Maria Tomai


PhD fellow

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

Maria Tomai is a PhD Fellow at United Nations University-MERIT since September 2019. Her research focuses on sustainability transitions in urban environments and the potential of environmental education as a driver of sustainable behavioural change. She is particularly interested in how cities in developing countries could transit to a circular economy and what are the transition pathways that could bring the greatest environmental, economic and social benefits.

Maria holds a MSc. in Global Innovation Economics from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands and a BSc. in Business Administration from the Athens University of Economics and Business in Greece. Her masters' dissertation was on the topic of Municipal Solid Waste Management in European cities, analysing the challenges, solution designs and pathways for possible catch-up, taking Maastricht and Athens as case studies.

Maria is also a member of SITE4Society, coordinating local and international workshops, training and action-research on sustainable development challenges.




Selected publications by Maria Tomai


Articles (journal, professional, popular)
Tomai, Maria, 2019, Leave no waste behind: Exploring bottom-up initiatives in Ghana, UNU-MERIT, More information
Tomai, Maria, 2019, ‘Squaring up for a Circular Economy’ at the 2019 Global Festival of Action, UNU-MERIT, More information
Tomai, Maria, 2019, Where will the Circular Economy drive Europe and the world?, UNU-MERIT, More information
Tomai, Maria, 2019, Re:thinking / Re:working higher education: SDG Conference Bergen, UNU-MERIT, More information


Other (editorship, media appearance, keynote, etc.)
Tomai, Maria, 2020, When Mother Earth sends a message: We must respond!, Short blog on International Mother Earth Day, More information
Tomai, Maria, 2018, How to pin down and spin the ‘Circular Economy’ — before it’s too late?, A joint post by Prof. Shyama V. Ramani and Maria Tomai, More information


UNU-MERIT