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Nordregio’s position regarding the funding of research and research collaboration with Russia and Belarus

The Council of Nordic Ministers decided as of March 4, 2022, to immediately discontinue all collaborative efforts with Russia and Belarus. The Nordic Ministers for Cooperation stand united in this decision. This means that programs, projects, and activities in Russia and Belarus are discontinued until further notice. In light of the stance put forth by the Nordic Ministers for Cooperation, Nordregio issues a moratorium as regards the disbursal of project funds, the acceptance of applications, the execution of projects, and the entry into agreements and the like that involve Russian and Belarusian parties. The intention is to end all contacts and collaborative efforts with governmental and public institutions of Russian or Belarusian origin. “Intellectual and cultural engagement between individuals is an important prerequisite to creating cohesion and mutual understanding between countries. It is devastating that this war in this way will affect cooperation in academia, research and culture – fields that are meant to serve as tools for mitigating conflicts, building global understanding across borders and supporting people-to-people contacts. The Director reserves the right to decide whether specific contacts and collaborative efforts are appropriate on a case-by-case basis if the circumstances change in the future,” says Nordregio Director Rolf Elmér. Nordregio has been involved with four projects with one or several Russian counterparts: FemArc, Semper Arctic, WANO and Accelerating wood construction across Nordics and Russia. All of these projects have been halted.

Nordregio and Female Arctic project at the Barents Spektakel 2022

Nordregio Senior Research Fellow Anna Karlsdóttir will present the Female Arctic project at the Barents Spektakel Festival.  During the 18th edition of the Barents Spektakel, between the 23rd and 27th of February 2022, Nordregio Senior Research Fellow Anna Karlsdóttir will present the Female Arctic project. Funded by the Swedish Institute, this initiative is a participatory filmmaking project where participants from the Murmansk region learn the basics of documentary films to create a movie about women living and creating in the Arctic. During the event, Anna Karlsdóttir will present comparative perspectives from the mining communities in Sweden and women’s agency, drawing on historical evidence and using examples of Swedish women in Norrbotten. The presentation will also feature parts of the film in the making, and curators and participants will share their experiences of co-creating the film. Female Arctic was preceded by a pilot project on empowering women in industrialized cities of the North when the project partners organized workshops in Murmansk.  A new golden age of celebration and decadence? A long overdue reunion with friends and family? Or a false dawn for normality? The 2022 edition will focus on movements, mobility, community, and the re-making of meeting places. The festival aims to become a platform for imagination again through a cross-border programme of performances, exhibitions, concerts, debates, discussions, a bar concept, and an art symposium. During these uncertain times, still in transition, now is the time to ask ourselves: Where do we go from here? Read more about the festival!

Gender equality in the Arctic – freshly published report!

The importance of gender and diversity issues has become increasingly evident and has been engaging researchers worldwide. The Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group and The Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council zoom in on these issues in the Arctic context and have recently published a report “Gender Equality in the Arctic 3”. With a curiosity towards the complexities of the gender equality topic, Nordregio researchers Timothy Heleniak, Anna Karlsdóttir and Justine Ramage have collaborated on the above-mentioned report. It highlights the importance of recognising and appreciating diversity in terms of discourse, gender, Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, governance, education, economies, social realities, sustainability, and balanced participation in leadership and decision making, in both the public and private sectors. The study pulls together material, information, and expertise to provide an overview of gender-related issues in the Arctic and fill knowledge gaps on this subject. It seeks to identify emerging issues, priorities, and concrete strategies that support gender balance and increased diversity. “The “Gender equality in the Arctic phase 3 report” is the product of contributions and engagement from a broad array of stakeholders. Nordregio was pleased to contribute as a reviewer and with data on the mobility chapter, maps in several chapters, and contributions from previous research on gender and environment, empowerment and fate control. Support was provided through the Nordic Arctic Cooperation Programme, which Nordregio administers,” explains Timothy Heleniak, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio.

