PhD Research Fellowship available in Digitalization and Entrepreneurship

A PhD Research Fellowship in Digitalization and Entrepreneurship is currently open for applications. The position will be based in the Digitalisation research group.

The position arises from the many uncertainties (e.g. from behavioral changes in markets) faced by digital ventures that operate multi-sided market businesses. This calls for a critical study of different approaches and design principles in order to manage such digital transformation. The position aims to contribute both to the micro-level processes and the macroeconomic implications for the business scale.

“The research can address not only the strategic questions for managing the entrepreneurial digitization process from a resource-based view, but also study the design principles of collective response management that involve behavioral changes towards digitalization for both users and creators.”

The candidate is expected to work with new and industrial digital ventures for data collection, in addition to conducting empirical work in these themes. The position is for a 3-years period, with the possibility of a 1-year extension for teaching, supervision, and research assistance. The application deadline is February 29th.

More information about the position and on how to apply can be obtained through this link and by contacting associate professor Yangyang Zhao.

PhD Research Fellowship available within digital leadership in knowledge organizations

A PhD Research Fellowship within Digital Leadership in Knowledge Organizations is currently open for applications, to be based on the Digitalisation research group. The position combines two ongoing projects: One in higher education and the other in the health sector – both aiming to develop new knowledge in the digitalization of knowledge organizations.

The candidate will work in an interdisciplinary environment, which combines knowledge primarily from informatics, management, and social science. In addition, there will be access to an international network through established collaboration with other universities and consulting companies.

The position is for a 3-years period, with the possibility of a 1-year extension for teaching and supervision duties. The application deadline is February 29th.

Official advertisement with more information about the position can be obtained through this link (in Norwegian) and by contacting professors Bendik Bygstad or Knut Rolland.

Upcoming 38th PhD Day

The 38th PhD day is coming up on February 12. Organized twice a year since 2001, the PhD Days Workshop is hosted by the Digitalisation Group, and open to PhD candidates from UiO and other European Universities. It aims to provide the candidates with the opportunity to share and discuss work and potential challenges with faculty and fellow PhD candidates. With interesting presentations and discussions, it is a nice occasion to socialize and build an international network.

The program for the 38th PhD day is:

10:00-11:00 – Introduction by Eric Monteiro and presentation “How to respond to review comments” by Elena and Miria (Kristen Nygaards sal)
11:15-12:15 – Working in groups, first session
12:15-13:00 – Lunch
13:00-15:00 – Working in groups, second session
15:00-15:15 – Plenary: Feedbacks, comments, suggestions (Kristen Nygaards sal)

The introductory session (10h to 11h) is open for all and does not require registration.
More information about this event, and previous PhD days, can be found here.

Final SMART Conference: Sustainability is possible

The Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART) project is coming to an end. Funded by the European Union through the Horizon 2020 program and coordinated by the Law Faculty of the University of Oslo, the project runs since 2016. It has a strong interdisciplinary nature and involves more than 50 researchers from different fields and countries. From the Digitalisation group, PhD candidates Alice Frantz Schneider and Ines Junge are among the participants, together with associate professor Maja van der Velden, leader of the work package on the lifecycle of mobile phones.

The project has developed over the years a set of policy reform proposals, which can be accessed here. In a video focused on the reform proposals, professor Beate Sjåfjell, the project leader of the SMART project, points out to the need for change in the way business operates:

“The purpose of any European business must be to create sustainable value. […] We propose that the EU takes its responsibility as a global actor, a legislator, and a policymaker – to make it possible and easy for business and finance to create sustainable value, and for products to be produced and consumed in a way that contributes to securing a safe and just place for humanity.”

The video on the reform proposals is found here. Another, on the meaning of sustainability, is here.

Sustainability is possible (Image from the video)

The final SMART Conference – Sustainability is Possible! – will take place in Brussels, on 19 February. The focus will be on ways of transition to sustainability and on how to make European business the market-leaders of tomorrow.

More information about the final conference can be obtained through this link.

PhD Research Fellowship available towards democratizing technology

A PhD Research Fellowship in Sustainable Design is currently open for applications. The fellowship is suitable for candidates interested in exploring ways to enhance sustainability in maker, DIY, and startup cultures.

“The research proposal calls for an interdisciplinary inquiry into such innovation spaces and their potential for creating value for transforming cultures and building of sustainable social entrepreneurship.”

The candidate will work in an interdisciplinary environment: based in the Sustainability and Design research group, and with co-supervision of faculty from the Design and the Entrepreneurship group.

The position is for a 3-years period, with the possibility of a 1-year extension for teaching, supervision, and research assistance. The application deadline is February 29th.

More information about the position and on how to apply can be obtained here or by contacting professors Alma Leora Culén and Maja van der Velden.

PhD Research Fellowship available in Digital platforms and Sustainability Transitions

A PhD Research Fellowship in Digital platforms and Sustainability Transitions is currently open for applications.

