Bakgrunn og aktiviteter

Working project title: 

Changing Places: Effects of ecovillage establishment on rural places in Norway 

Aim of the project:

To explore the relational and place-based processes that prevent and support rural sustainable place-making and situating ecological sustainability in everyday life.

Preliminary Research questions:

  • What are the dominant discourses surrounding ecovillages in Norwegian media and how can these potentially advance or impede sustainable place-making?
  • How do relations between the local community and the ecovillage(s) support or hinder
    sustainable place-making and engagement with ecological sustainability?
  • How do the effects of ecovillage establishment differ depending on who initiates the sustainable place-making project?
  • How does 'place matter’ regarding supporting or hindering sustainable place-making
    in Norway?


Prof. Nina Gunnerud Berg and Associate Prof. Hilde Nymoen Rørtveit (Department of Geography, NTNU) 

Personal Background:

The combined background of running my own creative business (based on utilising local wool resources) and assisting with research into organic agriculture led to my return to academia in 2015. I completed a master’s thesis in 2017 which highlighted the role of the older breeds of pigmented, native sheep in forming an ecologically sustainable network of a local woollen mill and associated actors. This took my research into ‘more-than-human’ geography, green entrepreneurship and the relationality of people, nature and place within sustainable regional development. These themes are of continuing interest in my PhD-project:

Changing Places: Effects of ecovillage establishment on rural places in Norway 

For decades, groups of people, all over the world, have been experimenting with different forms of place-making by establishing ‘sustainable communities’ or ‘ecovillages’ as a way of creating a sustainable alternative to mainstream society. This involves living a sustainable lifestyle based on self-sufficiency in food and energy, utilising local, natural resources and ‘living in harmony’ with nature. The ecovillage philosophy is that through living and teaching by example, these sustainable alternatives can be incorporated into everyday life within the wider society.

Interest in establishing ecovillages in Norway has increased dramatically over the last decade, at least in part due to the extensive media coverage of the establishment of ‘Norway’s first ecovillage’ in Hurdal, Akershus. In Norway, ecovillages are looking to be established in mainly rural areas which can lead to substantial changes to the local community. My research is looking into the effect of such sustainable place-making on small rural communities in Norway. This currently includes representations of place, rurality, relationality, territoriality and situating sustainability in the lived community.

Teaching/supervision in following subjects:

  • GEOG1000 - People and Place 1 (Teaching/fieldwork assistant - 2018)
  • GEOG1003 - Geography in practice - qualitative methods (Teaching assistant - 2018)
  • GEOG1010 - Geographical perspectives and fieldwork (Assistant lecturer/fieldwork assistant - 2019)
  • GEOG2010 - History of Geography (Teaching assistant - 2019)
  • GEOG2900 - Bachelor thesis in Geography (Supervisor - 2019-2020)
  • GEOG3005 - Qualitative Methods (Guest/assistant lecturer - 2018-2019, Course co-ordinator - 2020)
  • GEOG3517 - Social Difference, Identity and Place (Guest lecturer - 2019-2020)

University Political duties:

2020-2021 - Deputy board member for temporary academic staff on the Department and Faculty Board of the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences 

2020-2021 - Representative for temporary academic staff in the program council for the PhD in Social Sciences

Previous work:

McKinnon, K., Lennon, A. & Andresen, B.L. (2019) All ull er verdifull: Kompostering av ull i talle og spørreundersøkelse om bruk av ull i Fosenregionen. (All wool is valuable: Composting of wool in deep litter and survey of use of wool in Fosen). NORSØK rapport Vol.4(1).

Lennon, A. (2017) Natural Regional Resilience: Determining the Sustainable Value of a Local Wool Industry through Actor-Network Theory. (Master thesis). NTNU, Trondheim.