Dr Anna Berka staff profile picture

Contact details +6469517911

Dr Anna Berka MSc MEC, BA Biol Sc, MSc, Doctor of Science, MSc Env Sc

Lecturer in Management, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Doctoral Co-Supervisor
School of Management

I work on effective climate change governance in relation to risk, inclusivity (social justice) and innovation, using country comparative studies to draw lessons for policy and practice. I have published on impact assessment, research methods, grassroots innovation, energy transitions, and low carbon innovation policy. 

I take a broad interdisciplinary approach to understanding environmental issues, in part to understand and bridge different perspectives on sustainable development. I have degrees in biological sciences, environmental economics, management and environmental science from Oxford University, Free University Amsterdam and Wageningen University, and a PhD in environmental policy from the University of Helsinki. 

I have also worked as a social entrepreneur and consultant with a variety of start-up social enterprise on energy and IT innovation projects in India, Cameroon and the UK, and most recently worked with New Zealand’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

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Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: 84911
    Location: 2.09, Business Studies Central
    Campus: Manawatu

Qualifications

  • Master of Science in Management, Economics and Consumer Studies - Wageningen University (2012)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences - Oxford University (2006)
  • Master of Science - Vrije Universiteit (2002)
  • Doctor of Science (Agriculture and Forestry) - University of Helsinki (2018)
  • Master of Science in Environmental Sciences - Wageningen University (2012)

Certifications and Registrations

  • Licence, Co-Supervisor, Massey University

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Environmental innovation

Civic engagement, grassroots innovation, social innovation

Innovation policy

Organisational learning

Sustainable development

Bioeconomy: governance, policy, multi-level perspectives

Energy transitions

Co-benefits, impacts, Distributional effects, social justice in climate change mitigation

Impact investing

Circular economy

Ecological economics

Political economics of decarbonisation

Thematics

Resource Development and Management, Design – for Commerce, Community and Culture

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Business and Management (150300): Commerce, Management, Tourism And Services (150000):
Ecological Economics (149902): Economics (140000):
Environment Policy (160507):
Environmental Impact Assessment (050204): Environmental Management (050205): Environmental Science and Management (050200): Environmental Sciences (050000):
Innovation and Technology Management (150307): Organisational Planning and Management (150312):
Other Economics (149900):
Policy and Administration (160500): Research, Science and Technology Policy (160511):
Small Business Management (150314):
Studies In Human Society (160000)

Keywords

Environmental innovation

Civic engagement, grassroots innovation, social innovation

Innovation policy

Organisational learning

Sustainable development

Bioeconomy: governance, policy, multi-level perspectives

Energy transitions

Co-benefits, impacts, Distributional effects, social justice in climate change mitigation

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 2 0

Consultancy and Languages

Consultancy

  • May - Nov 2019 - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority
    Review of support environment for local and community energy
  • 2013 - 2015 - Scene Consulting
    IT development and capacity building for rural solar entrepreneurs in Orissa, India
  • May 2013 - 2016 - MHG Oy Ltd
    Integration of sustainability assessment tools in Enterprise Resource Planning system for bioenergy supply chains
  • 2014 (6 months) - Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
    Matchmaking SME's to low carbon innovation projects
  • 2015 - 2016 - Climate XChange (Scottish Government)
    Comparative costs of community versus commercial wind projects
  • 2014 (3 months) - SNV Dutch Development Corporation / Wageningen University
    Geospatial mapping, review of barriers to biogas adoption, Adamawa, Cameroon

Languages

  • Dutch
    Last used: Always
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent
  • French
    Last used: 2015
    Spoken ability: Needs work
    Written ability: Needs work

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching Statement

 To prepare students for careers in innovation and sustainable development, I regard the following skills and knowledge essential: 

Substantive knowledge 

-       Understand the role of innovation at enterprise, national and societal level; 

-       Key theories on innovation: Models for technological innovation, diffusion and societal change; types of innovation; patterns of sectoral innovation. 