The position is part of the Centre for the Study of Innovation Policy for Industrial Transformation, Sustainability and Digitalization (INTRANSIT), and will be based in the Digitalisation research group.

The focus of this fellowship is on the identification of digital platforms and infrastructures that are significant in specific industrial sectors, as well as to study the implications of these platforms for organizations  – in particular how they may re-shape the relationship between incumbent and entrant firms. The study is connected to Research Stream no. 4 on the role of digitalization for sustainability transitions.

The position is for a 3-years period, with the possibility of a 1-year extension for teaching and supervision duties. The application deadline is February 29th.

More information about the position and on how to apply can be obtained through this link and/or by contacting professor Margunn Aanestad.

PhD defense of Andrea Alessandro Gasparini

Andrea Alessandro Gasparini will be defending his dissertation for the degree of PhD on February 3rd, 2020.

Andrea will hold a trial lecture on the “Challenges of implementing designerly approaches in organizations with different rationalities, including bureaucracies and professional organisations”. The lecture will be at Smalltalk, Ole Johan Dahls hus, at 10h15.

The defense will start at 13h15 at the same place. His thesis is entitled “Design Thinking for Design Capabilities in an Academic Library”, and has the following adjudication committee: Nicholas Jonathan Ind (Kristiania University College), Ingrid Mulder (TU Delft University), and Jens Kaasbøll (University of Oslo).

More information is available here.
All welcome!


Update: Andrea has successfully defended his PhD

Upcoming course in Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights

The course Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights (ENT9800) will be offered for PhD candidates and postdocs at the beginning of this year. The course is facilitated by Associate Professor Elin Kubberød and Professor Truls Erikson.

The course aims to bring the dynamics of innovation and how these can be formulated and implemented: from science-based technology to the marketplace. Organized in the form of seminars, ENT9800 offers the participants an opportunity to discuss commercial aspects of each research field through a series of classroom discussions. The course consists of five seminars organized from 25 February to 29 April 2020. The seminar Developing and protecting Intellectual property will take place at Inven2, a Norwegian company in the field of research commercialization.

PhD candidate Alice Frantz Schneider took the course in 2017:

“This course provided an ideal environment for me to think strategically when connecting my research project with possibilities for commercialization. In addition, it gave me the opportunity to meet experts in the field of innovation and to learn about some of the possibilities of commercialization in Norway. I highly recommend it for students that consider taking their research ideas to the marketplace”, she says.

More information about the course program can be obtained through this link.
Students can register until 31 January by contacting Professor Truls at

Publication in the Journal Sustainability

Postdoctoral fellow Mark Taylor from the Department of Private Law and Associate professor Maja van der Velden from DIGENT have recently published in the Journal Sustainability. Entitled “Resistance to Regulation: Failing Sustainability in Product Lifecycles”, the paper is an outcome of the project Sustainable Market Actors and Responsible Trade (SMART Project), coordinated by the Law Faculty of the University of Oslo and financed by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

The paper investigates if regulating for sustainability in consumer products is effective under existing legal frameworks. It focuses on the mobile phone life cycle to identify hotspots of unsustainability.

International policy and law have long sought to ensure that states regulate the negative impacts of production processes on people and the planet. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 targets sustainable production and consumption; international conventions, such as the Basel Convention, or the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the International Labour Organisation Conventions, all seek to regulate toxic or labour-related impacts associated with industrial production. However, there is ample evidence that such impacts continue. At a time of increasing pressure to develop sustainable systems of production and consumption, we asked whether the existing legal frameworks are appropriate to the task of regulating for sustainability in consumer products. Drawing on research conducted into sustainability in the mobile phone lifecycle, this paper examines the regulatory ecology of hotspots of unsustainability in the product lifecycle of electronics. This paper finds that the interaction of regulatory disjunctures, business models, design of technology, and marginalisation combine to ensure that our systems of production and consumption are predisposed to resist regulation aimed at sustainability.

The paper is open access and is available through this link.


Research stay at Tsinghua University, China

PhD candidate Alice Frantz Schneider from DIGENT has been awarded the Kristine Bonnevie scholarship to conduct a research stay in Beijing, China. Alice was accepted as a visiting PhD candidate at the School of Environment of Tsinghua University and was based in the team of Urban Mining and Circular Economy from July to September 2019.

Alice at Tsinghua University

Alice’s PhD research focuses on e-waste management systems, and China is one of the countries of study. The stay at Tsinghua University allowed her to collect relevant data, in addition to providing invaluable experience of networking with researchers in the e-waste management field.

Tsinghua University’s Campus

The Kristine Bonnevie scholarship is provided by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences for a research period abroad from one to six months. PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers can apply for the grant. More information about the scholarship, and on how to apply, is available here.

Call for papers: 2020 EGOS colloquium on Sustainability Transitions

Birthe Soppe from DIGENT, Taran Thune, and Jochen Markard are convening a track on “Sustainability Transitions: Bridging Systems and Organizational Perspectives to Tackle Grand Challenges” on the forthcoming EGOS colloquium in Hamburg in July 2020.



