Grete Gansauer is an economic geographer and interdisciplinary public policy researcher focused on regional development, infrastructure, and the local state in peripheral regions and ‘left behind’ places. She is a US Department of Agriculture Predoctoral Fellow and PhD Candidate in Geography in the Resources and Communities Research Group at Montana State University. Her dissertation examines the extent to which Biden Administration’s place-based industrial policies address infrastructure and economic development needs in rural, natural-resource dependent regions of the Western USA. Grete is a co-organizer of EdgeNet, an RSA research network on peripheries and why they matter, and she co-edits the Just Rural Futures blog, a collective thought project to elevate diverse voices and research from rural areas around the globe.
“Finding RSA felt like finding ‘my people’ in academia. As Student Representative, I hope to cultivate programming, events, and activities to make other student researchers feel the same.”
Kerstin J. Schaefer is an assistant professor in Economic Geography at Utrecht University (UU); a research fellow at the Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography at Leibniz University Hanover (LUH) and a visiting scholar at the Department of Geography & Environment of the London School of Economics (LSE). After finishing her PhD at LUH in 2020, she received a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship for a project at LSE in 2021 and started her position at UU in 2023. Her active engagement in the Economic Geography scholar community includes supporting the organization of the annual meetings of the Young Economic Geographers Network and organizing online presentations in the Seminars in Economic Geography.
She is working on topics related to innovation, standardization, and new mobility technologies. Her research has been spanning boundaries between Economic Geography and International Business Studies as well as Transport Studies. During her PhD, she analyzed the role of experienced inventors at offshore labs for building innovation capability in latecomer firms. Her findings emphasize the importance of participation in global industry standards for emerging region firms’ competitiveness. This motivated her to further investigate the participation of emerging region firms, in particular from China, in the standardization of new technologies created to enable automated driving. She is further interested in the future of mobility and transport, and the social implications of new technologies in this sector. In her research on the digitalization of mobility access via apps, she investigates the risk of transport-related social exclusion by the increasing digitalisation of access to public transport.
We are looking forward to working closely with both Grete and Kerstin on exciting new initiatives for our student and early career members.