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NORWAY: Universal Design of ICT


Universal Design of ICT

23-24 May 2022  

The innovation camp on “Universal Design of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)” was co-hosted by Global Universal Design Commission Europe (GUDC-EU) and Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet). The event was organized on 23-24 May 2022 at OsloMet campus in Oslo, as a part of the annual Universal Design Day event, with 9 participants.  

Winning team & solution:

MAD – Making A Difference – A platform that aims to connect Thai women in a network while also providing curated information that they need to get their dream job.  

© Andrea Bjørge (Computer engineer) , Lisa Moland (Product designer), Lina Lerberg (Product designer) and Marianne Bones (UX designer)  

The winning solution is MAD – Making A Difference, a platform that aims to connect Thai women in a network while also providing curated information that they need to get their dream job. This information can comprise, for example, courses to improve technical skills or job opportunities, as well as information on employee rights. The purpose of the solution is to help Thai women build their confidence and get into the job market in Norway.   

The jury mentioned that the idea was well developed and tackled a challenge that NAV (the official Norwegian platform for jobs) deals with daily. The proposed solution has a specific user group, which tackles the problem the user group experiences efficiently.   

Winning team presented

Winning team: MAD – Making A Difference  

Testimonials from participants : 

Interview with Andrea Bjørge, winning team member  

Please tell us a bit about your background.  
I’m a computer Engineer student at OsloMet, and just finished my second year. I also work as a teaching assistant in a course called interdisciplinary innovation, and in a startup that works with frugal innovation.   

What did you learn about the digital divide?  
The digital divide is something I was already familiar with before the event, through studying technology and working with innovation. I’m very happy that this was on the agenda for the event, because it is a very important issue to discuss.   

Why did you decide to participate in the innovation camp?  
I decided to participate in the innovation camp because I love participating in innovation camps, and they needed a few more participants. Innovation is something I really enjoy taking part in, and I enjoyed the event very much. 

What did you learn/ take away from the event?  
As I mentioned, I really enjoyed participating in the innovation camp. It rekindled my joy for innovation. The specific method of innovation that was taught/used at the event is one that I know very well through my work and studies. It was fun to put my knowledge into practice again. I also enjoyed being able to pitch the idea. Pitching is something I don’t have much practice with, so that was a nice challenge.  

Interview with Jannicke Hølen, expert  

Please tell us a bit about your background?   
Business education, business background and now working at DOGA, a national body for design and architecture to promote inclusive design driven innovation towards the Norwegian business and public sector.   

How do you view the digital divide?   
It is an important issue which needs constant focus from all of us. It is about the lack of access to technology, and it is also about unnecessarily bad design. The digital divide is real for people living in countries and areas with no or little access or practical training, it is also about age, technical understanding, abilities, and in some perspectives about gender as well.  

Why did you agree to take part in our Innovation camp?   

NAV- the Norwegian Welfare Association wanted to cooperate with DOGA on an inclusive design challenge and when they partnered up with Universal Global Design and their concept for Innovation Camp, we saw this as the perfect fit. We prefer to support organizations like this in doing what they do best.    

What were the major hurdles that you wanted the hackathon participants to overcome?   
I wanted them to see that inclusive design is about finding better solutions, and not about restrictions. Inclusive design was not specifically the topic of the innovation camp but was embedded within the topic of the digital divide. I also wanted them to overcome the hurdles of working together on a brief with a tight time limit, using various techniques to push them forward to a unified and emphatic solution to a real problem