Open call for picture submission

Help Nordregio to visualise life in the Nordic cross-border areas during COVID-19 Do you live in a Nordic cross-border area? Or have you visited any of these areas before or during the pandemic? Maybe you took a bunch of pictures there? The cross-border communities are facing many challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic and closed borders. Life is not the same any more – many have had to change their daily life and work routines. Nordregio researchers are working on several projects in relation to this situation and you will hear about them very soon. To complement the studies and raise awareness about the current challenges, we would like to ask you to contribute with pictures from Nordic cross-border regions. Guidelines for submission: The submitted picture is made by the person who is submitting; One person can submit up to 5 pictures; The pictures are taken in cross-border areas in the Nordics; The caption describes the location, time and situation portrayed; If people are portrayed in the picture, and their face is recognizable, their signed consent to publish a picture should be provided; If people in the picture are under 18 years old, the parents’ signed consent to publish the picture should be provided; The pictures size is min 1 MB – max 16 MB; The picture formats are jpg, jpeg, png. Share your pictures by the 5th of March! The pictures will be used to illustrate Nordregio’s scientific publications and communications material related to the studies. The submissions are not subsidized but a clear reference to the author will be made. If you have any questions or concerns, please, contact vaida.razaityte@nordregio.org

Nordregio is hiring: Head of GIS Department

Nordregio is inviting applications for a senior position as Head of GIS Department. Working at Nordregio means an opportunity to become part of a truly international research environment with a focus on sustainable regional development in the Nordic region and beyond. It offers significant career development potential in terms of enhancing your competences through applied and policy relevant research, achieving an international network of contacts, as well as getting extensive experience in team and project management. You will also get rich opportunities to collaborate with regional and municipal stakeholders in the Nordic countries. Nordregio is currently seeking a new Head of GIS Department with: Expertise in GIS, geo-data, quantitative analysis, and applied research in the field of regional development. Experience in leading a team and managing projects as well as a successful track record in grant applications. Knowledge in geographies and socio-economic trends in the Nordic Region and beyond. A drive for working in teams and in an international applied research environment. Eagerness to present and disseminate results to different stakeholder groups, both orally and in written format. Competences and qualifications As Head of GIS Department, you both lead and manage the GIS-team by planning and organising tasks and activities, communicate with each team member and contribute to their development. You are also a project manager with responsibilities to attract, initiate and lead externally funded research and innovation projects. The geographic scope of your field of interest includes a European and international perspective and expert knowledge in at least one of the Nordic countries. We appreciate abilities in external networking and in communication with stakeholders. Internally we appreciate analytical and creative skills, complemented by abilities to both cooperate and work on your own. For this position, you have at least 6 years of relevant work experience and an extensive network…

“Radical, equal, innovative and attractive” – The future for rural Europe?

A vital countryside is “attractive to all age groups and satisfying to live, work and spend leisure time in..”: This is how Slovenian rural actors envisage the rural future when opinions were gathered in the Horizon2020-project SHERPA to contribute to the EU’s Long-term Vision for Rural Areas. The input from the rural actors in 20 European countries has been sent to the European Commission and will be discussed within a European platform this week. SHERPA (Sustainable Hub to Engage into Rural Policies with Actors) is a four-year Horizon2020 project (2019-23) gathering knowledge to contribute to the formulation of recommendations for future EU policies relevant for rural areas. It engages actors in science, society and policy in Multi-Actor Platforms (MAPs). Twenty MAPs were established in early 2020, distributed across Europe. Initial activity of these Platforms was to identify local challenges and opportunities – and create a vision for the development of their territory until 2040. The diversity of these characteristics of rural territories was clearly reflected in the discussions of the MAPs. However, several key, common themes and issues emerged as characteristics of a desirable future. Discussions confirmed the significance of: i) the predominant trend of demographic shift. Depopulation, especially in intermediate and remote areas, and population ageing, have been identified as the main demographic challenges currently faced by European rural areas; ii) climate change, through greater frequency of extreme meteorological phenomena such as higher temperatures (leading to drought and forest fires) and lower annual precipitation, which affect activities carried out in rural areas (e.g. agriculture, forestry and fishing); iii) the rise of digitisation of services and the use of new technologies. However, access to broadband remains uneven across territories. Rural areas are attractive in their own right: as a consequence of the high quality of life available, many European rural…

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Health & Well-being in the Nordic Region

