Energy education for sustainable urban localities

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

The Association Center for the Study of Democracy (ACSD) is a think-tank originating in the think tank with the same name set up at the Faculty of Political Science at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania. The Association was legally set up in 2012. ACSD engages in research projects and analyses from a comparative perspective with a solid practical component on issues such as democratisation, migration, ethnicity, energy policy, civic education, electoral behaviour, and institutional design. Energy policy is an important research focus. Our collaborations reach institutions such as the Presidential Administration, the Romanian Parliament, the Romanian Government and regulatory authorities, local administrative institutions and various civil society organisations. At the beginning of 2022, ACSD set up the Romanian Energy Poverty Observatory, a transdisciplinary network of experts aimed at providing policy inputs based on shared diverse knowledge.

George Jiglău

George Jiglău is a Lecturer in Political Science at Babeș-Bolyai University and the President of the Center for the Study of Democracy. With a background in comparative politics, he has developed a particular interest in energy policies, focusing on the transdisciplinary issue of energy poverty since 2016, when this research agenda was established within the CSD. Since then, he has been involved in the development of reports and policy documents on energy poverty by the CSD and has translated these interests into his academic work, which is reflected in his engagement in international research networks, research projects, and the writing of scholarly articles.

Anca Sinea

Anca Sinea is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Political, Administrative, and Communication Sciences (FSPAC) at Babeș-Bolyai University. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and conducts research in various areas, including Romania’s positioning in European energy politics, energy poverty in the CEE region, residential energy consumption behavior, extreme forms of energy vulnerability, informal markets in energy vulnerable areas, and research methods for studying energy poverty. Anca Sinea holds dual bachelor’s degrees in International Relations (SNSPA, Bucharest) and Political Science (Université Paris X) and a master’s degree in International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and the University of Vienna.

Anca is a member of the steering committee of the European network of expertise on energy poverty, COST ENGAGER, and serves on the steering committee of the H2020 project ENCHANT. She is also an expert with various European initiatives and consortia aiming to influence the European public agenda on energy poverty, including her role as an associate expert of the Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH). Her academic work is reflected in a series of relevant publications on the topic of energy poverty.

Melania Leșe

Melania is a Ph.D Candidate and an Associate Professor within the Department of Political Science at Babeș-Bolyai University, holding degrees in Law and Political Science from the same university. Currently, Melania serves as the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy and is actively involved in various research projects conducted by the centre. Her research interests encompass topics related to civil society, citizens’ rights and liberties and their protection, energy poverty, and just transition. With substantial experience in entrepreneurship and holding master’s degrees in international business and business law, Melania has developed a passion for constructing fair public policies aimed at improving the efficiency of political systems and facilitating just transitions in key areas of society. Melania is engaged in numerous projects addressing energy poverty (Just Carbon Transition in CEE), energy efficiency (Enchant Horizon 2020), and civil society (Center for the Study of Civil Society), among others.

Diandra Tanasă

Tanasă Diandra is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in Political Science at UBB, having obtained a degree in Law and Political Science. Throughout her academic journey, she has actively participated in diverse initiatives facilitated by the Center for the Study of Democracy, specifically focusing on energy and legislation matters.

Her research interests revolve around several key areas, including the involvement of youth in community engagement, the pivotal role of civil society in democratic processes, energy poverty, and energy efficiency. In her scholarly pursuits, Tanasă Diandra underscores the significance of prioritizing consumers within energy policies, advocating for the provision of personalized information that enhances awareness regarding energy efficiency and the implications of energy poverty.

Georgiana Dănilă

Georgiana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Faculty of Political, Administrative, and Communication Sciences in Cluj-Napoca. Currently, she is engaged in pursuing a Master’s degree in Research Design and Data Analysis in Social Sciences. Furthermore, Georgiana possesses practical experience in article writing, social media management, and illustration.

Her primary scholarly interests lie within the field of journalism, with a specific focus on digital communication and data analysis. Georgiana’s academic endeavours revolve around delving into the intricacies of these areas, aiming to enhance her comprehension and proficiency in these domains.

The Association `Circular` (ECERA) is a network of sustainability practitioners which produces policy-relevant knowledge, helping governments, companies, NGOs, universities, and others navigate the various facets of sustainability. Inspired by the ecological economics paradigm with its focus on sustainability-growth trade-offs and distributional fairness, ECERA promotes sustainable development and the circular economy model by producing interdisciplinary, pragmatic, and actionable knowledge, engaging with diverse stakeholders and using effective communication tools. 

