Here you will find an overview of the research projects I am currently involved in. In order to address the transformative challenges of our time, they place a strong focus on trans- and interdisciplinary formats and feature a wide range of methodologies. What unites them is my research interest in the significance of identities on an individual and collective level for the empowerment of social participation and inclusion in processes of transition.

Just Power Up

Potentials of energy cooperatives for the transition of the energy system

Project description

A long-standing research focus of the working group “Transformation Management in Rural Areas” at the University of Vechta is the topic of energy transition. We are particularly interested in the social processes that accompany the transformation of the energy system. We consider “Just Transition” and social justice, as well as inclusion and participation, as preconditions for a change of society as a whole and as the basis for a successful transition.

The transformation processes of our time go hand in hand with changing demands on regional actors. In particular, local authorities and citizens in rural areas are increasingly being asked by politicians to take responsibility for the sustainable development of their own region. Against this backdrop, our ongoing research project ‘Just Power Up’ is investigating the social, democratic and transformative potential of bringing citizens together in energy cooperatives for a societal energy transition. To this end, we are working in close cooperation with the cooperative association of the Weser-Ems region.


Project lead: Paula-Maria Bögel

Research associate: Neneh Braum

Student assistants: Lilly Gerlach, Ulrika Heller, Anne Möller, Melanie Strzelecki


Energie-Forschungszentrum Niedersachsen (EFZN)

Call for proposals: “Accelerating the transformation of the energy system between the energy crisis and climate change mitigation”

Project name: “Development of a scalable approach for an inclusive energy transition”

Narratives of sustainability

Fostering inclusivity and transformative action through narratives in transdisciplinary processes

Project description

As a group of tdAcademy fellows, together with Karoline Augenstein (Leuphana University Lüneburg) and Meike Levin-Keitel (Technical University Dortmund), we have set ourselves the goal to develop a narrative perspective on analyzing mechanisms of change and to derive design principles for narratives in TD research formats, such as real-world labs. In doing so, we aim to contribute to the inclusivity of transdisciplinary knowledge and foster exchange with practitioners.

Our work is guided by the following questions:

How can abstract data and facts about sustainability challenges be translated into personally meaningful narratives?

How are identities at the individual and collective level shaped by narratives and vice versa?

How can narrative processes (e.g. collaborative storytelling in real-world labs) foster trust, accountability and collective action?


Paula-Maria Bögel (University of Vechta)

Karoline Augenstein (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

Meike Levin-Keitel (Technical University Dortmund)



March 2023: Kick-off workshop in Lüneburg, Germany, workshop report

August 2023: Second workshop in Berlin, Germany