Author: Åsa Cajander (Page 1 of 3)

A Leadership Journey: Growing and Developing as a Research Leader

Being a research leader presents continuous challenges and opportunities for personal development. As the leader of the HTO group, consisting of around 15 researchers, and as an Advisor to the Vice Chancellor on Equal opportunities, I find myself in a position to influence both research and the work environment at Uppsala University.

Challenges and the Pursuit of Improvement

Every week, I face new challenges as a leader. Navigating complex research projects, managing diverse personalities, and maintaining an inclusive and productive work environment requires constant attention and adaptation. There is always more to learn!

Clear Leadership: My Next Phase of Development

In 2025, I will participate in the Clear Leadership course, organized by Uppsala University. This four-day program is designed for leaders who, like me, aim to achieve results together with others and create sustainable collaborative relationships. The course offers opportunities for leading in a learning-oriented manner, and I am glad to develop my ability to communicate clearly, understand people better, and create a work environment where knowledge and potential can flourish.

Clear Leadership was developed by Dr. Gervase Bushe in Vancouver, Canada. The concept was introduced to Sweden in 2004 and has quickly become one of the most appreciated and significant leadership programs offered. The program is only conducted by licensed instructors.

The program promises to equip me with tools to:

  • Lead using my personal qualities.
  • Increase my self-awareness and understand my reactions.
  • Enhance my communication skills.
  • Create clarity in collaborations.
  • Implement a model for increased learning within the organization.

Participating in Clear Leadership is not only a step in personal development but also a way to strengthen the HTO group and our collective pursuit of excellence. I hope to use the knowledge and insights gained to build even stronger relationships within my team and create a more inspiring and productive work environment.

HTO Group’s Role in Organizing NordiCHI 2024 Conference in Uppsala

The HTO (Human-Technology-Organization) research group is thrilled to announce our involvement in organizing the NordiCHI 2024 conference, set to take place in Uppsala. This prestigious event, renowned for advancing research and innovation in human-computer interaction, will bring together leading experts, researchers, and practitioners from around the world.

About NordiCHI 2024

NordiCHI, the Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, is a biennial event that serves as a platform for sharing the latest research findings, technological advancements, and best practices in the field of human-computer interaction. The 2024 edition promises to continue this tradition, offering a diverse range of sessions, workshops, and keynote presentations.

HTO Group’s Contribution

Our research group is deeply committed to contributing to the success of NordiCHI 2024. We are actively involved in various organizational aspects, including: We are actively involved in various organizational roles, ensuring a memorable conference experience:

  1. Conference Chairs: Åsa Cajander, HTO and Uppsala University, is leading the overall organization of the conference.
  2. Local Chairs: Magdalena Stadin, HTO and Uppsala University, is managing local arrangements, from venue coordination to participant logistics.
  3. Critique Track Chairs: Maria Normark and Jessica Lindblom, HTO and Uppsala University, are leading the critique track, providing a platform for critical discussions and feedback on research work.
  4. Sponsor Chair: Rebecca Cort, HTO and Uppsala University, is responsible for securing sponsorships and fostering partnerships that enhance the conference experience.

Why Attend NordiCHI 2024?

  1. Innovative Research: Discover the latest advancements and research findings in human-computer interaction.
  2. Networking Opportunities: Connect with leading academics, industry professionals, and fellow researchers.
  3. Inspiring Sessions: Participate in sessions that challenge current thinking and inspire new ideas.
  4. Uppsala’s Charm: Experience the historical and cultural richness of Uppsala, a vibrant city known for its academic excellence and scenic beauty.

Join Us

We invite you to join us at NordiCHI 2024 in Uppsala. Whether you are a seasoned researcher, a beginner and practitioner, or simply passionate about human-computer interaction, this conference offers a unique opportunity to expand your knowledge, network with peers, and contribute to the future of HCI.

For more details about the conference, visit the NordiCHI 2024 website.

We look forward to seeing you in Uppsala!

Exploring AI, Robotics, and Work Environments: Seminars and Lectures by HTO

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics are transforming the workplace, influencing work environments, job roles, and overall productivity. As these technologies evolve, there’s a growing demand for knowledge and insights in these areas.

The HTO (Human-Technology-Organization) research group is frequently asked to provide seminars and lectures on these subjects. To address this demand, we’ve compiled a list of potential speakers and presentations, which you can find here. The presentations are in Swedish, but we can do seminars in English and Swedish.