Introduction to the theme

We live in a world facing a variety of grand challenges connected to environmental and societal sustainability, including food, water, and energy security, climate change, natural disasters, poverty, and inequality. How societies and organizations deal with such challenges and commit to developing more sustainable futures, while discontinuing unsustainable businesses and practices is a key concern and research topic (Ferraro et al., 2015; Geels et al., 2017; George et al., 2016; Markard et al., 2012).

This sub-theme will bring together scholars who study grand sustainability challenges and transformations from different perspectives, including systems and organizations. We are particularly interested in contributions that explore new approaches, perspectives, and methods.



Deadline for submission of short papers: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 (23:59 Central European Time – CET)

We are looking forward to receiving your contributions!

Participation at the PLATE 2019 Conference

Associate professor Maja van der Velden and PhD candidate Ines Junge, both from DIGENT, presented research at the 3rd Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE) Conference held in September in Berlin, Germany.

PLATE is organized every two years and brings actors from different sectors to discuss the product lifetimes from a sustainability context. This year’s conference included several workshops and poster sessions, and more than 100 oral presentations.

Maja presented the paper “Sustainable product lifecycles: a systemic approach to the regulation of e-waste” in the session Legal Framework for Product Longevity. The paper was written together with Postdoc Mark Taylor from the Department of Private Law, and Associate professor Martin Oteng-Ababio from the University of Ghana. The authors proposed a polycentric perspective to regulation by bringing the case of cable burning in the scrap metal yard of Agbogbloshie, Ghana.Presentation_PLATE_20092019

Ines presented the paper entitled “Modularity as one principle in sustainable technology design – a design case study on ICT” in the session Design for Sustainable Products. The author explored desirable characteristics and nowadays insufficiencies within modular ICT. Through the design case review spanning over the recent decade’s marketed and conceptualized technology, she argued how modularity can contribute to Sustainable Technology and Interaction Design (StaID), a combination of fields, supposedly treated as a matter of critical design practice in future research.

Both papers were based on research in the “Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade” – SMART project, a Horizon2020-financed project coordinated by the UiO.

Participation on the PhD day 2019

PhD candidate Ines Junge from DIGENT participated in the poster session during PhD day 2019 last week. The event is organized for PhD candidates by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Science Library every year.

In the poster “Borrowed(4)Use Mobile”, Ines combines Sustainable Technology and Interaction Design to discuss paths of transition to a circular economy. She uses the case of the single-use camera to link design/invention with the end-of-life phase and to propose a circular mobile phone design. The poster abstract is available here.

Ines and her poster during the PhD day


Launch of short animation on the mobile phone life cycle

The Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART) project launched today a short animation on the mobile phone life cycle, to be distributed widely. The animation points out some of the challenges throughout the mobile phones’ life cycle, and brings awareness to the importance of caring and repairing the phones we already own.

Some of the social and environmental footprints from mobile phones (Images from the animation)

The SMART project is funded by the European Union through the Horizon 2020 program and is coordinated by the Law Faculty of the University of Oslo. With a strong interdisciplinary nature, this project involves more than 50 researchers from different fields and countries, all with the same goal in mind: sustainability.

In order to achieve a greater policy coherence for development, this wide project works with different topics, divided into work packages. Associate professor Maja van der Velden from DIGENT is the project leader of the work package on the lifecycle of mobile phones, and DIGENT PhD candidates Alice Frantz Schneider and Ines Junge are among the participants.

Repair=Care (by SMART)

The animation is accompanied by a social media campaign that can be accessed here.


Publication in the Journal Open Education Studies

Alessandra Molinari from University of Urbino (Uniurb), and Andrea Alessandro Gasparini from DIGENT wrote a paper entitled “When Students Design University: a Case Study of Creative Interdisciplinarity between Design Thinking and Humanities”, which was recently published at the Journal Open Education Studies.

Copia di IMG_0460
Participants on the workshop (photo by the authors of the paper)

The paper brings the results of an experimental design thinking (DT) workshop held at the Uniurb in Spring 2018 to investigate ways of promoting student-centered learning (SCL) and student participation in university governance. The workshop was designed to answer the main question on “can DT foster SCL and student participation in university governance, and if this is the case, how?”.


This paper addresses the issue of how to enhance student participation in university governance. This issue is approached by taking into account the growing pressures of the European Commission’s modernization agenda on the educational policies of the European Higher Education Area, and by focusing on the way these pressures affect students’ conceptions of themselves and of the mission of higher education. The thesis presented in this paper is that design thinking and the humanities share a common epistemological core that enables them, if applied in educational settings, to play a major role in fostering students’ trust in their governance skills and in their ability to influence educational policies through a creative mindset and a deeper comprehension of the stakes in present-day higher education. An experimental workshop combining design thinking with the humanities and with the constructivist approach of student-centered learning was held within a course in a humanities bachelor program on the basis of a heuristic framework developed through an interdisciplinary research process. This process was conducted according to the principles of design and hermeneutics. The outcomes of the workshop in terms of the participants’ enhanced self-confidence and decisional skills validate the thesis of this study.

