Maja Van Der Velden

Professor - Digitalisation
Image of Maja Van Der Velden
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22852816
Room 7163
Visiting address Gaustadalléen 23B 0373 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1080 0316 Oslo

Short bio

I am the leader of the Regenerative Technologies research group and director of the associated Sustainability Lab. My field of research is Technology and Society, in particular the design and use of digital technologies and the practices and impacts they help shape.

Informed by anthropology of technology, feminist technoscience (science and technology studies), and systems thinking, I pursue research topics around sustainability and digitalisation. Just transitions, democratic participation, intersectionality, and cognitive justice are values that guide my research.

These interests and values are also reflected in my teaching, in which I work with a critical constructivist learning methodology, actively involving students in exploring the social and ethical effects of technology design and use. Prior to joining the University of Oslo, I worked for a number of years advising civil society organisations in Africa and the Middle East on the adaptation of information and communications technology, in particular in contexts of economic development and social change.


I have implemented fieldwork in Canada (teenage patients and privacy), Ghana (repair and recycling), India (digitalisation of local health knowledge of traditional healers), Kenya (global knowledge sharing in a Masai community), Netherlands (repair), Norway (repair, sustainable business models, health tech for teenage patients), and the Middle East (gender, human rights). In terms of social sustainability, I have implemented research in the field of privacy, repair, and AI. Research on environmental sustainability includes sustainability analysis of electronic products, repair, and sustainable digitalisation. My research on cultural sustainability focused on Indigenous knowledge and database design.

I am at the moment active in two funded projects:

  • Leader of Circular Energy, a UiO:Energy-financed project, in the form of a thematic research group, focusing on the role of design, maintenance, and repair in energy conservation in digitalisation technologies (2021-2023).
  • Deputy leader of Futuring Nordics, a UiO:Nordic-financed project, in the form of a thematic research group, focusing on the transition towards sustainable business models of Nordic companies (2019-2022). My research focus is repair and sustainable business models.

Past projects


I teach IN5010/IN9010 Design, Technology & Society, a master/PhD course in which we look at different theoretical perspectives on the relations between design, technology, and society. We explore these relations 'hands-on' in discussions, design and deconstruction workshops, visualisations, and written work. Some of the topics we explore are sustainability, autonomous systems, privacy/surveillance, gender, and regenerative technologies. It is a five-week intensive course (90 contact hours). In addition, I give several guest lectures in other IFI courses, focusing on social and ethical aspects of informatics.


PhD candidates (main supervisor):

PhD candidates (co-supervisor):


  • Tigist Fetene Adane - Life cycle assessment of digital technologies for energy conservation

Master students:

Thirty-three of my master students have successfully finished their master exam. I am currently the supervisor of the following master student (2019-2021):

  • Lara Okafor - Queer, Trans, Intersex, Black, Indigenous People of Color (QTIBIPoC+) Communities and Digital security

Other positions (past en present)

Tags: anthropology of technology, circular economy, design justice, ethics, feminist technoscience, gender, intersectionality, sustainability, sustainable digitalisation, systems thinking
Published Oct. 25, 2011 11:03 PM - Last modified Oct. 3, 2021 12:42 PM