Three reports were launched 21 October, see the links below to the reports and check the webinar recording here:  Are the Nordic people equally healthy and happy? How are digital solutions improving health and well-being? And how can digital solutions in health care and social care contribute to regional development? Although the results of these studies show that the Nordic countries are performing well on many indicators related to health and wellbeing in an international comparison, there are persistent gaps between regions, socio-economic groups and gender. Digitalisation has the potential to overcome some of these gaps by improving accessibility to welfare services and thus wellbeing. Increasing access to fast Internet broadband and to bridge digital divides, are important issues for Nordic governments to address. Otherwise, we run a risk of cementing persisting inequalities in the Nordic countries. Three reports, State of the Nordic Region 2020 – Wellbeing, health and digitalization edition,  Digital Health Care and Social Care – Regional Development Impacts in the Nordic Countries with  In-depth accessibility study – Regional development impacts in the Nordic countries, are initiated and funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and produced by Nordregio. Digital Health Care and Social Care – Regional Development Impacts in the Nordic Countries, report is also part of the Swedish presidency at the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2018 as a prioritization project Health care and care with distance-spanning technologies (VOPD, Vård och omsorg på distans).

6-8 March ReNEW conference: Sweden and Finland front-runners in naturalisation

The Nordic societies are increasingly multicultural and the number of the population with foreign background is on the rise. Naturalisation is often viewed as “the last step” of the integration process where a person is granted the citizenship of their host country. This year, the 3rd annual ReNEW conference takes place 6-8 March, in Copenhagen and focuses on global challenges and Nordic solutions, discussing also migration and integration in the Nordics. According to a Eurostat study, Sweden is leading among the Nordics, with more than 18% of the population being born outside of its borders and research from 2016 conducted by Nordregio showed that Sweden and Finland are front-runners when it comes to naturalisation rates. But, there are clear disparities among Nordic countries regarding this process and these might be caused by the differences in requirements. For example: Sweden is the only Nordic country that does not require language skills when applying for citizenship, the duration of residence also varies, in Sweden and Finland it being the shortest – five years, while in Denmark, a foreign-born person has to live for nine years before being able to become a citizen. Furthermore, Denmark has passed a law that requires all people applying for citizenship to shake hands with officials during the naturalisation ceremony. ReNEW, which stands for Reimagining Norden in an evolving world, hosts panels on topics that are extremely relevant in the current climate, such as: Nordic cooperation and region building, democracy and governance, public policy, gender equality, multiculturalism, education and other ones. Nordregio Senior Research Fellow, Anna Karlsdottir, will be facilitating the panel on Nordic variation when it comes to the integration of refugees and migrants. Anna will also offer a presentation regarding the naturalisation process and citizenship policies and their particularities across the Nordic countries, based on findings from research conducted…

New maps on gender related differences in the Nordic Region

Together with NIKK, the centre for Nordic Information on Gender, Nordregio has produced a series of maps highlighting gender based disparities within the areas of education, work and access to certain welfare services In the Nordic countries, women make up the largest proportion of people living in cities, while rural areas have the highest proportion of men. To illustrate the living conditions of men and women in the Nordics, NIKK – the centre for Nordic Information on Gender – has asked Nordregio to develop a series of maps that show the differences of among other things education, participation in the labour market and access to care at the municipal level for women and men, respectively. – Our new map collection shows a number of general trends within the Nordic countries and thus also show both the differences between the countries and between for instance rural and urban areas, says project manager Elin Engström from NIKK. – Working with maps and other materials like this gives us better tools to work for equal rights in the entire Nordic Region, through the pedagogical visualizations they provide, she adds. Many of the maps are produced in connection with the publication of State of the Nordic region 2018, but the main part have been tailored to the needs of NIKK and the focus on gender related issues. You can see the maps here See also the general map collection of Nordregio or consult www.nordmap.org to make your own maps.