The paper is open access and is available here.

Participation in the Workshop on Organizational Stigma

In September, Associate professor Birthe Soppe from DIGENT participated in the Paper Development Workshop on Organizational Stigma at the IESEG Business School in Paris. She presented the paper “A horse of a different color: How entrepreneurs use design and location to overcome stigma by association“, developed with her co-authors Raissa Pershina, PhD student at DIGENT/UIO and Santi Furnari, Professor at Cass Business School London.

The paper is a qualitative case study about Atari, an entrepreneurial firm founded in the 1970s and the inventor of the first modern video game product called coin-op video games, which kickstarted the coin-op video games industry. At that time, Atari’s products were highly associated with the stigmatized pinball-amusement industry. The paper investigates how Atari and its founder Nolan Bushnell engaged in efforts to overcome this stigmatization throughout the early years of Atari’s emergence.

Call for papers on small business and entrepreneurship

Professor Truls Erikson from DIGENT is part of the Scientific Committee of the upcoming 21st Nordic Conference on Small Business Research (NCSB). The conference will take place on (27)28-29 May 2020 at the Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management of the University of Southern Denmark, Kolding.

Organized biannually, NCSB is characterized as an arena to exchange ideas in the field of small business and entrepreneurship. During the first day, it offers Ph.D. students the opportunity to develop their projects with peers and experienced scholars through a Doctoral consortium.

NCSB is accepting abstracts until 31 January 2020. After the notification of acceptance on 17 February, full papers should be submitted by 27 April. There will be opportunities for publication in academic journals, through special issues related to the conference.

More information on the conference and on registration procedures can be obtained here.

PhD defense of Eunji Lee

Eunji Lee from DIGENT will be defending her dissertation for the degree of PhD on October 3, 2019.

Eunji will hold a trial lecture on the “Experiments of visual languages in healthcare services: learning from service design theory”. The lecture will be at Kristen Nygaards sal (5370), Ole-Johan Dahls hus, Gaustadalléen 23B, at 10h15.

The defense will start at 13h15 at the same place. Her thesis is entitled “Making the invisible visible: Understanding complex healthcare service processes for assessment”, and has the following adjudication committee: Anu Helkkula (Hanken School of Economics, Finland), Nicola Morelli (Aalborg University, Denmark), and Miria Grisot (University of Oslo, Norway).

Guest lecture by Carsten Østerlund

Professor Carsten Østerlund from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University will visit the Department of Informatics on week 39 and give a talk.

Carsten has his PhD from MIT, with Wanda Orlikowski as supervisor, and has worked with a range of empirical topics and methodological approaches. He has collaborated with several scholars (e.g. Paul Carlile, Kevin Crowston, and Margunn Aanestad).

In this talk, he will share insights from a recent study on citizen science/crowdsourced knowledge production with a focus on applying theoretical concepts from the sociomateriality tradition.

The event will take place on September 24th, from 9h to 10h30, in the Styrerommet (4118) of Ole-Johan Dahls hus. All welcome!

DIGENT establishes collaboration with blue chip corporations on master’s education

A student life in the blue chip companies Telenor, Schibsted, DNV GL and EVRY is now a reality for second-year Master’s students in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management and the Business Development track of Digital økonomi og ledelse. The University of Oslo has entered into a new type of collaboration with these companies on the execution of significant innovation projects, as part of these Master’s programs.

Jens Petter Falck, Associate Professor and Program Counselor for one of the master’s programs, points out the importance of the projects:

“Through this collaboration, we gain access to high-quality relevant projects, and students get to experience the culture of innovation within large organizations and attractive potential employers”.

Organized as a mandatory course, ENT4460 Corporate Entrepreneurship Project, student groups operating as project teams will each carry out a predefined innovation project of significance within one of the corporate partners during the fall semester physically located at the respective corporate headquarter.

“The students at UIO will give us an opportunity to get new thoughts and ideas, in addition, I am sure they will learn a lot from experienced Telenor employees. This is a great opportunity for both Telenor and the students, and we really appreciate that they want to spend a semester with us at Fornebu”, says Petter-Børre Furberg, CEO of Telenor Norway.

The purpose of the course is to build the students’ in-depth understanding and hands-on experience with developing new or improved products or services within an established company. The first edition of the course is now well underway with the innovation projects.

“Through our collaboration with UiO, ties to the university are strengthened, and not least, we can ensure that research is directed towards areas of societal and business-critical importance in the future”, says Sven Størmer Thaulow, Schibsted’s Executive Vice President of Data & Technology.

According to the four corporate partners, this is the first time they have entered into a collaboration of this nature. You can find more information in the corporate homepages of Telenor, Schibsted, DNV GL and EVRY.