The list of potential speakers includes Åsa Cajander, professor specializing in AI and work environments; Magdalena Ramstedt Stadin, postdoctoral researcher focused on digital work environments and technostress; Bengt Sandblad, professor emeritus with decades of experience in digitalization and automation of work; Anders Arweström Jansson, professor researching human decision-making with AI; Niklas Humble, postdoctoral researcher in AI and game-based learning; Maria Normark, associate professor studying the critical perspectives of technology use; and Jessica Lindblom, associate professor focusing on the impact of AI, automation, and robotics on digital work environments. For more details, visit our Google document.

Exploring the Impact of AI on IT Professional Competencies

In a world shaped by Artificial Intelligence (AI), understanding its impact on the workforce, particularly on early adopters in the Information Technology (IT) sector, has become crucial. A working group comprising experts from diverse international institutions with Niklas, Andreas and Åsa from the HTO group has embarked on a research study to explore this very subject. This blog post presents the goals, methodology, and expected outcomes of this working group initiative.

The working group, consisting of researchers from New Zealand, Sweden, Scotland, and beyond, aims to understand how AI technologies impact the work engagement of IT professionals and what this means for future computing students. We are working in a distributed team with the study during the spring, and then meet in Milan for the ITiCSE conference in July.

Goals of the Working Group

The primary objective of the working group is to explore the relationship between AI integration and work engagement among IT professionals. By analyzing how AI influences socio-technical dynamics and professional competencies, the group seeks to uncover the implications for both current professionals and computing students who are the future workforce. The research questions guiding this study include:

  1. How does AI influence work engagement for IT professionals?
  2. How does AI affect the socio-technical work dynamics for IT professionals?
  3. What are the implications of integrating AI on the acquisition and enhancement of professional competencies and the learning processes of IT professionals?


To achieve its goals, the working group employs a methodological framework. This involves analyzing a rich dataset of around 70 interview transcripts from IT professionals across various countries. The study combines a multi-vocal literature review and qualitative research methods, including thematic analysis.

The literature review spans work engagement, automation, and motivation within the IT sector, while the thematic analysis focuses on identifying emerging trends and challenges faced by IT professionals in the context of AI integration. The findings from this research will inform future curriculum design and assessment methods in computing education, ensuring they align with the evolving demands of the industry.

Expected Deliverables

The working group’s findings will offer a global perspective on the new competencies required by IT professionals in an AI-driven environment. The final report will provide empirical insights that can guide policy-making, curriculum development, and assessment strategies for AI-integrated educational programs. These insights are expected to be valuable for educational institutions, policy-makers, and industry stakeholders aiming to prepare the future workforce for the challenges and opportunities presented by AI technologies.

Stay tuned for more updates as the working group progresses with this study, contributing knowledge to the field of computing education and professional development.

Krusenberg Writing Retreat: A Haven for Academic Minds

This past week, our HTO research group had the pleasure of having a Writing Retreat at Krusenberg Herrgård, an ideal setting to focus and foster our academic writing projects. Our group of fifteen members gathered with the goal of advancing our individual and collaborative research papers in a distraction-free environment.

Krusenberg Manor, with its peaceful surroundings and comfortable amenities, proved to be an excellent choice for our retreat. The calm atmosphere of the manor allowed us to concentrate fully on our work without the usual interruptions of a busy university setting.

The combination of lots of writing time, supportive group dynamics, and relaxing breaks made for a highly effective retreat. We all left with substantial progress on our academic work, refreshed and ready to continue our research with renewed vigor.

Insights from the FoU Program Conference: Exploring the Impact of Robots, Automation and AI on Work Environments

Last week, we had the privilege of attending the Research and Innovation Program Conference organized by AFA Försäkring. The focus was on understanding how automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) affect work environments. It was an insightful event where we got to learn from various projects, including our own Tara and Arora initiatives. The blog post photo captures a snapshot from our field visits during the TARA project.

Speakers such as Erik Billing from the University of Skövde, Kristina Palm from Karolinska University, and Eva Lindell from Mälardalen University shared their research findings and insights on how automation is changing the way we work. They discussed topics like how automation impacts job roles, the challenges of integrating new technologies into workplaces, and the importance of considering human well-being in the midst of technological advancements.

The conference emphasized the need to bridge the gap between research and practice. It highlighted the importance of finding practical solutions that benefit both workers and organizations. There was also discussion about the future of work and how we can prepare for the changes brought about by automation and AI.

Overall, the conference provided a valuable opportunity to learn, share ideas, and collaborate with others in the field. We left feeling inspired and motivated to continue our research and contribute to the ongoing conversation about the future of work in an increasingly automated world.

