Adelheid Wessler

Volkswagen Foundation

Adelheid Wessler

2023 Jury | Engage 2022 Moderator | Circle 2022 Jury Engage Jury Category Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage)

Dr. Adelheid Wessler is Head of the “Societal Transformations” team at Volkswagen Foundation with more than fifteen years of experience in research funding. She started by supervising various collection-based research projects in museums, collaborative projects between artists and scientists as well as cooperations between African and German scholars and scientist.

2018 she took over the lead of the “Team International” at the Volkswagen Foundation with a focus on supporting research in and with researchers from Middle Asia and Caucasus as well as Subsaharan Africa.

Now she focusses on various societal transformation processes, e.g. circular economy, democracy, wealth research and demographic challenges. By developing funding opportunities in these fields she wants to support the expansion and critical reflection on the body of knowledge on transformation processes and at the same time encourage researchers to involve actors outside academia in order to develop options for societal action.

She holds a doctoral degree in social anthropology with a dissertation on museum representations in ethnographic exhibitions. She had longer research stays abroad, e.g. in Bolivia and Namibia and participated in various (international) exhibition projects.


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