Ingunn Johanne Ness


Forsker , Senior Researcher & Theme Leader, SLATE





My research interests are grounded in a socio-cultural theoretical tradition with a particular interest in creative knowledge processes, dialogue/dialogic pedagogy, and social interaction in different learning contexts and how these processes are fostered and led.

 Creative knowledge processes are inherently social, as ideas develop through a combined and relational process of co-construction of meaning and knowledge enhancement through dialogue. This theoretical positioning is grounded in the three main premises of the sociocultural approach: 1) individual development originates in social sources, whether cultural or historical, 2) human action, including both the social and the individual planes, is mediated through tools or signs, and 3) the process spans over time and space. Within this sociocultural approach, Bakhtin’s (1981) dialogical principle, Edward’s (2012) relational expertise, and Vygotsky’s (1930/2004, pp. 9-10) concept of (creative) imagination are productive analytical tools in order to understand the creative knowledge processes in different learning contexts.

With this theoretical approach as a point of departure, I conduct multi-level research in both organizations and in schools/higher education institutions and investigate different leadership strategies and how technology can support and mediate creative knowledge processes. Dialogic pedagogy and Relational leadership have in common that both empower the learner and recognize the intersubjective nature of life, the inherently polyphonic nature of relationships, and the need to engage in relational dialogues.


PhD course Bergen Summer School 2022: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving for the Future: Systems Thinking, Creative Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving and Project Management

UPED688 Teaching Creativity/Creativity in Teaching (English) 2022

PhD course: SDG900 22H / PhD for Innovation. Interdisciplinary course from systems thinking through creative problem-solving to R&D management

EVU Course: LSCI649 21H / Innovasjon for Renovasjon og Gjenvinning

PhD course: SDG900 21H / PhD for Innovation. Interdisciplinary course from systems thinking through creative problem-solving to R&D management

PhD course Bergen Summer School 2021: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving for the Future: Systems Thinking, Creative Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving and Project Management

Vitenskapelig foredrag
Vitenskapelig Kapittel/Artikkel/Konferanseartikkel
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Faglig kapittel
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Populærvitenskapelig bok
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DIKU Projects:

2021 – ongoing: “To educate pharmacists to be ready to meet tomorrow´s challenges” (DIKU project with Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care)

  • FREMFARM will develop the 5-year master's programme in pharmacy at UiB to better attend to skills training that prepares candidates for their future working life. FREMFARM will develop, test, evaluate and implement new ways to include skills training in communication and innovation at repeated points during the study programme. 

2021 – ongoing:  "Bedre læring, bedre jurister" (DIKU project with Law faculty, UIB, The Centre for Experiential Legal Learning (CELL), Universitetet i Oslo, og Eva Hartell, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

  • The project includes all subject at year 1-3 in “rettsvitenskap”, UiB, and the aim is to strengthen the quality of the students´ learning through using student active learning activities and new forms of assessment.

2020 – ongoing: Scaling up Educational Innovation in Schools (SEIS)

  • SLATE, University of Bergen, Tampere University, Finland og Tallinn University Estland
    • Twinning-project SEIS is an EU H2020-WIDESPREAD-2018-03 (TWINNING)-project
  • To scale up innovation in schools educational research needs to be re-conceptualised targeting Responsible Research and Innovation principles, shortening the feedback loops between research and practice in real settings, and raising overall research quality and its impact on practice. Taking the aforementioned challenges as a basis for the Twinning project SEIS, the underpinning concept of the project is capacity building in partnership with Tampere Research Centre for Information and Media, University of Tampere, Finland (TAU) and Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology, University of Bergen, Norway (UiB) through joint scientific activities. These facilitate the reinforcement of Tallinn University (TLU) by taking educational research to a fundamentally new level -- from linear knowledge transmission model to research-innovation-practice model -- while addressing current research challenges in scaling up school innovation, thereby supporting TLU to become a competitive and leading research centre.

