Slovenia FlagCommunity =  Co-Creating Ecosystems | Trans4m Senior Fellows

Darja Piciga:
A Passion for an Integral Green Slovenia

“I am driven by co-creating an integral societal and economic development model for Slovenia – a model that can inform and transform my own country towards higher levels of sustainability, and equally serve as a role model for Europe and the World.”


Darja PicigaDarja gained her PhD in Cognitive Developmental and Educational Psychology at the University in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She has been working since 1980 as an expert on developing a knowledge-based society and as an analyst, policy maker and manager in the state administration.

She is author or co-author of more than 100 scientific and professional publications in various areas: Cognitive Development, Learning and Teaching, Mathematics and Science Education, Information Literacy, Primary Education, Secondary Education, Higher Education, Comparative and Evaluation Studies in Education, Research and Development Policy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

In the nineties, she was one of the country’s leading experts on education and cognitive development, working at the Educational Research Institute in Ljubljana: head or member of expert groups and committees for primary and secondary education, project leader of evaluation, comparative, innovation projects at all levels of education. For ten years she has been in the forefront of a movement for education based on human values, informal leader of opposition against neo-liberal reform of primary and secondary education. During 1998 – 1999, she was Counsellor to the Deputy Prime Minister, and in 2000 Head of the Strategic Council for Education of the Republic of Slovenia.

In the period 2001 – 2010, Dr. Darja Piciga worked as a civil servant, co-ordinating national development policies in the context of EU R&D and innovation policy, and managing EU Structural Funds in higher education, science and technology, and connected with innovation and competitiveness policy. She designed and implemented a new Science and Technology instrument – the programme of 10 Research Centres of Excellence – and also headed the Office for Coordination of Development Policies and Structural Funds at the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

Her intensive work in the fields of climate change and sustainable development has started in 2008, and included, among others, participation in the project Development Scenarios for Slovenia to 2035 – Trends and opportunities in times of Climate Change, preparation of three reports on the implementation of the comprehensive Operational Programme for the Reduction of Green-House Gas Emissions by 2012 of the Republic of Slovenia, participation in the preparation of the Draft Strategy for the Transition of Slovenia to a Low Carbon Society by 2050 and elaboration of horizontal strategies on innovation, education, awareness and communication. During 2012-2016, she is participating in designing a number of the strategic and programming documents of the Republic of Slovenia for the 2014-2020 period and beyond. She is also responsible for climate change, green economy and sustainable development in areas connected to education, training, awareness and innovation.

She took note of the volumes Integral Research and Innovation and Integral Economics by alternative economists Ronnie Lessem and Alexander Schiffer in the beginning of 2011. Shortly thereafter she began to cooperate with them and applied the Integral Worlds Approach in the process of preparing the strategy of transition of Slovenia to a low carbon society (climate strategy), aimed at implementing the vision of Slovenia as a low carbon society in 2050 as a highly integrated and inclusive society with an excellent business sector and a high quality of life, space and natural environment.

Trans4m’s integral approach is enriching her present work as a senior expert at the Ministry of the Environment and the Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia and also enabled her to pursue an international career as an independent expert for integral policy planning in sustainable development, as presented on her website. In 2014 she was granted the Horus Award – the Slovenian Award for Social Responsibility.

One can clearly state that Darja Piciga embodies Trans4m’s integral approach in her professional and government career (fusing knowledge and experiences over a wide span of scientific, educational and policy areas) as well as in civil society activities (uniting stakeholders from all “integral worlds”).