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Nordregio contributes to Swedish green transition plans that unlock almost 3 billion SEK in EU funding

Last week the European Commission approved plans for three Swedish regions to restructure key industries and support a just green transition. The plans were co-drafted by Nordregio, and their approval unlocks SEK 2.9 billion in funding from the EU Just Transition Mechanism. “We have worked intensively on these plans and the Commission’s approval is welcome news,” explained Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs, Anna-Caren Sätherberg, in a press statement.  “Sweden should be a world leader in the climate transition, and we will use new technology to create jobs throughout the country. The Just Transition Mechanism is an important piece of the puzzle in achieving this.” Nordregio supports with detailed analysis and research The process for this approval goes back to 2020 when Nordregio was hired by the EU Commission at the request of Tillväxtverket, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. Together with consulting firm Trinomics, Nordregio was tasked with supporting Norrbotten, Västerbotten and Gotland in the preparation of the so-called Territorial Just Transition Plans. For Nordregio’s researchers that involved detailed analysis of socio-economic impacts through stakeholder interviews, quantitative analyses, and in-depth research to identify the major social impacts of climate transitions in the regions. “Sweden has now designed a remarkable planning instrument to ensure that no one in these regions is left behind in the transition to a low carbon society” said Carlos Tapia, Nordregio Senior Research Fellow and leader of the project. He also noted that the drafting of the Territorial Just Transition Plans in Sweden was a learning process for all the stakeholders involved and was documented in an article published by Nordregio researchers. Recognition of Nordregio’s contribution When announcing the approval, the European Commission praised the project and said that the Swedish Territorial Just Transition Plans could be considered a benchmark for the rest of the EU.…

Can local ownership facilitate the transition towards greener energy systems? Highly topical research project maps out possibilities and challenges

The interest towards the supply of energy resources and, above all, a transition to a more sustainable energy production, is bigger than ever. Many private citizens, municipalities, cities, companies, and housing associations are asking themselves how they could secure their own energy production through the use of local forces. The project Local ownership in transitions towards sustainable energy systems explores how local engagement can facilitate the transition towards green energy production. – The goal of the project is to form a solid understanding of the complexity and potential of local ownership in the energy transition, says Senior Research Fellow Elin Slätmo at Nordregio. Slätmo says that the project aims to cover different energy-related projects from various locations around Sweden and explore how local ownership can be organised to facilitate the transition. Uppsala University and Nordregio are collaborating on the project, which is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten). The project is highly topical and therefore it is important to study the opportunities and risks of local energy ownership. The research project has a reference group to ensure the relevance and timeliness of the project in Swedish society. The reference group consists of members who are knowledgeable and engaged in the sustainable energy transition. One member of the reference group is Anna Bäckstäde, who works as an Energy and Climate Advisor at Energicentrum Gotland. Bäckstäde supports both private citizens and organisations in cutting emissions and finding solutions towards a higher level of energy efficiency. Have you seen a shift in people’s behavior, are they more interested in green energy sources than before? – Absolutely! I just had a solar panel assembler at my home, and I learned to know that the number of installations has increased by over 100 percent. I also get requests about small scale wind power, and people…

Nordregio at GreenLab Summit 2022

Karen Refsgaard, Research Director at Nordregio, will participate at GreenLab Summit 2022 presenting on the topic “Rural Development and Just Green Transition”. GreenLab is a green and circular energy park, a technology enabler, and a national research facility. It is specialized in accelerating research and technology to scale, and its concept transforms the way green energy is produced, converted, stored, and applied. GreenLab tests theories in practice and looks for viable green solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. This year, the program of the summit focuses on how to create green growth, rural development, and a just green transition through industrial symbioses and energy innovation. At Nordregio, we have collaborated with GreenLab on several projects on bio-economy including the BioBaltic project. Nordregio has also had a joint event together with GreenLab and OECD at COP26 in Glasgow. Read more about the GreenLab Summit 2022 here.

