Senior Researcher & Advisor

Gijs Diercks

About me

Some people might say I’m addicted to information – constantly wanting to understand things better or being up to date with the latest developments. But I always find time to relax and slow down, to enjoy the company of other people around me. What makes me happy is the suffering I like to endure: like cycling up a mountain or working on a challenging project. But only when there is slowing down afterwards: having a beer with friends or escaping to nature with my girlfriend. Finding that balance is one of the most fulfilling things.

Personal Motivation

Much of my career has been about mediating in between science and practice. This is also the role I see for myself with regards to the NEON research: to connect engineers with social scientists, and academics with practitioners – and to do so in a meaningful and impactful way. Above all, with NEON I want to address the lack of imagination of a different – dare I say better – world, that so often stand in the way of the fundamental changes our society must go through to be sustainable and just for all. At NEON, I want to constantly challenge us, so that we can start to normalize the radical and to radicalize the normal.

Managing the transition towards a fair and sustainable future

DRIFT is a leading research institute in the field of sustainability transitions. We develop and share transformative knowledge to support people, cities, sectors and organisations to engage proactively with transitions. DRIFT has four main activities that complement, ground and inspire each other: academic research, consultancy,  education and public dialogue & debate. The strong link between all of our activities allows us to combine theory-development with critical feedback and various ways of testing and validating our insights. It also enables us to keep our research relevant to a wide variety of actors.

If NEON is not (only) about speaking truth to power, but (also) about making sense together. At the end of NEON, we managed to explore, together with engineers and modelers and policy makers, what a truly sustainable and social mobility system can look like based on what is already possible and thinkable.

Link to other neon research

An entrepreneurial mindset and a genuine curiosity to work transdisciplinary, not just multi-disciplinary.