At Cambridge Judge Business School, real-world impact is key. There might be different terms for it – meaningful research, deep engagement or policy research – but what we are all after is to make a difference with our research. While some might argue that impact is for later, we believe that aiming for real-world impact starts right with the PhD and the research that inspires us! This philosophy drives our efforts to create active partnerships with organisations, be it for business, public sector or international development, addressing real-world challenges while at the same time ensuring rigorous and methodologically sound research.
As PhD students we are part of and seek to shape the debate around real-world impact, for instance with our recently initiated Impact Forum. See for yourself and explore what real-world impact can mean and how we aim to achieve it.
As part of her research, Sytske has developed partnerships with a number of key organisations. In collaboration with Europol, the European law enforcement agency, Sytske studied the incentives behind illegal waste disposal, which often results in health and environmental violations in developed and developing countries. Sytske helped disentangle the issues faced by the agency, structure them in a game-theoretic model, and demonstrate potential consequences of policy interventions on different firms active in the waste chain.
Sytske has also been involved with the biodiversity branch and with the conservation unit of the UN Environment. She has researched how the impact of unsustainable practices and benefits of economic development are often distributed disproportionally within rural communities and how we can structure rural livelihood portfolios to support sustainable development in these regions. This system-perspective of livelihoods portfolios should become a key consideration as an increasing number of companies and social enterprises are starting to source directly from the poor in an effort to reduce poverty.