UppTalk 29 March: Local communities need local energy production

There is a need to promote locally-owned energy projects in Sweden. The EU emphasizes this as a key to the sustainable energy transition. In this week’s UppTalk, Johanna Liljenfeldt (Uppsala University) and Elin Slätmo (Nordregio) will talk about how to increase successful local ownership of energy by sharing knowledge, and studying opportunities, risks and the values of local energy ownership for local communities across Sweden. The session in UppTalk is based on the project Local ownership in transitions towards sustainable energy systems (Lokalt ägandeskap i omställning till hållbara energisystem), funded by the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten). UppTalk Weekly is a popular science seminar series by Uppsala University. It takes place on Zoom where you can take part in interesting conversations. UppTalk 29 March at 12-12.30 (CET), in Swedish.  Join here: https://www.upptech.uu.se/kalendarium/evenemang/?eventId=69964 Visit project website: https://nordregioprojects.org/locally-owned-energy/

Nordregio welcomes new researchers!

Nordregio is welcoming two new researchers to our team, hoping to continue producing high-quality and relevant research further.  Ana de Jesus, Senior Research Fellow. De Jesus is a social scientist with a multidisciplinary background working at the intersection of global studies and economics, focusing on innovation, circular economy and sustainability. Hilma Salonen is joining Nordregio as a Research Fellow. Salonen is a social scientist who specialises in sustainability transitions, remote locations and energy politics, with a PhD focusing on Russian regional development in the Arctic and how it links with renewable energy prospects. She aims to broaden her scope to include Finnish rural regions and explore making sustainability transitions more just by focusing on habits. Salonen’s hope for working at Nordregio is to work with more practical results and more engagement with the general public.

Nordregio Forum 2021 – some highlights!

On the 23rd and 24th of November, Nordregio Forum gathered people online and offline at the Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki in two sessions that discussed the future of work and the steps needed for a just green transition. Every November, Nordregio Forum manages to gather a line-up of inspiring and knowledgeable speakers who joined online from all corners of the Nordics or live in the studio at the Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki. The hybrid event was split into two intensive days that focused on the future of work, the issue of multilocality and challenges and solutions for a just green transition. The event’s topics also sparked interesting questions from the audience, both online and in the studio, that led to thought-provoking conversations. The first session, on 23 November, focused on the future of work in a world slowly emerging from a pandemic. We listened to inspiring examples from Maria Svensson Wiklander, co-founder of the Remote Lab, Sweden, from Lamia Kamal Chaoui, Director at the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, about how remote working is reshaping regional development in the COVID-19 era, from Janne Antikainen & Sari Rannanpää, experts on regional development at MDI Consultancy, about the example of Finland and many more. Watch session 1: The regional impacts of remote work Session 2, on 24 November, focused on just and green regional development and dived deeper into the subject of the Nordics being perceived as global front-runners towards carbon neutrality and the impact observed at local and regional levels in this matter. Among many inspiring talks, we heard from Pekka Timonen, mayor of Lahti, the 2021 EU Green Capital, about the inspiring work they have been doing, from Johan Kuylenstierna, Chair of the Swedish Climate Policy Council, who spoke about the ways to design effective climate policy that yields regional impact and we…

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Nordregio Researchers at COP26

Nordregio Research Director Karen Refsgaard and Senior Research Fellow Anna Lundgren are participating in the COP26 – United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 by moderating a panel discussion on circular and bio-economy and presenting Just Green Transition. On the 4th of November, Karen Refsgaard, Research Director and Deputy Director, will moderate a panel discussion called “Fostering circular and bio-economy – unleashing the potential with new business models” in the COP26 adjacent event “Rural Regions-Realising the net-zero opportunity”. The event is organized by OECD and Scottish Enterprise in partnership with the United Kingdom and Scotland.  On the 6th of November, Anna Lundgren, Senior Research Fellow, will participate in the Nordic climate action Talkshow. Dr Lundgren will join a panel discussion called “Just Transition – social injustice and stolen futures” and present the “Not “Just” a Green Transition – Examining the path towards a socially just green transition in the Nordic Region” project.  “What are the perceptions of the green transition among people in different regions and in different social groups in the Nordic region? In this Nordic Council of Ministers’ project we will have a special focus on vulnerable groups in seeking knowledge to how we can create policies for a just green transition,” says Anna Lundgren. Nordic climate action Talkshow is a joint event between the Nordic Pavilion in Glasgow and the Nordic COP26 Hub in Helsinki.

