Annika Surmeier is an economic geographer, investigating how actors can develop, implement and scale innovative, context-adapted solutions to pressing societal challenges. She holds a teaching degree for secondary schools, a Diploma in geography, and a PhD in Geography. Her areas of expertise include value chain analysis, innovation studies, organisation theory, sustainable tourism research and qualitative research methods.
Annika began her career as a researcher at Marburg University Germany where she completed her PhD on “Sustainability standards in tourism – a knowledge based, transnational perspective”and taught over 50 seminars and lectures at bachelor’s and Master’s level. Following this, she worked as the manager of the social business incubator “Social Impact Lab” in Stuttgart, Germany.
Annika currently holds a EU-funded Marie Curie Global Fellowship and works at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester and the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town. Annika’s research investigates how actors can drive social innovation in value chains and tackle societal concerns in the global economy. She focuses on the strategies of (social) entrepreneurs, corporate and intermediary organisations in different sectors. Annika has empirical research experience in Germany, UK, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa.