Project Team

Dr Mark Graham

Principal Investigator

Mark Graham is the Professor of Internet Geography at the OII, a Research Fellow at Green Templeton College, and an Associate in the University of Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment. His research can be divided into three categories: ICT for Development, Internet and Information Geographies, and Economic Transparency.

He has published articles in major geography, communications, and urban studies journals, and his work has been covered by the Economist, the BBC, the Washington Post, CNN, the Guardian, and many other newspapers and magazines. He is an editorial board member of Information, Communication, and Society, Geo:Geography, and the Environment, and Big Data and Society. He is also a member of DFID’s Digital Advisory Panel and the ESRC’s Peer Review College.
Twitter: @geoplace

Sanna Ojanperä

Sanna Ojanperä‘s work on GEONET focuses on the geographies and development impacts of knowledge economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on how new economic practices and processes are taking root in the region as a result of changing connectivities.

Her research focuses on participation in knowledge economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and on the impacts these activities have on the society. Sanna earned a Master’s Degree from American University (Washington, DC) in 2013, where she studied international development, governance, and innovative research methods as an ASLA-Fulbright Fellow. She has been working with the Digital Engagement team of the World Bank Governance Global Practice and helped to develop an evaluation framework for projects and initiatives that focus on digital engagement. She has also worked with the Inter-American Development Bank’s Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness Unit, where she was the quantitative researcher supporting the development of a strategic framework for the tourism sector.
Twitter: @SannaOjanpera

Dr Mohammad Amir Anwar

Mohammad Amir Anwar’s role as a Researcher in ICT, Geography and Development for the GEONET project focuses on digital work in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is interested in emerging geographies of Sub-Saharan Africa that are associated with the growth of knowledge economy in the continent.

Previously, he has worked as a Research Assistant for an Irish Research Council funded project on the role of information and communication technologies in enterprise development and industrial change in Africa. Amir received a PhD from Trinity College Dublin. His doctoral thesis explored the political economy of the growth and development of Special Economic Zones in India. His research focuses on the grounding of neoliberal globalisation in the Global South, particularly in India and Africa.

Nicolas Friederici

Nicolas Friederici works mainly on the Digital Entrepreneurship work package. He studies how digital entrepreneurship works in environments that are far more challenging than Silicon Valley or London. His comparative grounded research covers African cities including Nairobi, Lagos, Accra, Kigali, and Harare. Nicolas is interested in the interplay of environmental factors with entrepreneurial motivations and capacities. Ultimately, this work addresses the question how and why digital entrepreneurship flourishes in some places but not in others.

Previously, Nicolas’ dissertation research at the OII focused on technology innovation hubs in Africa. The thesis proposed a theory of how hubs work, and how they differ from traditional and known forms of innovation intermediation and business incubation. During his doctoral studies, Nicolas paid a research visit to SCANCOR at Stanford, was a Clarendon Scholar, and received a fieldwork grant from the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. He continues to be active as a consultant, applying his insights to complex real-world problems in emerging markets. For instance, he recently helped the World Bank conduct an assessment of the digital entrepreneurship ecosystem in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Twitter: @friedema


Dr Ralph Straumann

Ralph Straumann is a Visiting Researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute. Besides, he works as a geographic information scientist with Ernst Basler + Partners in Zurich, Switzerland. His research is focused on user-generated content, particularly around knowledge-sharing and collaboration platforms.

Ralph has a background in geography, cartography and political science, with a PhD in geographic information science from the University of Zurich. In his PhD he investigated geomorphological landform terms and their ontological structure and devised approaches to characterise the extent and nature of such fiat entities. After his PhD, he moved into the research field of Internet geographies. He is particularly interested in user-generated content, knowledge-sharing, social media and mapping platforms and in political and societal questions that arise from these. He has published in geographic outlets about, e.g., biases in platforms such as Wikipedia and Flickr.
Twitter: @rastrau

Dr Stefano De Sabbata

Stefano De Sabbata is a research associate at OII. He also works as a lecturer in Quantitative Geography in the Department of Geography at the University of Leicester. Stefano’s research focuses on the geographies of information and the ways that those information landscapes are changing over time. He is particularly interested in how geographic places are discussed and represented in quantitative data, how geography influences information access, production, and representation, and urban geography. Stefano also teaches GIS and information visualization.
Twitter: @maps4thought

Dr Christopher Foster

Christopher Foster is a research associate at OII. He also works as a lecturer in ICT and Innovation at the Information School of the University of Sheffield. His research focuses on innovation in developing and emerging markets, with a particular interest in low income groups. His recent research includes work on innovation in the Kenyan mobile sector, and an examination of the impact of fibre-optic Internet on value chains in East Africa.

Prior to working at the OII, Christopher received a PhD from the University of Manchester. His doctoral thesis explored the growth of mobile sector innovation in Kenya, and its implications for innovation theory, firm strategy and public policy. Christopher also has extensive experience working in the ICT sector. As a consultant in a number of NGOs working in Africa, he has helped organisations to better link and understand their recipients through the use of ICTs. Christopher also has substantial experience of innovation in the UK, having previously worked in R&D in the telecommunication sector.
Twitter: @cgfoz