“Country Road, Take Me Home? – Nordic Sustainable Economy”: New podcast with Nordregio Researchers

Nordregio Researcher Director Karen Refsgaard and Research Fellow Alberto Giacometti talked in a podcast organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ office in Estonia. The discussion tried to identify whether the urbanisation trend may be reaching a tipping point as new opportunities for rural areas arise from the increasingly flexible labour markets and the transition towards the green economy. With the rural population in steady decline, politicians and public administrations are grappling with making rural areas more attractive places for people to live and work. But is that even something we need to be doing? The new podcast focuses on the plusses and minuses of living in the countryside and debates whether urbanisation is a problem that needs solving. “Among other issues, one argument discussed was that being rich in biological resources, rural areas can play an important role in driving the green transition. However, the need for close collaboration amongst local actors and effective policy was highlighted as key conditions to enable value creation in rural areas. Otherwise, we will reinforce the existing urban-rural dynamics, where rural areas are mere primary producers whilst added value occurs in processing plants at the urban fringe and retail companies typically based in cities,” says Alberto Giacometti, who specialises in regional development, governance and planning processes. Although many romanticise the idea of living in rural areas, many challenges stop people from taking the initiative. “One of the biggest concerns for young people is whether there will be a job and a steady income,” said a pod guest, Tanel Tang, a young Estonian entrepreneur who recently moved to rural areas and started an organic egg farm. According to Tanel, another challenge to move to rural areas is that “you need to be wealthier than the average person because you need to renovate an old…

Nordregio and SLU host a conference “Ruralities and Regions in Transition”

The Division of Rural Development (SLU) in collaboration with Nordregio gather all the Swedish rural researchers together in a unique setting in Åkerberga, 11-12 November. Ruralities and Regions in Transition is a conference that offers the opportunity to meet, share and discuss the recent research topics of rural and regional development in Sweden. The organizers have received a wide range of contributions seeking to present theoretical advancements, offer novel methodological insights and provide new empirical evidence related to rural research. This in turn can contribute to more robust policy initiatives and planning practices in Swedish rural and regional development. Karen Refsgaard, Research Director at Nordregio, will be one of the main speakers at the conference. Anna Karlsdóttir, Elin Slätmo and Leneisja Jungsberg from Nordregio have submitted their abstracts for the conference book and will attend the event to learn more about the topic and change the experience with others. “The conference Ruralities and Regions in Transition is an opportunity to meet and engage with other scholars. I will present the work we are doing in SHERPA on rural multi-actor platforms. I hope to get insights from the perspectives that the Swedish researchers bring, and maybe find researchers interested to be part of the platform Nordregio and Rural Sweden are about to establish,” – says Elin Slätmo, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. In the conference, Research Fellow at Nordregio Leneisja Jungsberg will present the outcome of her PhD thesis. “It has been a 4-year process where I studied local strategies and how rural communities can overcome territorial challenges such as population change, economic benefit retention from resource-based industries and adapting to environmental change such as permafrost degradation,” she says. The themes of this year’s conference: Sustainable rural areas: site development and rural ‘livelihoods’ Entrepreneurship and social innovation in a rural context…

