In September, two PhD researchers began their work at the IIIEE, Steven Curtis and Lucie Zvolska. They are both part of the project Urban Sharing: From Excess Economy to Access Economy.
Here, they answer five quick questions:
1. How and why did the two of you become PhDs student at the IIIEE?
Both Lucie and Steven are graduates of the Master’s programme in Environmental Management and Policy at the IIIEE (Batch 20). The decision to seek a PhD at the IIIEE was largely motivated by the positive past experiences at the Institute. Furthermore, the ongoing research at the Institute has potential to impact transitions to low-carbon and resource efficient economies, something both Lucie and Steven wish to contribute to.
2. What is you research focus?
The PhD is part of the project Urban Sharing: From Excess Economy to Access Economy. The project is comprised of three senior researchers, a postdoc, and two PhD students. Urban sharing organisations will be investigated in eight cities - Berlin, Barcelona, London, San Francisco, Melbourne, São Paulo, Jakarta, and Seoul - to understand sharing in different contexts. Together, the team will advance knowledge on the DESIGN of sharing organisations, the potential of sharing organisations to impact sustainability PRACTICES, and the PROCESSES of institutionalisation for sharing in cities.
3. What drives you to be researchers?
Driven by the extreme need to address societal and sustainability challenges in cities, along with the need to transform behavioural patterns of consumption, Steven sought to contribute to research within urban sustainability. He has always considered pursuing his PhD, and he enjoys the methodological, yet practical, approach to research at the IIIEE.
Lucie is driven by her passion for defining the relationship between sustainability and the sharing economy. She is excited to be part of a project which has a potential to contribute to an exciting, new field of research and tackle current issues associated with unsustainable consumption and production patterns.
4. What’s the best part of being a researcher so far?
Most exciting has been the opportunity to develop intellectually. Steven and Lucie enjoy the time to read and conceptualise the related theory to the sharing economy. As of now, the sharing economy is loosely defined, with little agreement within the field as to its impact and its direction. This uncertainty provides a great opportunity to make an impact within the field and to contribute to the advancement of the sharing economy.
5. What are your expectations of your PhD years at the IIIEE?
Defining expectations is a dangerous game. Nevertheless, Steven and Lucie see the potential for the research to contribute greatly towards sustainability transitions. However, they know there will be great personal and intellectual challenges throughout the project. Largely, the expectation is that this experience will be an opportunity for great personal and professional growth, with the ability to work among a great team and community seeking to make an impact.