Introduction week for the new master students in Entrepreneurship

Week 34 was special for the new students of the Master in Entrepreneurship. Various ice-breaking activities took place throughout the week, so that the students had the opportunity to network and to get to know each other.

Lunch event during the Introduction week

Among the events organized, the main event was the Venture Sprint pitching. Students worked in groups and pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges comprising faculty members and 2nd year master students at the end of the week.

The business idea “Try It: Marketplace that allows companies to find test users for their new products” was considered as the best one. The best presentation was for the business pitch “Tip Takk: Application that allows restaurants to simplify their tips-payout to their staff”.

The Master in Entrepreneurship is a two-year full-time program offered by DIGENT. We welcome our new master students and wish them success in their studies!

Participation at the DIS conference 2019


Professor Alma Leora Culén and PhD candidate Jorun Børsting from DIGENT together with Assistant Professor William Odom from Simon Fraser University, wrote the paper entitled “Mediating Relatedness for Adolescents with ME: Reducing Isolation through Minimal Interactions with a Robot Avatar”. Jorun and Alma presented the work at the ACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2019, in San Diego this June.

The paper explored strategies for technology design to support relatedness and reduce the sense of isolation among adolescents suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. This health condition reduces normal functioning severely, including the ability to be social. More on the condition, for interested readers is here. A robot avatar was placed in the lives of ill adolescents for about a year, which provided an incredibly rich set of data and insights. Based on the findings, the authors propose a set of strategies to design technologies that support relatedness with a minimal level of interactivity and engagement. The paper is available online.

The paper presentation at DIS (photo: Will Odom)

DIS is the premier international and interdisciplinary conference encompassing a wide range of issues related to the design and deployment of interactive systems. The conference brings together researchers, designers, artists, systems engineers, and anyone involved in the design of interactive systems to debate and shape the future of interaction systems research, design, and practice. The theme for DIS 2019 was Contesting Borders and Intersections, aiming to explore the frictions, separation and margins in conjunction with opportunities and imaginaries of possible alternatives.

The conference had a number of very interesting workshops and Jorun and Alma had joint papers on two of them. One of the workshops had the theme Exploring, Defining, & Advancing Community-Driven Design for Social Impact and was organized by Eric Hekler, Jennifer Taylor, Steven Dow, M.C. Schraefel, Sayali Phatak, Don Norman, Faren Grant and Dana Lewis. Their position paper was entitledCommunity Involvement in Social Innovation for Health”. The second workshop was on A sample of One: First-person Research Methods in HCI and was organized by Andrés Lucero, Audrey Desjardins, Carman Neustaedter, Kristina Höök, Marc Hassenzahl and Marta Cecchinato. Their position paper was “SlowBreath: First-Person Research for Self-Management of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis”.

The Community Building Workshop (photo: DIS staff)


PhD Fellowships available at the research centre INTRANSIT

Two PhD positions are currently available as part of the Centre for the Study of Innovation Policy for Industrial Transformation, Sustainability and Digitalization (INTRANSIT).


Launched in May this year, this interdisciplinary research centre is a collaboration between TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (UiO), DIGENT Digitalization and Entrepreneurship (UiO), SINTEF Digital, and the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development (Utrecht University).

INTRANSIT seeks to address questions such as:

How can we foster industrial transformation towards a smarter and more sustainable Norwegian economy? What are the most important barriers and drivers of industrial transformation? What is the role of incumbent industries in transitions and to what extent is the growth of new industrial niches connected to diversification of existing industries?

One of the PhD positions is in Entrepreneurship, which will be based at the DIGENT section. This position aims to study the roles and interaction dynamics between established and entrepreneurial firms in transition processes.

The other PhD position is in Innovation studies and based at TIK. This position is connected to the study of transition pressures and pathways in Norwegian industries.

Both PhD positions should actively contribute to the INTRANSIT research centre. The positions are for a period of 3 years, with the possibility of extension if participating in teaching and/or administrative activities.

Publication in the Journal Research Policy

PhD candidate Raissa Pershina and Associate Professor Birthe Soppe from DIGENT together with Professor Taran Thune from TIK wrote a paper titled “Bridging analog and digital expertise: Cross-domain collaboration and boundary-spanning tools in the creation of digital innovation”, which was recently accepted for publication in Research Policy.

Using the development of digital serious games as the empirical setting, the paper explores how specialists rooted in digital and analog knowledge domains engage in cross-domain collaboration to jointly create innovative digital products.

The paper is now available online.


Expertise in digital technologies is necessary, but rarely sufficient to generate digital innovation. The purpose of this paper is to explore how specialists rooted in digital and analog knowledge domains engage in cross-domain collaboration to jointly create digital innovation. Our analysis cross-examines the literature on knowledge integration and coordination by examining the role of boundary-spanning tools in fusing divergent types of knowledge. The empirical setting for our study is the development of digital serious games, a novel breed of digital learning products whose creation involves a wide range of gaming/digital and learning/analog expertise. Drawing on an in-depth qualitative study, we find that boundary-spanning tools such as prototypes, mockups, and whiteboards serve as important knowledge bridges buttressing the overall innovation process, enabling diverse experts to increasingly align and integrate their divergent thought worlds and knowledge domains. Furthermore, we find that the alternative interplay among digital and non-digital tools supports the gradual transformation of digital and analog expertise into a novel digital format. Taken together, our results explicate how boundary-spanning tools facilitate collaborative work among specialists rooted in diverse digital and non-digital knowledge domains. Our findings contribute to the literature on knowledge integration and coordination in cross-domain collaboration and digital innovation.