Nordregio at Rural Research Day 2021

Research has shown that rural areas own enormous development potential when it comes to value creation and employment in green conversion. Public-private partnerships, industrial communities, and sustainability as common goals are among the tools that ensure green success. This topic is the focus of a presentation given by Dr. Karen Refsgaard, Research Director and Deputy Director at Nordregio at the Rural Research Day 2021. Rural Research Day is part of a larger plan to bring together researchers and practitioners from areas that are important to rural development, with the hope of promoting knowledge-based rural development. Proximity, sustainable development in rural areas, and the connection between country and city are among the main themes of this year’s conference hosted by “Landdistrikternes Fællesråd” in Denmark. During the conference, Dr. K. Refsgaard will give a presentation about the green transition in Nordic rural areas and will discuss best practices and paths to success. The Nordregio Research Director will also describe some of the challenges that can hinder the process of a fair green transition. “What is the green transition without rural areas? The bioresources and their related human and institutional resources are very much located in rural and coastal areas in the Nordic countries. Green investments from pension funds are ready to invest in long-term sustainability. Digitalization demands new skills and new businesses for development in rural areas”, says Dr. K. Refsgaard. According to the Nordregio Research Director, the Covid-19 has put in a boost for new working habits and new ways of living in rural areas. She highlights that there is a need for rural areas in order to improve the green transition. In the conference, examples from BeUBio project (Young people leading the way to a sustainable economy) will be highlighted during the presentation. Find more about the project and read…

Just Green Transition in the Nordics: analysis of three Swedish regions

Transitioning towards a carbon-neutral economy and society has become a major policy goal in the European Union. Researchers agree that this will challenge our economies and societies in the years to come. But the transformations will also provide opportunities to create development pathways that are sustainable in the long run. Many initiatives for climate-neutral economy are already taking place in the Nordics and Nordregio has analyzed three regional examples. Just Green transition is high on the European policy agenda. Nordregio researchers just released the new article on the topic “Towards a Territorially Just Climate Transition—Assessing the Swedish EU Territorial Just Transition Plan Development Process”. The analysis focuses on three sectors and regions – mineral non-metallic industry in Gotland, petrochemical industry in Västra Götaland, and steel industry in Norrbotten. According to the researchers, just green transitions will create major economic opportunities for regional economies specialised in strategic sectors such as renewable energy provision and sustainable transportation. But if transitions are not adequately planned, territories with carbon-intensive economies and facilities could pay a major economic and social toll for the transformation. “An important criterion for socially fair climate transitions is that ‘no one is left behind’. But the regional and local transition plans should also ensure that environmental burdens and social impacts are not transferred to other regions either. For this, it is critical to find a balance between the technical, social, and spatial elements of a just transition”, says Carlos Tapia, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. This project supports The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth in the development of Regional Territorial Just Transition Plans in Sweden, which shall support the direction of funding from the EU Just Transition Fund 2021-2027.

New project: Local ownership in sustainable energy systems

Uppsala University and Nordregio are starting a new project on sustainable local energy systems in Sweden. The new project, called Local ownership in transitions towards sustainable energy systems, is a three-year research project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten). It aims to understand the role local ownership has in facilitating energy transitions and how public participation processes or community-led projects contribute as a success factor. Local and citizen ownership are highlighted by the EU as essential means for the energy transition and, this project answers these issues with qualitative and participatory research design. -To reach political targets, energy systems within the EU and Sweden are currently undergoing rapid and extensive transformations. Local ownership can help facilitate these changes and promote more socially acceptable and just processes and outcomes, says Project Manager Johanna Liljenfeldt from Uppsala University. Case studies and a knowledge exchange network are helping to co-create knowledge on how to foster participation and ownership in energy transitions with the goal to produce consistent policy recommendations. – I look forward to co-creating policy recommendations and guidelines with the local communities. It makes the project relevant on policy and practical level, adds Research Fellow Sandra Oliveira e Costa from Nordregio. The project will have its own website this fall, but at the moment, further information is found at www.nordregio.org. For more information, contact:Johanna LiljenfeldtProject Manager, Uppsala Universityjohanna.liljenfeldt (at) geo.uu.se Sandra Oliveira e CostaResearch Fellow, Nordregiosandra.oliveiracosta (at) nordregio.org