2020 – ongoing: IHub for Schools iHub4Schools – Accelerating Digital Innovation in Schools through Regional Innovation Hubs and a Whole-School Mentoring Model

  • The project received funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004676. The project involves 9 partner institutions (Universities, Technology Foundation for Education, Research Centres) from 8 countries: Estonia, Norway, United Kingdom, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Lithuania, and Georgia. The main goal of the project is to coordinate and support the creation of sustainable multi-level Regional Innovation Hubs in local communities across Europe, each fostering the scaling of the digital innovation. iHub4Schools proposes an adaptive and flexible whole-school peer-learning mentoring model built on the innovation hubs.

2020 – ongoing: - Videreutdanningstilbud i digital kompetanse for Smart City

This project received funding from Kompetanse Norge and is a collaborative project between Høgskulen på Vestlandet, BIR AS and SLATE.

Other projects:

2017 – ongoing: Project LEAD C-PRO Leading Creative Knowledge processes in various Learning contexts, SLATE, University of Bergen

  • The LEAD C-PRO project is an umbrella project comprising several sub-projects developing models and concepts for creative knowledge processes and how such processes are led in different learning contexts in organizations and other workplaces, schools, and in higher education.

2020 – 2021: UiB-Project: It Takes a Community: The Digital Transformation of UiB (DigiTrans)

SLATE, University of Bergen

– CO-Leader of part A: " Organisation, Leadership & Innovation”

  • The COVID-19 situation can be seen as a "burning platform". New teaching practices needed to be developed. Such purposeful innovation is not stumbled upon. The University teaching staff seek answers to the new challenges and investigate how to find ways that are functional. New practices are developed to replace and improve existing practices.
  • Innovation often comes from four areas: unexpected occurrences, incongruities, process needs, and industry and market changes (Drucker ref). The COVID-19 situation is a catalyst of the need to innovate the process of teaching. Innovation is about changing the current practices and developing new ways of working. To achieve this there is a need for creativity at all levels in the UiB organization.
  • In part A of this project we will investigate how the university leaders were leading in times of crises and how infrastructure was developed as a challenge-based innovation across UiB.
  • This sub-project falls under the SLATE umbrella project Leading Creative Knowledge Processes: Knowledge Intensive Organizations and Learning Contexts 


2019 – ongoing: Dia-Crea – Dialogic Pedagogy, Creativity & Learning (funded by Universitetsfond, SPIRE midler, and SLATE) In this project we:

  • explore some basic theoretical foundations for dialogue, learning and creativity
  • discuss different international approaches to dialogic pedagogy today
  • explore the connection between dialogic pedagogy and creativity
  • discuss some empirical research studies and dialogic teaching practices

2020 – ongoing: Project: Creativity, Learning & Technology

  • SLATE, University of Bergen
  • One of the most important goals in any education system is to prepare students for the future. What skills are necessary to have in the future to cope with our rapidly changing society with many complex societal challenges? Important 21st Century skills involve, for instance, new forms of (digital) literacies, creative problem-solving skills, collaboration and communication skills, cultural and ethical awareness as well as entrepreneurship ( Thus, it is crucial to understand how educational technologies can be used in novel and creative ways in order to help to engage learners.



2018 – ongoing: Desentralisert Kompetanseutvikling/Desentralized competence development

  • In 2017, the Government of Norway introduced a new competence development model for schools, to provide municipalities and schools with greater freedom of action and empower them to carry out systematic school improvement. This model has the potential to promote collective teacher professionalism but requires a carefully thought out implementation strategy to yield positive results. From 2018, the OECD partnered with Norway to support this implementation process and undertook an initial assessment of the implementation strategy of the model (Improving School Quality in Norway: The New Competence Development Model, 2019).

2018 – 2019: SLATE-prosjekt: Adaptiv læring i matematikk (AlMat) SLATE, Univeristy of Bergen

  • SLATE funded project on the adaptive math program "Multi Smart Øving" i grunnskolen.