Increased income inequality high on the political agenda

The 2018 edition of the Nordic Economic Policy Review analyses the growing income inequality in the Nordics and has been edited by two Swedish Professors of Economics: Lars Calmfors and Jesper Roine. The review was launched on 18 April at the Ministry of Finance in Stockholm and opened with an introduction by Kjell Nilsson, Director of Nordregio, followed by an introduction by the Swedish Minister of Finance, Magdalena Andersson. Three of the articles from the review were presented and the launch finished with a panel discussion with Karl Petter Thorwaldsson, Karolina Ekholm (State Secretary) and Carola Lemne. Income distribution issues have gained more and more attention in the last years in all economically advanced countries and this holds for both the public debate and academic research. This interest reflects an international trend towards increased income inequality, a trend which has also affected the Nordic countries long associated with far-reaching egalitarian ambitions. Since increases in inequality in the Nordics have been very pronounced, these developments have attracted attention internationally. The articles in the review deal with different aspects of income inequality in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Among the issues discussed are: • Less redistribution through tax and transfer systems than in the past. • How demographic factors – an ageing population and more single households. have contributed to larger income inequality. • Substantial increases in the share of incomes going the very top of income earners. • Gender inequality and its contribution to overall income inequality. • The role of public consumption in reducing inequality. Lars Calmfors stressed “that policy responses to increased income inequality should depend on how it is viewed: Is it an adjustment to excessive income compression in the 1970’s and 1980’s? Or is it a threat to the Nordic model jeopardizing desirable equity”. In the latter…

Income Inequality in the Nordic Countries – How do we handle it?

Recent decades have seen a strong trend towards increasing income inequalities in all advanced economies. Although the Nordic countries have traditionally been characterized by low income dispersion, they have also been exposed to this trend. The 2018 Nordic Economic Policy Review Conference takes place in Copenhagen on 26 October and focuses os issues related to income inequalities in the Nordic countries. The conference will be chaired by Claus Thustrup Kreiner, University of Copenhagen. Key issues that will be analysed are: How do income inequality in the Nordic countries relate to the international trend? Which similarities and differences in developments of income inequality are there among the Nordic countries? How have policies responded to increasing income differentials? What are the implications of demographic changes, such as an ageing population and migration, for income inequality? How much can – and should – tax and benefit policies do in order to even out income differentials? What can, and should, education policy do? How important is the gender dimension for income distribution developments? At the conference, preliminary versions of papers commissioned for the 2018 issue of the Nordic Economic Policy Review, will be presented and discussed. The issue is edited by professor Lars Calmfors, Stockholm University and professor Jesper Roine, Stockholm School of Economics. The papers are written by leading international and Nordic scholars in the field. They will be commented by both policy makers and academic colleagues. The conference will also include a panel discussion on income distribution policies with participation of policy makers. Full programme and registration available here: https://nepr.eventbrite.com The Nordic Economic Policy Review was launched by the Nordic Ministers of Finance in 2009. The review aims to make the latest economic research more accessible to decision makers and contribute to Nordic knowledge exchange on economic policy issues and challenges. The…

30 May, watch live launch “Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges”

The Nordic Region has plenty of experience of investing in gender equality, green transition, sustainable food production and welfare technology and the Prime Ministers are now inviting the world to share this knowledge. “The Nordic countries make up the most integrated region in the world. Decades of working together mean that we have built up experience and devised solutions that will help secure a more sustainable future for the generations to come. As prime ministers, we are now seeking to share these solutions to the challenges facing the world,” says Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2017. Nordregio has a relevant role in the initiative by providing the core story of the Nordic cities. Read more about the project Priorities The Nordic Region is the first part of the world to break the link between economic growth and climate change. The Nordic Region has pioneered and showcased the link between gender equality and growth. The Region is also at the forefront of innovation in welfare technology and research into diet and sustainable food production. The rest of the world is increasingly interested in these three priorities – Nordic Green, the Nordic Gender Effect and Nordic Food and Welfare – and the countries will now investing resources in meeting the demand for Nordic solutions. “They will serve as effective tools in all of our joint work to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” Solberg points out. Pushing hard for sustainability goals The initiative is one contribution by the Nordic prime ministers to pushing for the ambitious global goals in the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Agenda 2030. It will also enhance the global business potential for Nordic companies in sectors like welfare technology, green energy renewable fuel and sustainable urban…

Nordic Geographers Meeting June 18–21 2017: Call for papers is open!

