Drs. Irene R. Jonkers has been working as a researcher for Nyenrode’s Center for Sustainability since 2008. She is currently affiliated to the Research Chair of Prof. Dr. Danielle Zandee regarding sustainable organizational and social change. Irene received a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam (2005). In her six years of studying she followed an (individual) multidisciplinary program, combining courses in cultural anthropology, international relations, social geography and research methodology. She also took additional courses in Spanish and Polish language and culture.
In the past five years Irene has been involved in research projects in a broad variety of sectors (e.g. fashion industry, fishery, timber, wholesales of technical products, health care, social entrepreneurship and the financial sector). This provided her with an extensive overview of the broad field of sustainability and especially good insight in the processes of organizational transformation required for the realization of sustainability related ambitions. Through time she developed a specialization in a societal and relational angle on sustainability, focusing on change processes. Trustful relationships and constructive dialogue between stakeholders are the basis of collective learning and development of the system they are part of.
In September 2013 Irene has commenced her PhD-research, concerning the interaction between stakeholders addressing sustainability issues. She intends to gain deeper understanding of the process multi-stakeholders go through while cooperatively aiming for a higher level of sustainability and hence societal change.
Another focus point of Irene is research methodology, mainly action research based. The application of action research methods allows for concrete interventions with and within organizations, and for inducing change while researching. Furthermore it encloses a rich source of process-based insights needed to gain more sophisticated understanding of transformations towards higher levels of sustainability.
The educational activities of Irene are currently focused mainly on multi-stakeholder interaction, (action) research methodology, and appreciative inquiry.