Coordination Group

Anja Janischewski

Anja is a PhD student in Economics at Chemnitz University of Technology working on mathematical and computational models of financial markets in a post-growth transition. She studied Applied Mathematics at Graz University of Technology (Austria), Chalmers University (Sweden) and University of Warwick (UK). Her work focuses on the question of ‘how to become independent from economic growth’ from a financial markets perspective.

Elena Hofferberth

Elena is a postgraduate researcher in economics at the University of Leeds.
Through her research she aims at contributing to the advancement of
macroeconomic theory and policy that helps understand and address key
challenges of society today. She analyses systemic drivers of climate
change and ecological crisis, inequality and instability as well as the
interconnections of these phenomena. On that basis, she scrutinises and
develops ideas for a social-ecological transformation of the economy,
including post-growth and degrowth proposals and ideas for a Green New

I am excited to contribute to the development of new economic thinking
within and beyond academia. To that aim and to foster collaboration and
exchange, I am part of several groups and networks such as the Economics
and Policy for Sustainability Research Group at the University of Leeds,
the Lausanne Ecological Economics Lab, the Scientific Working Group on
Sustainable Money, and of course, the Post-Growth Economics Network.

Jennifer Hinton

Jennifer has been a post-growth researcher and activist for the last ten years or so. Her work focuses on the effects of different business structures on global sustainability challenges such as environmental degradation and inequality. She was a co-director of the Post Growth Institute from 2011- 2017. During that time, she co-authored How on Earth, a book that outlines a conceptual model of a post-growth market economy composed of not-for-profit forms of business (the Not-for-Profit World). Most recently, she completed a PhD in which she developed the relationship-to-profit theory, building on my previous work on the Not-for-Profit World model. She is excited to be part of PEN, in order to help hold the space for important discussions about how we can foster the development of sustainable post-growth economies.

Julien Vastenaekels

Julien is a PhD candidate and a teaching assistant in environmental studies at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). His research focuses mainly on how capital accumulation forms a systemic obstacle to the materialisation of degrowth, while leaving room for transformations. He has also undertaken some empirical research within alternative food initiatives. In 2018, he contributed to the organization of the Post-Growth Conference at the EU Parliament. He has joined the coordination group to help our network to foster interactions and collaborations among us. He will always be happy to support any initiative which allows us to getting to know each other better and discuss ideas related to post-growth economics – in the wider sense, not only the narrow economic side of it!

Katharina Keil

Katharina is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Geography and Sustainability at the University of Lausanne. She studied economics, law and politics in Maastricht, Freiburg, Quito and Vienna, where she did a MSc in Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy at the Vienna University for Business and Economics. In my PhD research, she focuses on systemic barriers to socially and ecologically sustainable production in the German car industry and the role of organized labour in a potential transformation thereof. Her research is situated at the intersection of Marxist Political Economy, Ecological Economics, and sustainable work.

Laura Merz

Her name is Laura Merz, 29, and she lives in Berlin. During her studies, she has been involved in groups such as Oikos, Rethinking Economics and initiatives associated with the degrowth movement. This is why she’s been particularly excited when she first learned about the Post-growth Economics Network from Anja Janischewski who she’s met at a workshop a while back. In short about herself: she has an interdisciplinary background i.a. mechanical engineering, economics, international management, and sustainable development. She applied an agent-based model (ABM) during her Master thesis under supervision at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. She then worked at the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) in Berlin before going back to modelling as part of the MigSoKo project at the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig. This is where she’s currently building an ABM for analysing environmentally-induced human migration. This summer, she additionally started a research assistant position which is linked with a PhD at the ESCP in Berlin. She’s still searching for the right question but for sure it will imply an ABM as a tool for system analysis touching topics such as ecological economics, post-growth, social externalities, and a critique of the liberal script. She is interested in joining the PEN coordination group because she strongly believes that sharing knowledge, collaboration and fostering visibility is crucially needed to develop the movement further for pushing post-growth ideas not only within academic and political institutions but also beyond. For her personally, it is also a great opportunity to get in contact with like-minded people who have thought about topics around post-growth for a long time, as well as to get inspired by people who have just come across the issue of how economics is understood and done today.

Lina Lefstad

Lina is research manager at the Post Growth Institute and works to create collaboration between academia, activists and organisations to foster the post-growth transition. In her research she especially focuses on (climate) justice and equity and how just socio-ecological transformations can come about. She has a BBA in International Business from Utrecht, NL and a MSc in Ecological Economics from the University of Leeds, UK. Lina is looking forward to contributing to the continued development of PEN. 

Tiziano Distefano

He is a Research Fellow at the University of Pisa (Italy), working in the LOCOMOTION H2020 project called “Low-carbon society: an enhanced modelling tool for the transition to sustainability”. He was a Visiting Research Scholar at the: Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Medellín, Colombia), Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (Cambridge, UK), and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain).

His main current research interests include Ecological Macroeconomics, International Trade, Water Resources and Climate Change, Input-Output, Network Theory, Evolutionary Game Theory, Philosophy and Epistemological Economics. He published in international journals such as Nature Sustainability, Ecological Economics, PloS One, Economic System Research. 

He works in connection with the Societal Transition for a Sustainable Economy focus area.