Centre for Sustainability and Energy

The AFINO Research Centre

AFINO (Norwegian: Ansvarlig Forskning og Innovasjon i Norge) is a network and learning centre for responsible innovation and corporate social responsibility in Norway.

The centre was established in 2019 for a five-year time period, and is funded by the Norwegian Research Council through the programme SAMANSVAR.

Headed by NTNU in collaboration with BI, UiB and OsloMet, AFINO consists of a network of university partners and research projects. Our associated research partners are UiO TIK, UiS, GenØk and HVL. Together, we explore how research and innovation may better address future societal challenges through research and learning laboratories.

AFINO organizes activities and events to promote better integration between researchers, the industry, the community and policy makers. Our goal is to build new learnings arenas and a common understanding of what responsible innovation is.

At BI the AFINO network includes two Work Packages and one research project

Illustrative Nordic cases on Sustainability, headed by professor Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen with participation from professor emeritus Atle Midttun – Department of Law and Governance

In this work group, we develop case-studies that highlight sustainability challenges and solutions in industries of importance to the Norwegian economy. The cases will be used as input in two of AFINO’s other work groups: The Nordic Sustainable Innovation Dialogue series and Learning arenas through Future Literacy Laboratories. They will also be applied in teaching in Bachelor, Master and Executive programs at the BI Norwegian Business School.

The Nordic Sustainable Innovation Dialogue series, headed by associate professor Kristian Alm, Department of Leadership and Organization.

In this work group, we will involve both academics from the Nordics as well as representatives from business, policy and civil society in deliberating about whether a particular Nordic way of facilitating and anticipating the necessary sustainability transformation exists. More specifically, we will look into issues such as innovation and whistleblowing, and how such a Nordic approach might be competitive in a global landscape.

Algorithmic accountability: Designing governance for responsible digital transformations, headed by professor Christian Fiesler Department of Leadership and Organization.

AI and (self-learning) algorithms are increasingly used to support, accelerate and even replace human decision-making in various public and private arenas. Algorithms determine decisions in stock-trading and finance, fraud detection, scientific discovery, medical diagnostics and online match-making. Such decisions made by artificial intelligence systems are often implicit and invisible and they are linked to both intentional and unintentional consequences. This increasingly makes them objects of public concern and scrutiny.

Against this background, this project offers a business ethics perspective on how social, commercial, and political actors on both a local and global scale can ensure accountability in algorithmic decision-making processes. Gathering a group of international researchers with expertise in law, internet studies, information systems, and management research, the project will conduct a multi-method and multi-stakeholder investigation to develop a comprehensive framework of the affordances, responsibilities, and outcomes of algorithmic decision-making.

Publications and events are listed under respective departments.