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Dr. R.S. (Roanne) van Voorst

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
WP Groep: Docenten Antropologie
Fotograaf: Jacqueline Dooren

  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Postbus 15509
    1001 NA Amsterdam
  • Profile

    I am a futures-anthropologist, having obtained my PhD (cum laude) at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research in 2014. Since then, I have conducted anthropological fieldwork all over the world, from Inuit communities in Greenland, to Jakartan riversettlements and European hospitals. I am currently working as a researcher and lecturer at the Anthropology department (University of Amsterdam). 

    My work focuses upon what I call sustainable humanity: how do we stay humane, in times of datification and technologization? In particular, I study the ways in which humans and alghorythms increasingly work together and make decisions, creating new inequalities and perspectives in global society. In doing so, I am always interested in creating innovative methodologies.

    Furthermore, I am motivated to make my research as accessible as possible for readers from a wide range of backgrounds, by combining academic writing with deep journalism, the latter being published in books, newspapers and opinionmagazines. My academic books have been published internationally, by Routledge, HarperCollins and Polity. My articles have appeared in journals such as Third Quarterly, Journal of Future Robot Life, Disaster Prevention and Management, Urban Forum and Politics and Governance. 

    I am currently the Principal Investigator of the ERC-grant awarded project ‘Health-AI’. I also serve as an the President of the Dutch Future Society, an organization for professional future-foresighters. 

    I have developed several University-courses for Bachelor and Masterstudents, as well as for non-academic professionals. Recent examples are ‘When Disasters meet Conflict’ (free available on Coursera), and Sustainable Humanity (UvA). I currently teach the BA- and MA-courses Practicing Etnography and Writing Applied Etnography. Besides, I supervise bachelors, master and PHD students while writing their theses.

    Keywords & research expertise

    • Anthropology
    • Anthropology of data
    • Articifical Intelligence
    • Fair AI
    • Future-foresighting

    Administrative roles

    President/Chair of the Dutch Future Society

  • Research

    Research methods

    • Etnography
    • Participant observation
    • Deep fieldwork
    • Digital anthropology
    • Delphi-surveys
    • Future-in-the now research

    Current research projects

    If people hear about ‘alghorytmic decisionmaking’, they typically think of a computer system and the data sets itcalculates. In reality, all alghorytmic decisions are made in collaboration with humans: it is us, who create them, evaluate them, follow theiroutcomes or deviate from them. My project is an anthropological study of the collaboration between humans and alghorytmic systems, in the field of global public health – a field where the growth in datafication and automation is unprecedented. In six country cases, the researchers of this project will look at how doctors, programmers and algorithms make decisions together, for example in the field of DNA genetic research, or preventive health care.

    Research grants & honours

    • Van Voorst, R. (2022). ERC-Starting grant for study on the future of public health: Health-AI
    • van Voorst, R. (2021). Researchgrant ACES for study on digital health care.
    • van Voorst, R. (2021). Researchgrant Catharina van Tussenbroekfonds.
    • van Voorst, R. (2010). LOVA/Marjan Rens Thesis Award


  • Teaching & PhD supervision

    Overview courses

    Phd Supervision

    TBA: the Health-Ai project is currently hiring 2 PhDs and 1 Postdoc; all researchers will be cosupervised by Roanne

  • Publicaties


    • van Voorst, R. (2023). Leven doet hopen: Ouders over de toekomst van hun kinderen . Podium. [details]



    • Kool, L. D., Pospisil, J., & van Voorst, R. (2021). Managing the humanitarian micro-space: the practices of relief access in Syria. Third World Quarterly, 42(7), 1489-1506. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2021.1896359
    • Minkman, E., Stevens, V., & van Voorst, R. (2021). Backfiring boomerang brands in Jakarta: the case of the Great Garuda. In S. M. Zavattaro (Ed.), Public Branding and Marketing: A Global Viewpoint (pp. 207-226). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-70505-3_12 [details]


    • van Voorst, R. (2020). Juxtapositions in Jakarta: How Flood Interventions Reinforce and Challenge Urban Divides. Urban Forum, 31(3), 373-388. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12132-020-09391-8



    • Hellman, J., Thynell, M., & van Voorst, R. S. (Eds.) (2018). Shaping Jakarta: Claiming spaces and rights in the city. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315111919
    • Srikandini, A., Hilhorst, T., & van Voorst, R. S. (2018). Disaster Risk Governance in Indonesia and Myanmar: The Practice of Co-Governance. Politics and Governance, 6(3). https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v6i3.1598
    • van Voorst, R. S., & Hilhorst, T. (2018). Key points of Interactive Research: An Ethnographic Approach to Risk. In J. Zinn, & A. Olofsson (Eds.), Researching Risk and Uncertainty Methodologies, Methods and Research Strategies (pp. 53-67). Palgrave.


    • van Voorst, R. S. (2016). Natural Hazards, Risk and Vulnerability. Floods and Slum life in Indonesia. Routledge.