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…

“The work we are doing here is very important” – welcoming our new director Rolf Elmér

This week we welcome the new Director of Nordregio, Rolf Elmér. We discussed the challenges he expects to tackle, the expectations for his mandate and what he considers is imperative to focus on.   We know that you come from the private sector And how do you think this will influence your work in the public one now, at a Research Center?   Rolf Elmér: Since I have a long experience working in both the private sector and in a national employer’s organisation, I can leverage that and use it in our communication and, perhaps help mobilise and engage with companies in the private sector. I think that’s very important. If we want to reach our goal, the vision of a greener new society, we have to have the companies’ support and understanding of new policies. It is they who will innovate and provide the new, smarter and greener solutions for consumers. So it’s very good to have a direct connection between the public sector and the private sector.   And what are some challenges you’re expecting to tackle first?  RE: I think the first challenge I have is trying to make the Nordic Region’s vision as the greenest and most integrated region in the world operational for Nordregio. To create efficient and very effective programs and projects that can help all of us go in that direction and really leverage the strengths of the Nordic Collaboration. Because 2030 is around the corner and we have to make haste to ensure real progress. So I think that’s a big operational task ahead of us to get programs and metrics in place.  And what are you most looking forward to at the beginning of your mandate?  RE: I enjoy very much working in a multinational environment, with people from all over the world, where everyone is inspired by doing good things together. And that’s fantastic! I think it’s really exciting to be part of a bigger journey that tries to make good foundations for good policy decisions. So I think the work we are doing here is increasingly important. We will also review and update our Nordregio strategy according to changes in the environment and expectations for us as a leading research institute which will be a really good way for me to set…

Farewell interview with Nordregio’s Director Kjell Nilsson

At the end of January, Dr Kjell Nilsson is retiring after eight years as the director of Nordregio. Under his leadership, the institute has grown from 30 to more than 50 employees and has more than doubled its turnover – thereby making Nordregio the largest institute under the Nordic Council of Ministers. Before retreating towards retirement and some well-deserved retirement days with the family in Skåne, Nilsson looks back at his career with fond memories and leading Nordregio as one of his greatest achievements. But he ensures us that even though quieter days are on the horizon he has no intentions of leaving work life entirely. Nilsson’s achievement to lift Nordregio to its current altitude is undoubtedly thanks to his strategic and persistent work to strengthen the institute’s role within the Nordic collaboration and to further expand its research portfolio with more European projects. Thanks to an increased number of assignments from the Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordregio currently serves eight out of the twelve policy sectors, and the number of European projects is on the rise. “I hope that Nordregio continues to develop towards a Nordic equivalent to the OECD, but that is something that the Nordregio’s new director Rolf Elmér, the employees and the board members should decide”, Nilsson paints his vision for Nordregio. When it comes to the work of the Nordic Council of Ministers, he shares his insights on how to make it more effective based on his extensive experience: “The Nordic Council of Ministers needs to strengthen its muscles through a clearer division of labour between the institutes and the secretariat in Copenhagen. The secretariat should concentrate on the political side and the governance of its institutions and leave the project activities to the institutes”, Nilsson states. Looking back, Nilsson shows gratitude for all the…

“Population on Permafrost in the Arctic” – new paper by Nordregio researchers!

The new year starts with the publication of a scientific article penned by Nordregio researchers, focusing on the impact of permafrost thaw on the people living in the Arctic circumpolar permafrost region. In 2017, close to five million people lived in 1162 permafrost settlements in the Arctic Circumpolar Permafrost Region. As a result of permafrost thaw, the number of inhabitants is projected to decrease by 61.2%, from 4.9 million to 1.7 million—many of them living in permafrost-free areas by 2050. Titled “Population on Permafrost in the Arctic”, the paper is the first demographic study assessing the population living in these areas and the huge impact of permafrost thaw upon their lives. Half of the current settlements will be affected, eventually disappearing due to thawing of permafrost. The consequences will vary depending on the remaining ones’ location, future climate trajectories and the extent to which settlements can adapt in the remaining time before permafrost thaws. The authors of the paper published in the journal of Population and Environment are Nordregio Research Fellows Justine Ramage, Leneisja Jungsberg,  Senior Research Fellow Tim Heleniak and GIS Specialist Shinan Wang.   

