Maja Van Der Velden

Professor - Digitalisation
Image of Maja Van Der Velden
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22852816
Room 7163
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 infrastructures and the practices and impacts they help shape.

Informed by critical informatics, feminist technoscience (science and technology studies), and socioecological 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 three funded projects:

  • Workpackage leader in EMPOWER, a UiO:Energy-financed convergence milieu focusing on the role batteries in the transition towards a sustainable transport future (2022-2026).
  • 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 students:

  • Lara Okafor - Queer, Trans, Intersex, Black, Indigenous People of Color (QTIBIPoC+) Communities and Digital security
  • Johannes Flatland Skjeie - Visualisation of energy consumption
  • Frida Hope Carpenter - Visualisation of energy consumption
  • Aslak Burheim Sommervold - Visualisation of energy consumption

Other positions (past en present)

Tags: circular economy, critical informatics, design justice, ethics, feminist technoscience, gender, intersectionality, repair, sustainability, sustainable digitalisation, systems thinking, e-waste


  • Wilson, Christopher Ben & Van Der Velden, Maja (2022). Sustainable AI: An integrated model to guide public sector decision-making. Technology in society. ISSN 0160-791X. doi: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2022.101926. Full text in Research Archive
  • Kjøde, Svein Gunnar; Van Der Velden, Maja & Motevallian, Mahsa (2021). Sustainability Concepts in Nordic Business Research: A Critical Perspective . Sustainability. ISSN 2071-1050. 13(9). doi: 10.3390/su13095160.
  • Van Der Velden, Maja (2021). ‘Fixing the World One Thing at a Time’: Community repair and a sustainable circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production. ISSN 0959-6526. 304. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.127151.
  • Van Der Velden, Maja; Gjelsten, Børge Kile & Jensen, Siri Annethe Moe (2021). Sustainability Competence in Computer Science Education . Nordic Journal of STEM Education. ISSN 2535-4574. 5(1). doi: 10.5324/njsteme.v5i1.3953.
  • van der Velden, Maja (2021). ‘I felt a new connection between my fingers and brain’: a thematic analysis of student reflections on the use of pen and paper during lectures. Teaching in Higher Education. ISSN 1356-2517. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2020.1863347. Full text in Research Archive
  • Oteng-Ababio, Martin & van der Velden, Maja (2020). Connectivity in Chaotic Urban Spaces: Mapping Informal Mobile Phone Market Clusters in Accra, Ghana. Journal of Asian and African Studies. ISSN 0021-9096. doi: 10.1177/0021909620960147.
  • Oteng-Ababio, Martin; van der Velden, Maja & Taylor, Mark Beaumont (2020). Building Policy Coherence for Sound Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Management in a Developing Country. The Journal of environment & development. ISSN 1070-4965. 29. doi: 10.1177/1070496519898218.
  • Taylor, Mark Beaumont & Van Der Velden, Maja (2019). Resistance to Regulation: Failing Sustainability in Product Lifecycles. Sustainability. ISSN 2071-1050. 11(22). doi: 10.3390/su11226526. Full text in Research Archive

View all works in Cristin

  • van der Velden, Maja (2020). Apple uses trademark law to strengthen its monopoly on repair.
  • Maitre-Ekern, Eléonore; Taylor, Mark Beaumont & van der Velden, Maja (2020). Towards a Sustainable Circular Economy: SMART Reform Proposals. University of Oslo.

View all works in Cristin

Published Oct. 25, 2011 11:03 PM - Last modified Jan. 16, 2022 2:02 PM