    • van Voorst, R. S. (2015). Formal and informal flood governance in Jakarta, Indonesia. Habitat International.
    • van Voorst, R. S. (2015). Reappraising the risk society thesis: towards a normal uncertainty perspective. Health, Risk & Society.
    • van Voorst, R. S. (2015). Risk-handling styles in a context of flooding and uncertainty in Jakarta, Indonesia: An analytical framework to analyse heterogenous risk-behaviour. Disaster Prevention and Management, 24(4), 484-505. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-04-2014-0065
    • van Voorst, R. S., & Hellman, J. (2015). How one risk replaces the other. Floods and evictions in Jakarta. Asian Journal of Social Science, 43(6), 786.
    • van Voorst, R. S., Nooteboom, G., Hellman, J., & Wisner, B. (2015). Introduction to the ‘risky everyday’. Disaster Prevention and Management, 24(4). https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-04-2015-0077




    • van Voorst, R. S., & Hilhorst, T. (2017). Humanitarian action in disaster and conflict settings: Insights of an expert panel [research report]. Erasmus University.
    • van Voorst, R. S., & Stepputat, F. (2017). Urban Governance and Sustainable Development. (4 ed.) Danish Institute for International Studies .


    • van Voorst, R. (Guest ed.), Wisner, B. (Guest ed.), Hellman, J. (Guest ed.), & Nooteboom, G. (Guest ed.) (2015). Risky everyday: Southeast Asian perspectives. Disaster Prevention and Management, 24(4), 430-538. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/toc/dpm/24/4 [details]
    • van Voorst, R. S. (Author), & Padawangi, R. (Author). (2015). Floods and Forced Evictions in Jakarta. People, politics and planning collide in riverside slum Kampung Pulo. Web publication or website, New Mandala. http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2014/08/21/floods-and-forced-evictions-in-jakarta/
    • van Voorst, R. S., & Stepputat, F. (2015). Natural hazard, urban governance, aid and future development cooperation in the Global South. Danish Institute for International Studies .


    • van Voorst, R. S. (2021). Strengthening community resilience in future conflict scenarios: learnings from the Partners for Resilience programme. Partners for Resilience.
    • van Voorst, R. S. (Author). (2021). www.detoekomstvanliefde.nl. Web publication/site


    • van Voorst, R. S. (2019). Research brief ‘Delphi Survey’ – survey results on future scenarios in humanitarian aid and development work. ISS, Erasmus University.
    • van Voorst, R. S., Hilhorst, T., Mena, R., Desportes, I., & Melis, S. (2019). PDNA Guidance: Integrating Conflict Sensitivity. UNCHS/UNDP/World Bank.



    • van Voorst, R. S. (Author). (2017). Localization - according to whom?. Web publication/site, blISS.



    • van Voorst, R. (2010). Jullie zijn anders als ons: jong en allochtoon in Nederland. De Bezige Bij. [details]


    • van Voorst, R. (2009). On politics, glaciers and social problems [Review of: K. Andersen (2008) Gronland. Maegtig og Afmaegtig (Greenland: Powerful and Powerless)]. Scandinavian Newsletter, 12, 18-19.


    • van Voorst, R. S. (2021). De impact van Kunstmatige Intelligentie op de toekomst van liefde, seks en gender. Paper presented at Mobile World Congress 2021, Barcelona, Spain.


    • van Voorst, R. S., & Handgraaf, M. J. J. (2012). Coping with floods in a riverbank-settlement in Jakarta Indonesia: the influence of material and cognitive indicators on human actor's coping behaviour. Abstract from International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC).


    • van Voorst, R. S. (2011). Risk-responses in uncertain normality. Fieldworking in an eviction-prone slum in Jakarta. Paper presented at Ethical and Methodological Challenges of Working in Space of Non-Existance.

    Prijs / subsidie

    • van Voorst, R. (2022). ERC Starting Grant for research on Health-AI: The collaboration between medical experts and algorithms. https://www.uva.nl/en/content/news/news/2022/11/erc-starting-grants-for-three-uva-researchers.html
    • van Voorst, R. (2021). Researchgrant ACES for study on digital health care.
    • van Voorst, R. (2021). Researchgrant Catharina van Tussenbroekfonds.
    • van Voorst, R. (2021). Top 10 best nonfictionbooks in the Netherlands.
    • van Voorst, R. (2015). Juryprijs.
    • van Voorst, R. (2010). LOVA/Marjan Rens Thesis Award.
    • van Voorst, R. (2009). 2e prijs LOVA/ Marian Rens Scriptieprijs voor Master-scriptie 'I work all the time-he just waits for the animals to come back. Livelihood adaptation strategies of Inuit males and females to climate changes in Greenland.'.



    • van Voorst, R. (speaker) (13-11-2021). State Surveillance VS Human Sustainability, Nacht van de Ontdekkingen.
    • van Voorst, R. (speaker) (10-11-2021). The impact of AI on societal relations, Impakt, Utrecht.
    • van Voorst, R. (speaker) (6-9-2021). Impact of AI in datingapps for privacy, World Conference of Technology.
    • van Voorst, R. (speaker) (3-9-2021). The future of health, Hartenkamp Groep - Health Professionals.
    • van Voorst, R. (speaker) (5-6-2020). The future of Applied Anthropology, Applied Anthropology.
    • van Voorst, R. (speaker) (5-2-2009). Climate changes, adaptation and migration in Greenland, Paper presented at the World Conference of Humanitarian, Groning.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Nevenwerkzaamheden
    • Dutch Future Society
      Chair/President, advising role as Anthropologist of the Future