I am a Senior Researcher at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences - Hogeschool van Amsterdam, faculty of Society and Law (Maatschappij en Recht). I am part of the Center of Expertise Urban Governance & Social Innovation, research group Coordination of Urban Issues. From 2007-2018 I was a researcher and an Assistant Professor of Organization Sciences (tenured) at the VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Social Sciences. See my linkedin profile for more.

My professional passions? Text work and questions of social innovation and environmental sustainability.
My personal passions? Nature, yoga, (vegan / vegetarian) cooking and literature.

I have a PhD in Economics and Business Administration, an MA in Philosophy, and an MA in Literary Analysis (cum laude, University of Amsterdam and University of California, Los Angeles). I spent one year at the Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, acquiring the Diplôme Superieur de la Langue Française. I have my certificate for Teaching in Higher Education (BKO, basiskwalificatie onderwijs). Moreover, I am a certified yoga instructor. Prior to academia, I worked as program officer/manager at international development institutes Hivos and IICD, and before that as ICT Consultant at different start-ups. I am a bilingual native speaker of English and Dutch.


My main research interest is knowledge-intensive organizing for social innovation. I am particularly interested in how informal social networks emerge among diverse stakeholders, and how such networks enable horizontal collaboration and knowledge sharing. I analyze what this means for organizational strategy and policy. 
photo StudioVU/Richelle vd Valk
I study these processes across different contexts of social innovation. Project examples include labor market innovation, collaborative governance of urban consumption spaces, sustainable trade, international cooperation, emergency and disaster management, and health. My methodological expertise is qualitative, and semantic and social network analysis. Please see my projects for more details, my publications for an overview of published or forthcoming research outcomes, or a short movie profile of my research interests and motives.

Text work

I have a passion for text and am an experienced translator, text editor and copy editor. My perfectionist (or: slightly obsessive) nature where it comes to text helps me develop clear, concise and well-structured text communications. If you would like my help or advice in text work (Dutch or English), please contact me!


I am a certified yin yoga instructor. My yoga practices are primarily aimed at relaxation in mind and body, and strengthening inner balance. I teach small group yoga at IBC Amstelland for people with physical injuries and constraints, particularly shoulder and back-related, in close collaboration with shoulder and back experts Karin Hekman (physiotherapist) and Holly Tops (acupuncturist).  Each lesson is tailor-made to suit my students. In my yoga practices I seek to balance yin and yang yoga poses and flows, combined with mindfulness relaxation techniques. I completed my teacher training under the private tutelage of Inge Langereis.


I am a total book worm and devour stacks of (mostly contemporary English) literary novels whenever I have time to spare. I love spicy cuisines and like experimenting with vegan / vegetarian Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. Further, I like kick-boxing, yoga, and most of all: doing fun stuff preferably outdoors with my family (husband, 2 kids and 2 cats).

If you have research ideas, proposals, or text work, please do not hesitate to contact me