About me

Sarah van der Land works for the NPO (Dutch public broadcasting service) as a Digital Innovation Advisor where she researches the potential of new technologies for broadcasting. The red thread in my research is always the relationship between humans and technology, as I believe human behavior is key. Currently my team and I are working on projects integrating artificial intelligence (e.g. smart speakers, image recognition) to enhance user experience.

PhD defense

Before that, I worked in academia for ten years, where my research interests focussed on 1) Innovation (studying underlying mechanisms for creativity and organizational change), 2) Virtual Reality and Digital Technology, and 3) Webcare, Crisis Communication and Online (personal) Branding. I also worked freelance as a Digital Media & VR expert for several organizations, which allowed me to implement my knowledge on technology in a corporate environment.

I obtained my PhD from the Business School of the VU University Amsterdam (dept. Information, Logistics and Innovation). My academic background lies in Communication Science and Social Psychology.

Sarah loves to work while traveling. Everyday, I try to live my best life, combining work, sports, creativity and fun. Here’s a map of the countries I’ve visited so far on my journey.

Long bio

Sarah studied Communication Science at the Radboud University Nijmegen, specializing in International Business Communication. During her studies, she obtained a minor in Social Psychology, participated in the interdisciplinairy Honours Programme, and co-organized the first Cultfestival on campus. In 2006, she graduated cum laude with her Master’s thesis “Trust, Lust and Latex”, which was on effective health communication. For this thesis, she carried out research in South Africa for 6 months under the supervision of prof dr. Carel Jansen and prof dr. Leon de Stadler. This work was also awarded with the Radboud University Nijmegen Thesis Award and has led to a publication in the Information Design Journal.

Before pursuing her PhD on virtual collaboration at the Business School of VU University Amsterdam, she has obtained practical and research experience in Campaigning (Advertising/Health/and Political Campaigning). In doing so, she worked for the Amsterdam-based advertising agency THEY, participated in a traineeship on political campaigning at BKB Academy  and worked for SWOCC (the Foundation for Scientific Research on Commercial Communication) where she co-authored a book on how advertising influences you unconsciously. In November 2008, she started her PhD study at the VU University Amsterdam under the supervision of prof dr Marleen Huysman, dr Frans Feldberg and dr Alexander Schouten. Her PhD research was conducted at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (see KIN Research Group) between 2008 and 2012, and her work resulted in three journal articles, one book chapter, and presentations at the International Communication Association Conference and the Academy of Management Conference. During her PhD studies, Sarah was a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University’s Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media.


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