Research Update: Exploring Work Engagement in the Age of Automation, Robotics, and AI

In the fast-paced world of technology and automation, keeping a close eye on how these advancements affect the workforce’s engagement and dynamics is essential. The “ARbetsengagemang vid autOmatisering, robotisering och AI” (AROA) project aims to illuminate this crucial aspect of our work. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the project’s first-year report and its progress.

AROA’s journey began with a literature review, where we scoured existing knowledge. This review aimed to identify critical knowledge gaps and relevant research to serve as the project’s foundation.

Collaboration is at the heart of AROA’s approach. In pursuit of comprehensive insights, they formed a reference group of stakeholders from various sectors. This diverse group of participants would be instrumental in shaping the project’s direction. AROA organised a dynamic full-day workshop to facilitate open dialogue and receive feedback.

Moreover, we did field studies to understand the real-world impact of automation and AI by conducting in-depth interviews and fieldwork within the agriculture and railway sectors. These empirical studies offered a closer look at how workers in these sectors were experiencing the transformative effects of technology firsthand.

In August 2023, AROA welcomed a doctoral student, strengthening their research capabilities. Additionally, the addition of Associate Professor Maria Normark brings even more depth to the project’s knowledge base.

These highlighted areas showcase AROA’s first-year progress. As the project evolves, it continues to illuminate the nature of work engagement in the automation, AI, and robotics age.

Celebrating One Year of HTO Research Group Blogging: A Recap

As the year ends and the holiday season is upon us, we want to take a moment to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It’s been an incredible journey for the HTO Research Group blog, and as we celebrate one year of sharing our research insights and findings with you, we’d like to reflect on the events and articles we’ve covered over the past year.

In the past year, we have published 40 blog posts covering various topics in human-computer interaction, technology, and work environment. We’ve shared our research findings, insights, and experiences with you, our readers.

Highlights from the Past Year

Vision Seminars: Pioneering User-Centric IT Design

Our commitment to user-centric IT design was highlighted in a blog post by Åsa Cajander. She discussed the long-standing tradition of conducting Vision Seminars within our research projects, showcasing how this innovative approach has shaped our engagement with technology and work systems design.

AI for Humanity and Society 2023 Conference

In November, our blog covered the annual conference on “AI for Humanity and Society 2023 and Human Values” held in Malmö. Andreas Bergqvist provided an insightful recap of the conference, which featured three keynotes and panels addressing critical issues surrounding AI’s impact on society. The discussions delved into criticality, norms, and interdisciplinarity.

AI4Research Fellowship 2024

A significant milestone was achieved when Åsa Cajander announced her participation in the AI4Research Fellowship. This five-year initiative at Uppsala University aims to advance AI and machine learning research, and we are honored to be part of it.

Exciting New EDU-AI Project

We also announced the commencement of a new research project, the EDU-AI project, which explores the transformative impact of generative AI technologies on education. Starting in April 2024, this project will address critical issues related to digital workplace health and usability in IT systems.

Exploring the Future of Healthcare: Insights from MIE’2023 and VITALIS 2023

Sofia shared insights from two significant healthcare conferences, MIE’2023 and VITALIS 2023. The blog post explored the advancements and challenges in healthcare, focusing on AI’s role in shaping the future of healthcare.

Empowering People with Anxiety: Biofeedback-based Connected Health Interventions

Sofia explored the growing issue of anxiety in today’s fast-paced world and introduced biofeedback-based connected health interventions as a potential solution. The blog post highlighted the significance of connected health approaches in addressing anxiety.

TikTok – What is the Problem?

Lars addressed the concerns surrounding the social media platform TikTok, particularly from a security perspective. He discussed the potential dangers and implications of TikTok’s usage, emphasizing the need for awareness and caution.

Writing Retreat with the HTO Group

Rebecca Cort shared the HTO research group’s tradition of hosting writing retreats and discussed the importance of creating dedicated time and space for focused writing. The blog post highlighted the group’s commitment to productive research.

Insightful Publications

Throughout the year, we shared several research papers and publications, each providing valuable insights into various aspects of technology and its impact on our lives. From the effects of AI on work engagement to the challenges faced by caregivers of cancer patients, our research has covered a wide range of topics.

Looking Ahead

As we enter the new year, we are excited about the continued growth of the HTO Research Group blog. We have more research findings, insights, and events to share with you, and we look forward to engaging with our readers in meaningful discussions.

We wish you a joyous holiday season, and may the new year bring you happiness and discoveries.

Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year from the HTO Research Group!

