry of Finance, Israel

291Dr. Avi Luvchik

Scientific Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Israel

Dr. Avi Luvchik completed his Ph.D studies at Imperial College London at Centre of Environmental Policy (CEP). His research was focused on optimisation of solar energy production by mathematical models. His research examined the relation between atmospheric parameters such as; particular matter (PM), aerosols, solar radiation, wind speed etc. to electricity production capacity by photovoltaic panels. In addition, the research of Dr. Luvchik research focused on maximising profits for solar system entrepreneurs and reducing the risks to the government, which buys the electricity. Today, Dr. Luvchik working as a scientific consultant in the budget department, taking part in policy making in the energy field, fuel mixture and in setting goals of greenhouse gas reduction on the basis of macro-economic data.

Bernhard Kalkbrenner, Technische Universität München, Germany

Kalkbrenner_PictureBernhard Kalkbrenner

PhD Candidate, TUM School of Management, Technische Universität München

Bernhard is a PhD candidate at the Chair of Marketing and Consumer Research (Technische Universität München). His research areas are consumer preferences and willingness to pay for locally produced electricity and citizens’ willingness to participate in community energy projects. Furthermore, he analyses stationary energy storage systems from a consumer research perspective. He is affiliated with the EEBatt project of the Munich School of Engineering. The Chair of Marketing and Consumer Research is a partner in this multidisciplinary project, in which researchers investigate distributed stationary battery storage systems for the efficient use of renewable energies and support of grid stability. He holds a B.Sc. in Business Administration, Economics, and General Ecology, and a M.A. in Marketing, Services, and Communications Management from University of St.Gallen.

Gil Barnea, Administration of the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya, Israel

Gil Barnea

Administration of the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya

Gil Barnea graduated cum laude from the Mechanical Engineering Program in Tel Aviv University while pursuing a second B.Sc. degree in computer science. Further graduated M.Sc. degree also cum laude the program in Public Policy and Administration of the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya. The integration of science, engineering along with public policy reflects the wide education and professional toolbox that Gil holds.

Gil have over 18 years of experience in leading technological project, as well as, experience in fields of leadership, management including technology, human resources and municipal policy.

Jens Marquardt, Environmental Policy Research Centre in Berlin, Germany

jens3Jens Marquardt

PhD Student, Environmental Policy Research Centre in Berlin

Jens Marquardt is a PhD fellow at the Environmental Policy Research Centre in Berlin. He holds a Master of Arts in Political Science (Diplom) from the Freie Universität Berlin where he is currently lecturing on sustainability transitions around the world.

Jens’s PhD research focuses on the role of development cooperation for renewable energy development in Southeast Asia. He is particularly interested in the political dimension of sustainable energy transitions and investigates the role of power in the multi-level governance systems of the Philippines and Indonesia. During his field trips, Jens closely collaborated with the German donor organization GIZ, for which he conducted studies on support mechanisms for renewables or investigated their competitiveness with fossil fuels.

Jens was previously employed at the Centre for Sustainability Management in Lüneburg and worked as a freelancer for adult education, public relations and journalism. Jens enjoys meeting with his friends, cycling and debates about environmental topics.

Nurcan Kilinc Ata, University of Stirling, UK

NurcanNurcan Kilinc Ata

University of Stirling, UK and Osmaniye Korkut Ata University, Turkey

Nurcan Kilinc Ata is just finished PhD in economics department at University of Stirling and she will start Osmaniye Korkut Ata University in Turkey as a lecturer. My research interests are energy economics, specifically renewable energy sources, applied econometrics, and environmental economics.

My PhD thesis focuses on the three themes. First, the evaluation of renewable energy policies across EU countries and US states: An econometric approach. Secondly, modeling and forecasting of renewable energy consumption for United Kingdom, Turkey and Nigeria: A VAR approach. And third, the impact of government policies in the renewable energy investment: Developing a conceptual framework.

At a personal level, I am a very energetic person who likes to take initiative and engage people in motivating and interesting. Outside of work, I enjoy travelling, meeting with my friends, and cooking.

Salvatore Ruggiero, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

ruggiero_salvatore007ed2Salvatore Ruggiero

PhD Student, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Salvatore Ruggiero holds a B.Sc. Hons in Business Administration from Università degli Studi di Napoli “Parthenope” (Italy) and a M.Sc. in Corporate Environmental Management from the University of Jyväskylä (Finland). In addition, he has work experience as a product manager in the metallurgical and chemical industry.  He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Jyväskylä.

