Scientific committee

mariannMariann Villa
Centre for Rural Research, Norway

Mariann Villa joined the Centre for Rural Research in 1990. The topics of rural images and im-migration to rural areas have constituted a long-standing focus of her research, and the main findings from this work are published in her doctoral thesis (2005). Today her main research area – in addition to rural images – is rural cultural life.




tuijaTuija Mononen
University of Eastern Finland, Finland

University of Eastern Finland, Finland

DSocSci (social geography) Tuija Mononen (born 1968) has focused in her previous research on rural issues, impacts of mining in rural areas, geography of food, nature-society –relationship and actor network approach. Mononen is a chair person of Finnish association of rural researchers and developers. She is familiar with rural research networks and studies as well as national and global level.

Mononen is working as a special researcher at a department of historical and geographical studies, Univ. of Joensuu. At the moment she is working in two projects concentrating mining and rural issues. In Argumenta project “Responsible mining” she works as a scientific coordinator. In research project “Preconditions and tools for social license to mine” she is concentrating on the roles and responsibilities of mining companies and rural municipalities in local development.


hanneHanne Wittorff Tanvig
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Senior Adviser / Researcher, Forest & Landscape Denmark/Urban and landscape studies




ceciliaCecilia Waldenström
University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Senior Lecturer, Department of Urban and Rural Development, SLU

I work as a teacher and researcher focusing on learning and practices of rural policies in Sweden. I am also head of department at the Department  of Urban and Rural Development

My research interests are in questions of learning in local rural development and in practices related to the rural development policies. Preconditions for, and practices of, learning in partnerships, networks and in local projects, are themes in my research. Empirically, the focus has been on Leader, local development groups and municipal development efforts in Sweden.

I am also involved in the SLU research platform Future Agriculture and relations between agriculture and rural development, especially in the face of increased competition for natural resources, is a recent interest. In multidisciplinary research project on collaboration with biogas in Sweden, I explore learning in socio-technical systems.

thoroddÞóroddur Bjarnason
University of Akureyri, Iceland

Professor, University of Akureyri, Iceland





majaMaja Farstad
Centre for Rural Research, Norway

Maja Farstad holds a cand.polit. degree in sociology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She is currently working on a doctoral dissertation on the second home phenomenon, where her focus is on the relationship between urban second home owners and the local population in rural areas. She has previously conducted research on farmers’ professional pride, gender issues within agriculture, and green care. Furthermore, she has gained knowledge about the experience economy as a research field through her review of previous research within this field. Maja is especially interested in research on various micro-sociological issues.