How to prepare for Home Alone Christmas 2020?

Are you longing for big family celebrations or secretly feeling relieved and excited to spend this Christmas on your own? In 2020, Christmas is going to be more digital and more local than ever. Nordregio’s Home Alone Christmas Map tells you exactly how to prepare for it. A good internet connection and access to grocery stores are very important success factors when one must spend a “Home Alone” style Christmas this year. For those of you who are saddened by the Christmas restrictions, we have good news. The recent developments in digital solutions allow us to meet and celebrate with family and friends online. And for those of you who are feeling relief when thinking about skipping the celebrations, you can still blame it on the poor broadband connection if you live in some parts of Finland, Norway, the Faroe Islands or Greenland, but do not try this excuse in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland or Åland. You could instead find comfort in endless streaming possibilities for Christmas movies! Due to travel restrictions, near and far, the go-to place this year is our very own, local grocery store – plan for an evening to remember with a local twist. Unless you planned ahead and ordered most food items online. If you are running late, as usual, every kilometer and mile counts when you are rushing to the local store to fight over the last piece of ham. We see no reason to worry for late-runners in most cities across the Nordic Region. But if you are in Iceland or the northern parts of Finland or Sweden – well, we really hope you have planned ahead.  As you can see on the map, Home Alone Christmas conditions vary greatly across the Nordic Region. Take a look at the municipality you live in and…

16 Dec: How regional policies are greening the EU Social Housing sector?

Welcome to the Final Conference of Social Green project online Pathways to Greener Social Housing in Europe on the 16th of December at 10-12.30 (CET). This event seeks to provide an enjoyable experience for everyone promoting interaction and boosting shared learnings from the Social Green projects around EU. Social Green partners will disseminate the results & benefits from the implementation of the regional Action plans. Read more about the event and sign up: https://www.interregeurope.eu/socialgreen/news/news-article/10263/pathways-to-greener-social-housing-in-europe/ More about the Social Green project: https://nordregio.org/nordregio-magazine/issues/people-and-cities/social-green-making-social-housing-more-energy-efficient-and-affordable/

10 December: Welfare in sparsely populated areas and how to organize social services and care

One of the biggest challenges in sparsely populated areas in the Nordic region is to recruit and retain staff in social services and care. The needs and challenges are great. At the same time, there are good solutions that contribute to sustainable welfare. 10 December, welcome to a full day of keynote presentations and topical debates in a digital conference Välfärd i glest befolkade områden – organisering av socialtjänst och vård (Welfare in sparsely populated areas and how to organize social and health services) organized by Nordic Welfare Center. – There is no denying that education in rural areas is a challenge and young people move to the cities to study. But modern digital solutions enable distance-learning and distance healthcare solutions – we just need good internet connections and the human capacity to exercise them, describes Kjell Nilsson, Director at Nordregio.  Also joining from Nordregio are GIS Analyst Oskar Penje and Senior Research Advisor Anna Berlina who share results from the currently ongoing mapping of Social services and care in rural areas in the Nordics. One can also learn about Digital Health Care and Social Care – Regional development impacts in the Nordic countries from a recent study shown below and the results will be shared in this event by Anna Lundgren, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. The Nordic Welfare Center organizes the conference in collaboration with Nordregio and Glesbygdsmedicinskt centrum. It is part of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ presidency in 2020 for Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The event language is mainly Scandinavian, but some presentations will be in English.  More here: https://nordicwelfare.org/evenemang/valfard-i-glest-befolkade-omraden-organisering-av-socialtjanst-och-vard/?fbclid=IwAR232szgO64GD656xBxUaZ4r5FznSX3G56YcalkvcoOYrhtuzWwcq7KF2Yo