His PhD thesis deals with “Emerging Paradigms in Local Renewable Energy Generation”.  The research is set against the backdrop of the current energy transition and aims to identifying the key actors, barriers and drivers, new business models, and opportunities for scaling up innovation in decentralised energy provision. The theoretical background of the thesis draws on transition management theory, stakeholder theory and the technological transition perspective. His thesis will consist of four scientific publications complemented by a short dissertation.

During his doctoral studies he has been involved in two important research projects: SECRE and DESY. The first initiative was aimed at evaluating the role of social entrepreneurism in community renewable energy projects in seven Nordic countries. The second, instead, looked into the challenges and future scenarios for distributed renewable energy production in Finland. At the moment, he is involved in a third research project called Finsolar which is exploring the possibilities of solar PV production in Finland.

Besides his doctoral studies, PhD candidate Salvatore Ruggiero has also teaching tasks in the Corporate Environmental Management master’s degree program at the University of Jyväskylä. He lectures in CEMS 270 Climate Business and leads seminars and group works in CEMA 150 Business, Society and the Environment as well as in CEMS 230 Managing a green organization. In his free time he enjoys playing badminton, cooking and practicing meditation.

Susanne Hanger, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Susanne Hanger - bioSusanne Hanger

PhD Student, ETH Zurich

My background is in Theoretical and Applied Geography, which I studied at the University of Vienna. Since 2010 I work at the Risk Policy and Vulnerability Program at IIASA in 2010. I started working at a PhD in 2011 at the Free University in Amsterdam and transferred with an adapted project to ETHZ (Human Environment Systems Group) in fall of 2013. My research is multifaceted and reflects my background in human geography. I am interested in the governance of climate change and regional development in a multi-jurisdictional context. I am particularly interested in questions of justice and fairness vs. efficiency within governance processes and policies. My work has largely been dealing with EU climate adaptation policy (in the context of EU regional development policy); risk transfer systems for natural disasters (especially floods); and awareness and public acceptance of renewable energy infrastructure in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Weila Gong, Free University of Berlin, Germany

weilaWeila Gong

PhD Candidate, Free University of Berlin, Germany

Weila Gong is a PhD Candidate with the Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) at Free University of Berlin. Her research focuses on climate governance and low-carbon transition in China in particular the leadership of local policy entrepreneurs and resource mobilization in differentiating the engagement levels of local low-carbon policy actions. She has done extensive field research in China, Germany, and the U.S.  Her field research encompasses over one hundred interviews, primarily with government officials from the national, provincial, municipal, and township levels in China, as well as scholars, media, and policy practitioners such as businesses and NGOs in all three nations. She received a Master of Law (2011) and an Bachelor of History (2009) from Sun Yat-sen University, China. She is a holder PHD scholarship from Chinese Scholarship Council.

Yuliya Karneyeva, University of St.Gallen, Switzerland

Karneyeva_photoYuliya Karneyeva

PhD candidate, Institute for Economy and the Environment, University of St.Gallen

Yuliya Karneyeva is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Economy and the Environment at the University of St.Gallen.

Yuliya Karneyeva got her bachelor degree from Belarusian State University (Belarus) and her Master’s from the University of Bologna (Italy). During her studies at Bologna University, Yuliya Karneyeva specialised in energy policy topic and wrote her Master’s thesis about energy policies in Eastern Europe. While doing her research, she went on exchange to Vilnius University (Lithuania) and attended summer school on renewable energy in Bonn (Germany). At the Institute for Economy and the Environment Yuliya Karneyeva studies factors affecting investments in renewable energy, and investors’ perspective on local and international energy policies.


Participation Fee

Participating young researchers pay a registration fee of US$ 500. This includes tuition, food and accommodation. Participants will have to cover their own travel cost.


March 12, 2015: Application deadline (extended)

March 15, 2015: Notification of acceptance

April 15, 2015: Submission deadline for full papers (10-15 pages)

June 7-11, 2015: Academy (arrival on June 6)

Application and Contact

To allow in-depth discussions the oikos Young Scholars Energy Academy is limited to 20 PhD students and Post-Docs / young faculty.

Your application should contain:
(1) a proposal abstract of max. 2 pages,
(2) a short curriculum vitae and
(3) a letter of interest in the oikos Young Scholars Energy Academy.

Please send your application by March 12, 2015 to the Chair of the Department of Public Policy, at