UiO’s first greenhouse gas accounts, the Strategy 2030 and the Rector’s challenge

The University of Oslo (UiO) has presented, for the first time, its greenhouse gas accounts. Launched in May this year, the report presents the climate accounts of UiO for 2018 with a total estimated of approximately 68 000 tonnes of Co2 equivalents (CO₂e). The contributions are divided between travel and transport, energy consumption, consumables and inventory, operations, services, building-related maintenance, and waste. The largest contribution to the university’s greenhouse gas emissions is from the category of travel and transport (with 21 200 tonnes CO₂e), followed by energy consumption (with 13 800 tonnes CO₂e) and consumables and inventory (with 10 400 tonnes CO₂e).

The climate accounts include the emissions in a life-cycle perspective, with both direct and indirect emissions. It can be used both to identify climate measures on the overall level and also to help to prioritize specific areas. The report is part of the ongoing process of Strategy 2030, a work effective from 2020 until 2030 and led by pro-rector Gro Bjørnerud Moe. For more information, please visit the UiO’s page for employees on Ongoing Projects. Strategy 2030 aims at answering questions such as:

What role should the University of Oslo take in the years to come? How should research and education be organised to meet the challenges in Norway and the world? Must the University work in new ways?

The active Strategy 2020 can be found here.

In order to reduce UiO’s climate footprint, the competition Rector’s Challenge 2019 currently invites students to submit ideas on how to cut emissions. The assessment criteria will take into consideration the possible effect, the degree of innovation, and the possibilities of sustainability and scaling. The application form can be filled here and the deadline for submissions is October 1, 2019. Prizes go up to 10 000 NOK, and the winners will be announced in December.

Participation at the EurOMA Conference 2019

PhD student Alice Frantz Schneider from DIGENT participated at the 26th European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) Conference in Helsinki, Finland. EurOMA is a European-based network and is considered Europe’s leading professional association for Operations Management (OM). To extend the OM arena worldwide, it works together with its American (Production and Operations Management Society – POMS) and Japan-based (Japanese Operations Management and Strategy Association – JOMSA) counterparts.

The conference theme of this year was “Operations adding value to society”, which aimed at extending manufacturing and services to the wider societal and community implications. It focused on the move beyond goods manufacturing to considerations such as of the supply chain, critical infrastructure, and circular economy. Among the keynotes who highlighted such concepts, an inspirational talk was given by Professor Jan Godsell from the University of Warwick. Papers at the conference addressed sustainability aspects in several tracks, such as “Humanitarian and Development” and “Sustainable supply chain management”.

Alice presenting at the EurOMA Conference 2019

Alice presented the paper entitled “Managing change in operations: The case of the wire stripping machine in Agbogbloshie, Ghana” in the section of “Change management”. In this paper, she applied the theory of constraints to the wire stripping process in Agbogbloshie. The presentation was well received with several comments from the audience, in which it was pointed out the importance of the topic and the many challenges involved in changing operations.

The abstract of the paper follows:

This paper investigates the cable processing in Agbogbloshie, Ghana, one of the best-known informal electronic waste management sites worldwide. Wire stripping machines have been installed on site, but are scarcely used. Instead, environmentally eroding and health hazard inducing, open-air burning continues in order to extract metals from the cables. To investigate the machines’ lack of use, the theory of constraints is applied to empirical data collected in Agbogbloshie in 2017. Financial, policy, and market are identified as the system’s constraints. The subsequent suggestions aim to increase the use of the machines, which would ultimately lead to environmental and socio-economic improvements.

Participation at the BCERC 2019

PhD student Dennis Gan from DIGENT participated at the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC) in Boston, Massachusetts (United States) this month. BCERC was founded in 1981 by Babson College and is considered by many to be the premier entrepreneurship research conference in the world. Proceedings from the Conference are found at the Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research compilation.

Olin Hall, BABSON College – the main conference hall for BCERC 2019

Gan presented at the BCERC 2019 the paper INCUMBENTS AND STARTUPS: ON COLLISION COURSE, authored by him and Steffen Korsgaard.

Dennis presenting at BCERC 2019

The abstract of the paper follows:

Despite the promise of complementary resources between incumbents and startups when they enter into strategic alliances, many alliances often end prematurely. This study explores the occurrences of conflicts between incumbents and startups by drawing upon justice theory. We conducted 26 interviews with executives from incumbents, startups, and incubators on their past five doomed strategic alliances. Our findings show that the procedures for incumbents and startups to collaborate are not in place yet (procedural justice) and there is a lack of transparency behind the incumbents’ motives to engage with the startups (interactional justice). We explore the implications of our findings and propose how incumbents and startups can collaborate better in future alliances.

