About us

The Professorship Communication, Behaviour & The Sustainable Society is part of the Centre of Expertise: Energy which belongs to the Hanzehogeschool Groningen and contributes to the formation of a sustainable society through research. How can communication and behavioural campaigns motivate people to jointly realize a sustainable society?

The Professorship is housed on the first floor of the Energy Academy Europe, the most sustainable education building in the Netherlands. Hanzehogeschool Groningen, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, New Energy Coalition and soon the UN Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA) are working on the acceleration of the energy transition at the Energy Academy.

The Professorship is part of two schools, the Social Studies Academy and the Institute for Communication, Media and IT. As part of the Center of Expertise Energy, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work is being done to solve sustainability issues. The Professorship participates in the Digital Society Hub and collaborates with lecturers, researchers, teachers and students throughout the Hanzehogeschool to bring the sustainable society closer and accelerate the energy transition.


The Professorship uses (practice-oriented) research into communication and behavioural interventions to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society.

Our mission is: “To contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by means of communication and behaviour interventions”. We focus our research on communicative and behaviour interventions to emphasize the urgency of climate change, to raise people’s awareness about their own carbon footprint, and to help them make their own lives more sustainable. We are happy to join the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and want to share this through the knowledge that we have gained.


The Professorship is led by two lecturers. Carina Wiekens focuses on sustainable behaviour and Wim Elving focuses on sustainable communication. Both lecturers are convinced that change processes, which are necessary for achieving a sustainable society, benefit from focusing on communication and behavioural aspects. The research group consists of teachers, researchers, students (bachelor and master students) and PhD students.


Carina Wiekens, PhD

Carina’s expertise is behavioural change. After conducting many studies, she came to the conclusion that if you want to change behaviour, knowledge about the social environment in which behaviour takes place is essential. The change processes that are developed in the professorship are therefore always aimed at meaningful social groups (families, neighborhoods and villages, teams within organizations, schools, et cetera). Moreover, behavioural change has a natural owner: It is from the person who has to do it. This is the reason that the change processes that has been initiated within the professorship are designed and implemented in collaboration with the target group.



Wim Elving, PhD

Wim’s expertise lies in organization and communication, changes, but also external positioning (branding) and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Wim has an extensive track record, and is highly experienced as a guest lecturer. He has also been editor-in-chief of an international scientific journal for 10 years and is co-organizer of the CSR Communication Conferences in Amsterdam (2011), Aarhus (2013), Ljubljana (2015) and Vienna (2017). He is also a popular speaker and advisor.




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