The 7th Nordic Geographers Meeting takes place in Stockholm June 18-21 2017 and submissions of abstracts are now welcome. The theme of 2017’s conference is “Geographies of inequalities”, an interesting topic and perhaps more actual than ever. Some of the topics that will be discussed at the different sessions include social injustices, segregation, climate change, regional and gender inequalities and climate change; all covered by and integrated in the general theme. Researchers from Nordregio will hold five different sessions, you can read about them below. All sessions can be found here. The deadline for abstract submissions is December 15 2016. Sessions held or co-held by researchers from Nordregio: Is there a Nordic ‘planning culture’? Exploring commonalities and differences in times of growing complexity and inequalities From a European perspective, the commonalities of Nordic national planning systems are often emphasized with a focus on the prevailing legal frameworks as well as administrative and political structures. However, such structuralistic perspectives often overlook other more culturally embedded characteristics and cognitive frames that have received increased recognition in recent comparative planning research. It is argued that approaching planning as ‘culturized practices’ can offer valuable insights into the praxis, performance, and perception of planning. In doing so important analytical tasks are to uncover taken-for-granted beliefs, ideologies, normative mindsets, and the ethos among planning professionals in both private and public organizations. Also, it might be fruitful to question the extent to which organizational-led rules and procedures have underpinned how planning practices have evolved over time. In addition, within the Nordic region, we can observe a number of policy experiments currently taking place to respond to urgent societal and spatial challenges such as the introduction of new contractual arrangements, re-scaling of institutional layers, and soft governance approaches. These divergent and/or convergent responses will not be inconsequential in…

Socially inclusive cities in policy and practice

The second parallel session focused on ‘Socially inclusive cities in policy and practice’. Mitchell Reardon, a resident of Vancouver and a former employee of Nordregio, was the first speaker of the session. Mitchell spoke about tactical urbanism: small-scale interventions to transform urban spaces in ways that make them more usable, sustainable, and potentially inspire long-term change. Good ideas and practices at a small scale and short -term can be transferred to other places and districts in the city. Tactical urbanism also stresses the importance of inclusive decision-making processes. Reardon gave three examples: Viva Vancouver is a public organisation funded by the city, which was established to change residents’ perspectives on what streets can be used for. Viva Vancouver involves creating new public space on the streets and ‘unlocking’ existing urban spaces for public art installations. In Dublin, public funding allows employees to devote 1% of their work time towards innovation. This time is used for the trial of new ideas within a defined space for a short period of time (from 1 week to 1 year). Ideas come from the public, architects, planners, scientists, etc. Successful ideas are then posted elsewhere in the city (e.g. electrical boxes). This approach fosters innovation within the city of Dublin, and many public and grass-root innovations emerged. In San Diego, the San Diego Civic Innovation Lab is embedded in the mayor’s office. It aims to revive pubic space and catalyse public engagement with the urban area. It is an interdisciplinary initiative, involving many workers from across different sectors. Most notably, these projects have been used across the border with Tijuana, where work has been done in neighbourhoods that have been traditionally marginalized. Even with relatively few resources, this initiative contributed to positive transformation within the San Diego-Tijuana community. The participants in the session were…

Regional development in the Arctic

The overall theme of the second day of Nordregio Forum 2014 was Regional development in the Arctic. Key note speakers Kaisu Annala, Strategic Director at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in Finland and Rasmus Ole Rasmussen, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio started the day. Lisbeth Nylund, Technical Director at the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation in Norway opened the day, and stated that the Arctic is changing in exceeding speed, which also increases opportunities in the northern sphere, making regional development across borders more and more important. There are many characteristics joining the Nordic Arctic together. Common challenges are e.g. peripherality, small businesses, long distances and the climate. But there are also common possibilities, including first and foremost the people living in the Arctic regions. Nylund is a member of the Nordic working group on sustainable regional development in the Arctic, and said that one thing that has been discussed in the working group is a better platform for exchanging experiences between the northern regions, e.g. concerning the fly in and out-phenomenon and large industry projects. Lisbeth Nylund, Rasmus Ole Rasmussen and Kaisu Annala Regional development and innovation in a more diversified industrial future What is happening with population in the Nordic countries? The population is still moving to the cities, in all regions in all the countries. Kaisu Annala presented maps showing how the development in terms of migration, employment, GDP and high education and R&D looks in the Nordic countries. At the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in May 2014, a statement was made on climate change, stating that we should do our part to effectively limit the increase in global temperature. However, investments in fossil fuel are still increasing, and doing so faster than in non-fossil fuels, so it doesn’t look like we are going…