Participation at the ECIS 2019

Kristoffer Fossum, Egil Øvrelid, and Alexander Moltubakk Kempton, all from DIGENT, presented research at the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2019) in Stockholm, Sweden. The papers covered the tracks Digital Transformation in the Public Sector, Health Information Technology and IS for Healthcare, and Research Methods and Philosophy.

The paper “From Recombination to Reconfiguration: Affording Process Innovation in Digital Infrastructures” has been written by Øvrelid and Kempton. By questioning how can a digital infrastructure afford process innovation, the study brings an in-depth case study at a Norwegian hospital that has gone through a large-scale digitalization and innovation project.

Egil presenting at the ECIS 2019

The paper “Adaptive Networked Governance of E-health Standards: The Case of a Regional Health Information Infrastructure in Norway” was also presented, written by Fossum, Fossum, Hanseth, and Sanner. The paper investigates the governance of e-health standards in one health region in Norway and provides a standards governance model.

The other paper presented at the ECIS 2019 by a DIGENT member was “The Digital is Different: A Realist Reinterpretation of Sociomateriality”. Written by Kempton, it builds on a critical realist position centered on the concept of emergence to discuss the implications of strong sociomateriality.

Professors Bendik Bygstad and Margunn Aanestad also participated at the ECIS 2019, as a member of the Research in progress chairs, and as a faculty in the doctoral consortium, respectively.

Best Paper runner-up award at ICT4S 2019

PhD student Alice Frantz Schneider from DIGENT participated at the 6th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S 2019). The event was held in Lappeenranta (Finland) in June and had as the main theme the Finnish concept “Sisu”.
By bringing together researchers, government and industry representatives, the conference focused on the transformational power of ICT to move towards sustainability.
Alice was awarded the “Best Paper runner-up” award at ICT4S 2019 for the paper “Informal Processing of Electronic Waste in Agbogbloshie, Ghana: A Complex Adaptive Systems Perspective”. The study has focused on the workers in Agbogbloshie to investigate the dismantling process of electronic waste, as well as the environmental and social hazards associated.

Alice at ICT4S 2019

The conference proceedings are fully open access and include the following themes: challenges in cities and regions, mobilizing new ideas, and involving business.

PhD defense of Matthew Good

Matthew Good from DIGENT will be defending his dissertation for the degree of PhD on June 24, 2019.
Good will hold a trial lecture within the topic “System level theories of innovation: From Clusters and Innovation Systems to Entrepreneurial Ecosystems”. The trial lecture starts at 10h15, at Kristen Nygaards sal – 5370, Ole-Johan Dahls hus, Gaustadalléen 23B.

The defense is at 13h15 in the same place. His thesis, entitled “Technology Transfer Support at Universities: An Ecosystem Design Approach”, has been supervised by Professor Mirjam Knockaert (University of Gent) and by Associate Professor Birthe Soppe (University of Oslo).

XP 2019 conference on agile software development

A couple of weeks ago, PhD student Ivar Hukkelberg from DIGENT, participated at the XP 2019 conference on agile software development in Montreal, Canada. The conference focused on bringing together researchers, practitioners, coaches, and thought leaders to present and discuss their most recent research results and findings. This year, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) started to make itself present as a topic of interest at the agile conference, and there were some interesting cases that discussed AI’s role in the agile software development field.

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Ivar presenting at the XP 2019 conference

During the conference, Ivar presented the workshop paper “Exploring the challenges of integrating data science roles in agile autonomous teams”. The paper was written together with Marthe Berntzen, who is doing a PhD in coordination in large scale agile projects. Through interviews with data scientists, Ivar and Marthe used the data collected to describe different challenges when trying to integrate the data scientist role into autonomous teams. The presentation was well received, and it was pointed out that the topic was of high relevance these days.


PhD defense of Sumit Pandey

Sumit Pandey from DIGENT will be defending his dissertation for the degree of PhD on June 7, 2019.
Pandey will hold a trial lecture within the topic “A post-phenomenological view on how smart technologies mediate human relations”. The trial lecture will be at 10h15, at Lille Auditorium, Kristen Nygårds hus, Gaustadalléen 23A.

The defense will be at 12h15 in the same place. His thesis – entitled “Designing Smart Things” – has combined critical and speculative design with strategic design. Professor Alma Leora Culén has been the main supervisor, and Dr. Ole Christian Smørdal and Associate Professor Maja Van Der Velden the co-supervisors.

All welcome!

Call for papers

Professor Beate Sjåfjell from the Department of Private Law and Associate Professor Maja Van Der Velden from DIGENT are the guest editors for a special issue for the open-access Journal Sustainability.