Vision Seminars: Pioneering User-Centric IT Design

Our research has proudly upheld a long-standing tradition of conducting Vision Seminars within the scope of action research projects. This innovative approach, predominantly led by Bengt Sandblad, has significantly shaped how we engage with technology and work systems design. Niklas Hardenborg’s doctoral thesis further exemplifies our commitment to this approach, which delves deeply into designing work and IT systems through participatory processes, with a strong focus on usability and sustainability.

Over the years, we’ve produced an impressive array of studies and papers demonstrating the diversity and depth of our engagement with Vision Seminars. Our works, authored by researchers like Åsa Cajander, Marta Larusdottir, Thomas Lind, Magdalena Stadin, Mats Daniels, Robert McDermott, Simon Tschirner, Jan Gulliksen, Elina Eriksson, and Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos, span a wide range of topics. These range from in-depth explorations of user involvement in extensive IT projects, as seen in our latest publication on vision seminars called “Experiences of Extensive User Involvement through Vision Seminars in a Large IT Project,” to more focused case studies in areas such as university education administration and the development of train driver advisory systems for improved situational awareness.

A key theme that runs through our studies is the vital role of users in shaping the future of technology and work practices. Papers like “The Use of Scenarios in a Vision Seminar Process” and “Students Envisioning the Future” underscore the proactive role of participants in moulding future digital work environments. Our approach is distinctively collaborative, inviting various stakeholders to craft visions guiding user-centred systems’ evolution.

Our research extends beyond examining specific sectors or systems. It addresses the larger methodological and organizational changes necessary to enhance usability and the digital work environment. “User-centred systems design as organizational change,” by Gulliksen and others, is a prime example of this broader view, embedding user-centred design into the very fabric of organizational processes and culture.

In summary, our body of work contributes significantly to the field of Human-Computer Interaction and sets a benchmark in involving users in the technological design process. Through Vision Seminars, we continue to champion a participatory, user-centred approach in systems design, aiming to create more usable, sustainable, and future-oriented IT systems and work practices. This commitment cements our position as pioneers in the field, constantly pushing the boundaries of how user involvement can shape the technological landscape.

Some of our Research Papers
on Vision seminars

Cajander, Å., Larusdottir, M.,
Lind, T., & Stadin, M. (2023). Experiences of Extensive User Involvement
through Vision Seminars in a Large IT Project. Interacting with
, iwad046.

Cajander, Å., Sandblad, B., Lind, T., Daniels, M., & McDermott, R.
(2015). Vision Seminars and Administration of University Education–A Case
Study. Paper! Sessions!!, 29.

Lind, T., Cajander, Å., Björklund, A., & Sandblad, B. (2020, October).
The Use of Scenarios in a Vision Seminar Process: The Case of Students
Envisioning the Future of Study-Administration. In Proceedings of the
11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Shaping Experiences,
Shaping Society
 (pp. 1-8).

Lind, T., Cajander, Å., Sandblad, B., Daniels, M., Lárusdóttir, M.,
McDermott, R., & Clear, T. (2016, October). Students envisioning the
future. In 2016 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) (pp.
1-9). IEEE.

Cajander, Å., Sandblad, B., Lind, T., Daniels, M., & McDermott, R.
(2015). Vision Seminars and Administration of University Education–A Case
Study. Paper! Sessions!!, 29.

Tschirner, S., Andersson, A. W., & Sandblad, B. (2013). Designing train
driver advisory systems for situation awareness. Rail Human Factors:
Supporting reliability, safety and cost reduction. Taylor & Francis, London

Tschirner, S., Andersson, A. W., & Sandblad, B. (2013). Designing train
driver advisory systems for situation awareness. Rail Human Factors:
Supporting reliability, safety and cost reduction. Taylor & Francis, London

Gulliksen, J., Cajander, Å., Sandblad, B., Eriksson, E., &
Kavathatzopoulos, I. (2009). User-centred systems design as organizational
change: A longitudinal action research project to improve usability and the
computerized work environment in a public authority. International
Journal of Technology and Human Interaction (IJTHI)

Hardenborg, N. (2007). Designing work and IT systems: A
participatory process that supports usability and sustainability
dissertation, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis).

Hardenborg, N., & Sandblad, B. (2007). Vision Seminars–Perspectives on
Developing Future Sustainable IT Supported Work. Journal of Behaviour
& Information Technology, Taylor & Francis

Olsson, E., Johansson, N., Gulliksen, J., & Sandblad, B. (2005). A
participatory process supporting design of future work.

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