-       Understand the different ways in which sustainable development is conceptualised and implications for the way we manage innovation;   

-       Understanding the role of government, industry and civil society in facilitating innovation, and the ways in which government can work with industry and civil society to facilitate it; 

-       Understand the full range of market and non-market policy instruments available to government, their respective advantages and disadvantages;  

-       The different ways in which government facilitates innovation in different countries.  

-       The ways in which firms are strategically managing technological innovation, product and service development. 

Analytical skills and critical thinking 

-       An ability to find, understand and interpret evidence from a wide range of disciplines, including economics; 

-       An ability to assess the quality and limitations of any given piece of evidence;   

-       An ability to synthesize soft and numerical evidence and to identify gaps in the available evidence, especially in policy settings; 

-       For a given policy problem, an ability to derive policy options and apply regulatory impact assessment for them; 

-       An understanding the weaknesses of the policy process in relation to innovation and where policy can go wrong

 

Planning, communication and interpersonal skills 

-       Ability to work with people who have a different way of framing the problem, different knowledge and analytical strengths and different ways of working, and recognizing the value of those differences; 

-       Ability to seek information from others by proactively instigating and maintaining work relationships; 

-       An ability to write clearly and in plain language; 

-       An ability to convince others using verbal logical argumentation on-the-spot; 

-       An ability to synthesize a work plan and deliver supporting evidence in an ambiguous context where policy objectives and priorities are subject to politics and constantly changing. 

Knowing yourself and managing career choices  

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of working in public service, private sector, versus more independent entities (such as public research institutes, independent research or consulting entities) and having an idea of where students might fit in best given their strengths, personalities and priorities. 

My approach to teaching  

  1. Keep brains engaged through frequent application of material – preferably to examples, case studies or datasets students can relate to/ are interested in. 
  2. Gauge their backgrounds, interests and motivations for doing the course in order to tailor the course accordingly, to create a more interactive classroom, to identify students with unique perspectives.
  3. Gauge comprehension throughout and adjust the pace accordingly. 
  4. Vary the teaching media and build in repetition, co-operative and competitive elements 
  5. Simulate real life problems and work contexts 
  6. Manage expectations around difficulty, workload and time by communicating early.

Courses Coordinated

  • 152.234 Business Model Innovation
  • 152.704 Business and Sustainability
  • 152.730 Advanced Contemporary Issues in Sustainability
  • 178.719 Climate Change Economics and Policy

Graduate Supervision Statement

Example research themes for MSc or PhD students 

  • Low carbon innovation policy 
  • Multi-level perspectives in environmental innovation
  • Co-benefits, impacts, regional development, social justice in climate change mitigation
  • Civic & social enterprise and innovation, grassroots innovation  
  • Organisational carbon or environmental management, change management   
  • Civic engagement in the energy transition: business models and policy
  • Bioeconomy: business models and policy

 

I have supervised or co-supervised a number of MSc student dissertations in the area of business models for energy access, community development, impact evaluation, and inclusive energy policy: 

  • Anjal Niraula (2015) – ‘Scaling up off-grid Solar micro-grids: moving towards a “utility in a box” model for rapid deployment’, Dissertation for MSc Sustainable Energy Systems, University of Edinburgh, UK.  
  • Adolfo M. Montero (2015) – ‘Prospects for community wind projects on the Teheunatepec Isthumus, Oacaca, Mexico’, Dissertation for MSc Sustainable Energy Systems, University of Ediburgh, UK. 
  • Esther van der Waal (2015) – ‘Social impacts of community energy in Scotland’, Dissertation for MSc European Spatial and Environmental Planning, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, the Netherlands. 
  • Sarah Jones (2012) – ‘Towards effective policies for community engagement in commercial wind development in Scotland’, Dissertation for MSc Environmental Sustainability, University of Edinburgh, UK.  

Dr Anna Berka is available for Masters and Doctorial supervision.

Media and Links

Other Links

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