Supervision PhD candidates and Master students

2022 – ongoing: Main supervisor for André Mestre on PhD thesis: “World Building and Creative Experience in Multi-User Digital Environments: A Mixed-Method Study of MUVEs in Higher Education”, Faculty of Psychology, SLATE/UIB

2020 – ongoing: Main supervisor for Christina Gkini on PhD thesis: “Models for innovative collaboration in sustainable land use”, Faculty of Psychology SLATE/UIB

2018 – 2021 Co- supervisor for Gunhild Marie Lundberg on PhD thesis: “Employability as Identity Formation – the Transition of Computing Graduates From Higher Education to Employment” Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU

Master students:

2022 – 2024 Supervisor for Adina Marie Nydahl on thesis: TBA Department of Education, Faculty of Psychology, UiB

2022 – 2023 Supervisor for Rasmus Hinrichsen on thesis: TBA Department of Education, Faculty of Psychology, UiB

2022 – 2023 Co-Supervisor for Conor Joseph Healy on thesis: TBA Department of Education, Faculty of Psychology, UiB

2020 – 2022 Supervisor for Henning Meyer Petersen on thesis:  «Creative knowledge development in interdisciplinary teams – a qualitative study of interdisciplinary teams working with digitalization of municipalities» Department of Education, Faculty of Psychology, UiB

2019 – 2020 Supervisor for Glenn Håkon Bekkeli, Ingrid Dahl Furunes, Bjørn Ståle Aalberg on thesis: «Did the project Kompetansekraft contribute to innovation and learning in Verdal industrial park?» Universitetet Nord. 

2018 – 2019 Supervisor for Ole Fredrik Norbye on thesis: “Kreativitetsforvaltning i offentlig sektor» Universitetet Nord. 



 2021. PhDs stepping up to policy brief call.

2019. A first of its kind (pioneer): PhD Interdisciplinary course at UiB.

2019. FN gir ph.d.-kandidatar ved UiB ei utfordring / Creative problem solving. The UN gives PhD candidates at UiB a challenge. University of Bergen Aktuelt / News. /


2021: Keynote, “2nd SFERE conference "Learning, strategies and educational policies” entitled From Policy to Practice: Polyphonic Knowledge processes in the Classroom and in Higher Education

2019: Keynote, Webster University The Real-World impact of Creativity in schools, organizations, and society. “Organizational creativity: What is it? How can we enable it?”



2021: Panel, representing Norway at Equip 2021 Qualitative Research in Psychology in Europe

2019: Expert panel Geneva, The real-world impact of creativity in schools, organizations and society

2019: Expert panel at MIC Conference on Creativity, Bologna

2019: Expert panel at International Conference, Building Bridges – interdisciplinary collaborations for Innovation, Bergen, Norway

2018: Expert panel: Innovation Week, Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland ‘Networked Creativity and Innovation’



2021: Organised a symposium, Methods for Data Collection and Analysis in Social Creativity Research, at Equip2021 Qualitative Research in Psychology in Europe

2019: Chairing conference, Dialogic pedagogy, creativity, and learning, SLATE/ University of Bergen

International Conference Presentations

2021: Presentation: Let´s go native: Exploring creative processes in interdisciplinary groups through an ethnographic design. Equip 2021 Qualitative Research in Psychology in Europe

2020: Presentation, New frontiers of creativity, learning and technology – annual international symposium

2019: Presentation Dialogue, Polyphony, and Creative Knowledge Processes in Education. 3rd MIC Conference Bologna

2019: Presentation Dialogic and creative processes in the classroom and in Higher Education: Dialogic Pedagogy, Creativity, and Learning,

2018: Presentation: Innovation Week, Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland

Polyphonic Imagination: how to lead organizations for Innovation.

 2018: Presentation: Bergen: DFL conference  STEPRE-model: How to facilitate knowledge processes in higher education. 

2017: Presentation: Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland 

Opening the black box of Innovation. 

2017: Presentation: Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP) in Tokyo  Paper on Organizational Innovation work 

2016: NATED, Presentation, slutt konferanse forskerskole, Oslo 

The Room Of Opportunity PhD project

2013: Stirling, RWL8 conference, Presentation paper

The Room of Opportunity: Understanding the phases of creative knowledge development in organizations