Dr. Sanae Okamoto


Research group(s):
5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Transitions

Dr. Sanae Okamoto is a behavioural scientist and is currently working for multiple international projects that address the SDGs. She has a solid academic and industrial experience in applying behavioural sciences to better understand human behaviour and utilize insights towards diverse objectives such as sustainability, organizational change, and stakeholder engagement. She provides workshops and seminars for practitioners in public and private sectors. She is currently working on topics around circular economy, Green Deal, and corporate social responsibility with a special focus on (i) greening individual and corporate behaviour/practices in SMEs by developing scales for corporate pro-environmental practices, and experimenting intervensitons for behaviour change, and (ii) investigating school children's behaviour and attitudes towards sustainability (e.g., food waste reduction, healthy habits).

Her early research career focused on social dynamics in primates at Kyoto University and Nagoya University, Japan; the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany; University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA; and the field sites in Republic of Guinea and Republic of Liberia. She received her MA in Psychology from Graduate school of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Japan and her PhD in Psychology from Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University. As an assistant professor at the School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, her area of research was behavioural economics and neuroeconomics.

In the last years, she worked in practice (e.g., University Industry Innovation Network, Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation, also at private companies) and contributed to a number of projects in business development; program management; university-industry liaison; online platform development, etc. She has been giving and moderating professional workshops, conference sessions, and executive training courses.

Other engagements

Triple-helix relations: as a member of advisory board at University Industry Innovation Network, she contributes to triple-helix engagement and facilitates collaboration between European and non-Western university-industry relations. She also provides executive courses on behavioural change within organizations through the nudge approach.

Entrepreneurship education: As a program coordinator for the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, she led a global survey of good practices at higher education institutions and governemnt agencies with a special focus on advanced programs of entrepreneurial education and innovation ecosystem in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, UK, Finland, USA, Australia.