2019: Sustaining Cities


The 7th edition of “Why the World Needs Anthropologists” focused on how to design and build cities for sustainability. Winning the official title of Oslo: European Green Capital-event, and partnering with University of Oslo and Politecnico di Milano, WWNA 2019 set out to bring together hands and minds that build our cities to inspire and incite action, foster fruitful collaborations and exchange ideas.

On 25-27 October, 300 participants from 42 countries discussed the propositions of four speakers: Marianne Saetre (Snohetta), Morten Nielsen (National Museum of Denmark), Gareth Doherty (Harvard University) and Gemma John (Human City). The panel discussion was masterfully moderated by Trude Lerfald (Halogen). The City Hotspot hosted 18 companies and institutions that offered and/or sought the expertise of city-builders and social anthropologists.

The second day, 13 Perspective presentations and 14 Workshops on urban sustainability opened the floor to the audience. Finally, WWNA 2019 was concluded by the talks of Miia Halme-Tuomisaari on “EASA and the Future of European Anthropology” and Thomas H. Eriksens concluding remarks on development and (un)sustainability. Finally, “The Award for the Contribution to Engaged Anthropology” was presented to Eriksen in “recognition of outstanding dedication to academic scholarship, for bringing the relevance and practice of the anthropological mindset to the wider public”.

The third day, participants explored site-specific projects in Oslo and 45 members joined well-attended Applied Anthropology Network Meeting to plan future activities. For the first time, participants were asked to purchase a ticket (12 EUR student ticket, 30 EUR standard ticket). “Sustaining Cities” event was supported by 17 partners, 11 sponsors and 3 media partners.

Coordinated by Pardis Shafafi (Designit), Organising Committee, Advisory Group and the team of local Volunteers delivered a high-profile international event.

City Hotspot

With Company, DesignitHorowitz Research, LastCall, EGGS Design, Stripe Partners, Ironhack, LPO, Green Culture Lab, Kantik Wine, Food Studio, Gro Gront, Tim Weldelboe, Subvertising Norway, Give a Shit,

Future Cities

FC1: Annie Liu – Help cities move in a sustainable way
FC2: Elina Reponen – How do living labs help develop sustainable cities?
FC3: Ria Adam – Youth wellbeing in northern Finnish towns: Opportunities and threats
FC4: Alf Helge Greaker – Future social indicators of UNSDG in a Norwegian small-town context


W2: Byantropologene – Practical Citizen Involvement
W3: Dan Podjed – A Dirty Workshop
W5: The People Project – The People Project
W6: Designit – Gaming Futures
W8: Halo Ethnographic Bureau – Anthropology and Creative Entreprise
W11: Politecnico di Milano – Prototyping for Cities
W12: Beta-i – The City in Me
W13: Oslo Elveforum – The Gaustad Creek Valley
W14: LastCall – Design to Mobilize
Perspectives presentations

•    With Company: Sustaining Territories / Thinking Beyond the City
•    EGGS Design: Drilling for Value: Designing Loveable Futures on a Triple Bottom-line
•    Stripe Partners: Systems Thinking for Smart City Design
•    MJMJ/Riga: Anthropology and Architecture: Between Convincing and Critique
•    NTNU: Map and Terrain in Anthropology and Architecture
•    Helene Veiga Gomes: Urban Narratives for the Future
•    LastCall: Inclusive Cultural Scenes with LastCall

•    Ironhack: Owlshare: Empowering Senior Citizens in their Communities
•    InProcess: Sustaining the Frontline, Service Industry Workers Surviving in Big Cities
•    Subvertising Norway: Reclaim the Streets: Ad-Busting as a Means of Hacking the City
•    Gro Grønt: Food Independence in Urban Areas
•    Give a Shit/ IADE-UE: Shaping (Future) Cities with Toilets
•    Designit: Sustainability and the City

Oslo Tours

OT1: James Finucane – Urban Street Art Tour
OT2: Oslo European Green Capital – Oslo’s mobility transformation
OT3: Go Gront – Go green, sustainable food futures
OT4: Kok Sauna – Oslo by (floating) sauna


EASA Applied Anthropology Network

European Association of Social Anthropologists

University of Oslo

Organising Committee

Pardis Shafafi – Main Coordinator (EASA AAN/ Designit)

Martin Demant Frederiksen – Programme Coordinator, Advisory Group Coordinator (UiO)

Samira Marty – Production Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator (UiO)

Laura Korčulanin – Finance and Partnership Coordinator, Future Cities (EASA AAN/ IADE-UE)

Ståle Wig – Media and Communication Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator (UiO)

Pavel Borecký – Speakers and Registration Coordinator (University of Bern/ EASA AAN)

Catharina Sletner – Workshops Coordinator (UiO/ Habeo)

Niloufar Gharavi – Designer, Tours Coordinator and Hotspot support (AHO/ Change by Design)

Karen Langvik – Social Media Manager (EASA AAN/ UiO)

Melina Hozhabri – Designer, Webmaster and Hotspot Coordinator (AHO/ Change by Design)

Verónica Reyero – Operational Support (Antropología 2.0/ EASA AAN)

Hélène Veiga Gomes – Operational Support (LAA/ EASA AAN)

Advisory Group

Simone Abram (UiO, Social Anthropology), Thomas Hylland Eriksen (UiO, Social Anthropology)

Per Gunnar Røe (UiO, Sociology and Human Geography), Alisse Waterston (City University of New York)

Rikke Elisabeth Frederiksen (EGGS Design), Aina Landsverk Hagen (Oslo Met), Anna Kirah (Halogen)

Trude Lerfald (Halogen)


Shiho Asada and Siqi Chen – Design Support

Katja Bratseth – Photography Support (Byantropogene)

Maiken Riis Eilertsen – Volunteer Support (Byantropologene)

Kristine Tveit, Espen Langaas, Kajsa Biberg, Magnus Ravnå, Anders Brodin, Sanan Weststeyn, Lina Krade, Muntasir Sattar, Peder Birkelund, Marius Trælstad, Betty Feder, Aina Helene Guttorm Einarsen, Martine Elise, Skoglund Hammer, Caroline Ruyter, Helene Dahl, Lise Solvoll, Joaquín Coto Giménez, Esma Suleymanoglu, Sara Lorenzen, Silje Sætrang Fevik, Jan Palma, Delniya Hasannia, Shiyi Fu​, Anna-Sophie Hobi, Martin Loeng,Deborah K. Wanja, Joakim Gitlestad

25-27 October 2019

Oslo, Norway

  • Marianne Sætre (Snøhetta)
  • Morten Nielsen (National Museum of Denmark)
  • Gareth Doherty (Harvard University)
  • Gemma John (Human City)

Get more info here >>

Welcome Speeches, Talks and Panel Discussion

WWNA 2019 will be featured here in March 2020.

Sponsors and Partners

Premium Sponsors

Designit, With Company

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