The special issue is connected to the conference “Corporate Sustainability Reforms: Securing Market Actors’ Contribution to Global Sustainability” that will happen in Oslo on 24 October 2019. The conference aims to discuss ways of facilitating the transition towards sustainability and to identify concrete proposals. It will be open to all interested, including scholars, students, policy-makers and practitioners.


The deadline for sending abstracts (max 500 words) is 20 June 2019. Subject to peer-review, selected abstracts will be invited to submit papers to the special issue, with the deadline on 25 September 2019.

Podcasts at Digitaliseringspådden

Professor Bendik Bygstad and associate professor Lene Pettersen from DIGENT have been guests at Digitaliseringspådden, a collaboration between Computerworld and Already On.

In Bygstad’s podcast, the focus is directed on what students learn about digitalization at IFI.  Pettersen’s podcast concerns how digitalization influences dating nowadays, dating platforms, what we risk missing out with digitalization as well as business model innovation in the media industry.  In both episodes, you can learn some fun facts about the two. Both podcasts are in Norwegian.

DIGENT Summer party – 2019 edition

May 28 was the day for the DIGENT Summer party – 2019 edition.
Before its start, we had the section meeting. Some points were highlighted here, in especial the open positions within our section, IFI’s handlingsplan, and its re-organization.

We then met again for the Summer party, with different activities organized by DIGENT’s members Ivar, Alice, Dennis, and Alexander. Participants from our research clusters were organized in teams. In the first activity, the groups answered to a quiz with questions focused on each of the clusters. Secondly, the groups participated in the “Amazing Race”, in which they solved riddles that lead them through 6 different rooms throughout IFI’s building. The quiz and the riddles were developed as a way for the participants to interact more and to bring a different dynamic to the event. The last activity of the day at IFI was a presentation given by Ivar on Machine Learning in Information Systems, which brought interesting discussions among the participants.

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Photo by Dennis Gan

The main goal of the summer party was to give the opportunity for all of us to get to know more about each other and the clusters, as well as to create a nice atmosphere of integration. This continued through DIGENT’s dinner at Aker Brygge.

Talk on the mysteries of artificial intelligence (AI)

Prof. Anders Hansen will give a talk about the mysteries of AI. The talk will address the lack of foundations in modern AI, its behaviour and philosophical dilemmas. Prof. Hansen is the head of the Applied Functional and Harmonic Analysis group at the University of Cambridge.

The event will take place on May 22 (from 14h15 to 15h30), at Vilhelm Bjerknes’ hus Auditorium 2.

Photo from Pexels

For more information, please visit the page of the event.


Digitalization Seminar

For our second Digitalization seminar, we welcome Prof. Lars Mathiassen as guest speaker and also as newly appointed Professor II in the Digitalization group. More information about him is found in his webpage.

This time we have two papers to be presented and discussed. The agenda is as follows:
09.00 – 09.15: Welcome – prof. Knut H. Rolland
09.15 – 10.15: Pluralist Theory Building: A Methodology for Generalizing from Data to Theory – prof. Lars Mathiassen
10.15 – 10.30: Coffee Break
10.30 – 11.15: The role of discourse in transforming digital infrastructures – post doc Egil Øvrelid

The event will take place on April 10, from 9h to 11h15, at Ole-Johan Dahls hus – Seminarrom Python (2269).

Seminar on shaping generativity & managing technical debt

Professor Dr. Kalle Lyytinen will visit the DIGENT section and give a seminar on Shaping generativity & managing technical debt: Theorizing the approaches of two open source software communities.

Dr. Lyytinen is a professor of Management Design and Faculty Director at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He will present the results of an exploratory and comparative case study of Open Source Software projects that follow different approaches to manage technical debt and shape generativity.

The event will take place on November 5, from 14h to 16h, at Ole-Johan Dahls hus – Møterom GI (6162). All welcome.

The recycling of electronics in Brazil

In July 2018, DIGENT’s Ph.D. candidate Alice Frantz Schneider was in Brazil, collecting data for her research on mobile phone recycling processes. Recycling plays an important role in a sustainable circular model for the mobile phone life cycle. Alice focused on the complexities found in the processes of different recycling scenarios and the connections between them.

Visits were conducted to electronics recycling companies and to the University of Sao Paulo (USP), which operates CEDIR (Center for Reuse and Discard of Informatics Residuals) and hosts LASSU (Laboratory on ICT Sustainability).

Collection of used electronics at CEDIR / Photo: Alice Frantz Schneider

Prof. Tereza Cristina Carvalho, the coordinator of CEDIR and LASSU, explained that while the center focuses on the processing of electronics for repair and recycling, the laboratory conducts training and research. The laboratory organizes activities focused on sustainability and social inclusion. One program aims at qualifying teenagers from low-income families in computing, in order to increase their employability. The program teaches both software programming, hardware repair, and how to properly dismantle electronic waste for recycling.

The visits to LASSU and CEDIR were especially inspiring because they present an interesting way of combining social and environmental sustainability in an academic setting.