Andrei Covatariu

Andrei Covatariu is an international energy and climate change expert. His activity focuses on climate and energy policies, concentrating on the energy transition process and its geopolitical, economic, and social challenges. Andrei’s views and policy analyses are constantly published and cited in international media.

Andrei is currently the Co-Chair of the Task Force on “Digitalization in Energy” and a Vice-Chair of the Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency, at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Andrei is also an Associate Fellow at the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), a Non-resident Scholar in the Climate and Water Program, at the Middle East Institute (United States), a Senior Research Associate at the Energy Policy Group (Romania), and an Associate Lecturer at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, teaching energy and environmental policies.

Andrei holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in nuclear engineering and a master’s degree in business administration. Andrei also completed a master’s in public policy (MPP) at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

Simona Iftimescu

Simona Iftimescu is an education professional with 15+ years experience in the field. She is currently a lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, the University of Bucharest, Romania.

Simona earned her master’s degree in Comparative and International Education at the University of Oxford, and holds a PhD in Education from the University of Bucharest. Simona also studied at Ithaca College, NY, US, and pursued short research fellowships at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and at the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, MA, US. She collaborated in various roles with NGOs, companies, and public institutions such as the British Council, Oxford Education Society, PwC Romania, the Romanian Presidential Administration (Department for Education and Research), or the Romanian Educational Research Association. Simona has also been involved in a wide range of national and international projects including, among other topics, education policy, evidence-based practice, knowledge transfer, adult learning, higher education.

University of Stavanger (UiS) is Norway’s sixth-largest university. UiS is a member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities, the leading international consortium of research-intensive universities, with a collective emphasis on innovation, creativity and societal impact, driving the development of a knowledge-based economy. UiS is an experienced participant of international projects. UiS participated in more than 20 FP7 projects. We are currently involved in 6 Horizon Europe projects (3 MSCA projects; 1 Cluster 5 project; 1 in Missions project; 1 in Widening), 27 Horizon 2020 projects (17 MSCA projects with 11 coordinator projects; 2 coordinator in SWAFS), COST Actions, 20 EEA projects (since 2013) and nationally funded projects.

Siddharth Sareen

Siddharth is a Professor in Energy and Environment at the Department of Media and Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, and Professor II at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation, University of Bergen. He coordinates the Sustainability Transformation programme area at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Stavanger, with a portfolio of research projects worth over €10 million. His research focuses on the governance of energy transitions at multiple scales, in diverse contexts, and within and across a range of sectors, such as resource extraction, electricity generation, distribution and end-use, and urban transport. He teaches a Master’s programme in Energy, Environment and Society, is a member of the Young Academy of Norway, and is on the Empowered Futures Research School Board.

Mathilde Degobertière

Mathilde Degobertière is a first-year master’s degree student enrolled in the prestigious “Energy, Environment, and Society” program at the University of Stavanger. Hailing from the southern region of France, Mathilde made the pivotal decision to relocate to Norway in August 2022, driven by her strong aspiration to embark on a master’s degree journey and harness the invaluable expertise and experiences prevalent in Norway’s esteemed environmental sphere.

Dieum Queline Muniongo

Queline is a first-year master’s degree student in Energy, Environment, and Society at the esteemed University of Stavanger, and brings a unique background and perspective to the academic landscape. Hailing from South Africa, with Congolese (DRC) roots, Queline’s multicultural heritage adds depth and richness to her academic pursuits. After a transformative three-month visit to Norway in 2021, Queline was captivated by the country’s breathtaking fjords, awe-inspiring mountains, and vibrant cultural heritage, prompting her to make the life-changing decision to relocate permanently in July 2022. Immersed in the captivating beauty of Norway, Queline finds herself deeply inspired to explore the intricate interplay between energy, sustainability, technology, and the broader fabric of society. Her academic journey is propelled by an unwavering enthusiasm for unravelling the complexities and uncovering innovative solutions at the nexus of these intersecting domains.

Kristjana Shkembi

Kristjana is a second-year master’s student in Energy, Environment, and Society, with a background in social anthropology. Her primary focus is accelerating sustainable transitions, particularly in addressing energy challenges. She is driven by a passion for interdisciplinary research and collaboration, aiming to contribute to innovative approaches in her field. Kristjana’s academic pursuits are centered around bridging disciplines and working towards a more sustainable future.

Torunn Aasland

Torunn Aasland is a Project Economist at the University of Stavanger, where she specializes in providing financial guidance and support for externally funded projects. Her expertise is particularly focused on the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Common Resource Services. Through her diligent follow-ups and meticulous advice, Torunn plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth financial management of these projects within the academic setting. Her academic background and financial acumen make her a valuable asset in navigating the intricacies of project finances at the University of Stavanger.