Gender and communicative planning towards climate change response

On March 28th 2014 Nordregio’s Research Fellow Christian Dymén successfully defended his PhD-dissertation from the Department of Urban Planning and Environment at KTH. The dissertation is entitled Engendering Spatial Planning: A Gender Perspective on Municipal climate Change Response. The empirical foundation of Christian’s dissertation is found in Swedish municipalities’ planning practice. While climate change mitigation has been on the agenda of spatial planning practitioners for over two decades, adaptation has only become influential in spatial planning practice in recent years. This trend is evident not only at the municipal level but also at the regional and national levels. The revised planning and building law from 2011 states that municipalities must consider climate change. In parallel, a body of research focusing on the relationship between gender and concern for environmental and climate change and arguing that women are more concerned and proactive with respect to environmental issues has emerged. However, this research has been criticized for being essentialist and for stigmatizing women and men. The long-term aim of Christian’s dissertation is to contribute to knowledge on how a gender perspective on municipal spatial planning can contribute to effective and well-informed climate change response, as well as on how a gender perspective, as an analytical framework, can be developed to analyze, on the one hand, spatial planning related to climate change and, on the other, spatial planning more generally. One of the main contributions of his dissertation is to demonstrate that, by including a gender perspective in municipal climate change response, aspects that may be important for achieving effective and well-informed spatial planning related to climate change response that are not typically prioritized can be afforded prominent places on the agenda. In the dissertation, these aspects are referred to as feminine values and perspectives—or attributes. The dissertation also contributes to the development…

Fullsatt seminarium om attraktiva och hållbara stadsregioner

Utmaningar och möjligheter att genom fysisk planering främja grön tillväxt Ladda ner presentationer Attraktiva och hållbara stadsregioner: utmaningar och möjligheter för nordiska storstadsregioner – Lukas Smas, Nordregio Fynsk Samarbejde – Henrik Bernberg, Byregion Fyn Regionalplan for Jaeren – samordnet areal- og transportplanleggning på tvers av kommungrenser – Christine Haver, Rogaland fylkeskommune Land use, housing and transport planning in Tampere City Region – Kimmo Kurunmäki, Joint Authority of Tampere City Region Regional fysisk planering i Östergötland och Linköping – Karin Elfström, Linköping, och Mats Helander, Östsam Knowledge background on spatial planning and green growth: a Nordic perspective – Asli Tepecik Dis, Nordregio Gender and intersectionality towards sustainable development – Christian Dymén, Nordregio Planning models as decision support systems: useful tool for planners? – Lars Berglund, WSP Analysis & Strategy, och Ryan Weber, Nordregio Den 5 februari samlades representanter från nordiska stadsregioner, konsulter och forskare på Nordregio i Stockholm för att utbyta erfarenheter och kunskap om fysisk planering på en stadsregional skala och diskutera hur planering kan bidra till att skapa attraktiva och hållbara stadsregioner och grön tillväxt. Dagen inleddes med en presentation av den nordiska arbetsgruppen för grön tillväxt: planering och hållbara stadsregioner, som var värd för seminariet. Syftet med seminariet var, förutom nordiskt kunskapsutbyte, att diskutera arbetsgruppens olika kommande aktiviteter under programperioden 2013-2016, och att presentera den forskning som redan gjorts inom arbetsgruppens huvudtema: stadsregional planering för grön tillväxt. Seminariets huvudfrågor och konklusioner reflekterades tydligt i den avslutande paneldebatten, såsom kommunala gränsers minskade relevans och det faktum att närliggande kommuner ses mindre som konkurrenter och mer som dragplåster för regional utveckling. Möjligheten till fysisk planering på regional nivå efterfrågas även av kommuner på flera håll, och vikten av att integrera sociala perspektiv och kvalitativa aspekter i planeringsarbetet understryks. Det poängterades att forskningen bidrar med ett helhetsperspektiv till att hantera dessa…