MSc. Kersten, W.C.


Wouter has so far enjoyed a diverse career of jobs in the academic, research, profit and non-profit sectors. For most of his career he held two jobs in parallel. This continuous immersion in different environments simultaneously has ensured that he has no single way to look at the world, but can switch and imagine and see the value of different viewpoints.

Since 2012 he has been working part-time at TU Delft, since 2016 that is arranged as part-time PhD position for the topic "Context Variation by Design", or in other words, intentional design for diversity. It is a design approach that is particularly useful when addressing large scale social challenges with diverse local manifestations.

Previous research jobs included ones at RIVM, Tilburg University and WRR, with topics ranging from greening the financial system, accelerated climate change, labour migration and communication after calamities.

He has (co) authored several dozens of articles and book chapters.

One of the most relevant non-academic jobs was his rol as Innovation manager at Enviu, an initiator of social enterprises world wide. Since the beginning of 2018 he has started to use the core of that role, i.e., being professionally curious and developing others in that skill as well, in his own venture The New ABC. There is outstanding synergy between that role and the PhD.


  • 2002 – 2003
    MSc Environmental Science, University of Greenwhich
  • 1990 – 1996
    MSc Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Twente 


  • 2019 – present
    Project leader Sustainability and Circular Economy at Platform 31
  • 2018 – present
    Chief Curiosity at The New ABC
  • 2012  present
    Researcher at Delft university of Technology, since 2016 also as PhD Candidate
  • 2005 – 2017
    Research and Innovation manager at Enviu (
  • 2003 – 2009
    Various research functions, RIVM, WRR, Tilburg University
  • 1996 – 2002
    Telecom Consultancy and Project leader, Logica BV

Specialisation / field of research

  • Design with Diversity
  • Context Variation by Design

Lectures and/or coaches students in

  • Complexity in design
  • Creativity 
  • Sustainable Business Models
  • Product Service Systems

Secondary employment

Chief Curiosity, The New ABC

Involved in research projects


Global environmental policy handbook, 2nd edition

Frank Wijen (ed) (contribution to 1 chapter)
ISBN: 978 18 4980 312 0

Published in 2012

Sustainable Development Drivers

Kees Zoeteman (ed) (co-author on 2 chapters)
ISBN: 978 08 5793 489 5

Published in 2012

Livinggreen Scientific Conference proceedings

Wouter Kersten (ed)
ISBN: 978 94 6186 168 9
PDF available online

Published in 2013

Innovation for Sustainability

Chapter 16: Wouter Kersten, Jan Carel Diehl, Jo van Engelen
Editors: Nancy Bocken, Paavo 
Ritala, Laura Albareda, Robert Verburg
ISBN:  978 3 319 97385 2
Available online

Published in 2019

"Acknowledge complexity by designing for diversity, with intent."