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Between hand-outs and stand-outs: The dynamics between rural actors and national goals in Nordic green transitions

Renewable energy projects, with their considerable demand on land use, are rapidly changing the Nordic rural landscapes. At the same time, many people living in the impact area of new instalments feel that national green transition policies put a disproportionately heavy toll on rural people. The resulting sense of powerlessness leads to a heavy resistance that is difficult to solve when a project is already underway. How can we ensure that national and local policymakers recognise the potency of rural actors and engage them in a meaningful manner? How could they create policies that help harness the potential of green transitions instead of dumping them on rural areas in a top-down manner? Welcome to our webinar and discussion on 11 December at 14-15.30 CET! This event presents the policy recommendations drawn from the report Can local value creation induce a sense of justice during green transitions? and discusses them in the context of examples from other Nordic regions. The discussion will focus on concrete steps that both rural actors and national and regional policymakers can take to ensure a more just energy transition in the future. We will tap into the viewpoints of both research and local action groups. Sign up here: Programme Discussants: Panel discussion: We welcome the audience to participate with their questions to the panel! The research project A Just Green Transition in rural areas: local benefits from value creation has analysed the possible benefits and barriers in the context of six case studies in rural regions in Denmark, Finland, and Norway. The project is part of the Nordic Council of Ministers’s Thematic Group for Green and Inclusive Rural Development in the Nordics.

Escaping Fast Fashion – How you can act for change

Did you know that people in the Nordics buy more clothes than the rest of the world and our consumption has gone up during the last 20 years? It’s time to check our shopping habits and spin towards more sustainable choices. Join us for an evening where we find a new direction through an interactive mending workshop and keynotes to deepen our understanding of fast fashion’s destructive impacts on our planet and its people! Escaping Fast Fashion: How you can act for change from The Nordic House on Vimeo. Textile production generates 1.2 billion tons of CO2e annually, outdoing emissions from international flights and shipping. However, we continue to buy too many clothes, as many as 40 garments per year! Join us the night before Black Friday, on 23 November in Reykjavik or online to explore sustainable fashion alternatives. Under the guidance of Icelandic textile artist Ýrúrarí and with inspiration from the Nordic Council Environment Prize Winner 2023, we’ll breathe new life into our old clothes and uncover ways to break up with fast fashion. It is possible to participate both physically and online, and participation is free, but you need to sign up on the event page. Program highlights: The event is organized by The Nordic House in Reykjavik, the Nordic Council Environment Prize, and the project Youth for Sustainable Living, led by Nordregio. Funder: The Nordic Council of Ministers

ARENA: What is the role of the regional authority in tackling grand societal challenges?

ARENA is a space designed to be a hub for knowledge exchange on green, innovative, and resilient regions among key experts in the various fields of research, policy, and practice in the Nordic countries and beyond. This session aims at sparking a debate on what the role of the regional authority is, or should be, in spearheading major transformations. In recent years, the ‘mission-oriented policy approach’ has gained significant attention in political and academic discourse. This new policy approach means pulling resources and science together in a new way to address some of today’s grand societal challenges and to promote transformative change. However, this has sparked a debate about the risks connected to directionality. This is particularly clear in innovation policy, whether such directionality is narrowing the scope of innovation, and whether it introduces place-blind, top-down approaches. To disentangle this debate, speakers will be invited to, first, take a step back and guide us through the functions that regional authorities play in national government systems before delving into what arguably is the emerging position of regions as ‘drivers of change’. Afterwards, there will be a panel discussion and an opportunity for the audience to participate. Speakers: Moderator: We welcome the audience to participate in the discussion with their questions and comments to the panel!

Fiscal stabilizers in Nordic countries: Nordic Economic Policy Review Conference

The ongoing 21st century has brought with it a series of big global shocks the management of which has posed severe policy challenges, not least for fiscal stabilization and stability of public finances. Nordic countries are no exception to the rule. Have conventional fiscal stabilizers, most notably fiscal multipliers and automatic stabilizers remained stable over time and in the face of these shocks? Furthermore, since macroeconomic uncertainty has arguably increased due to the series of big shocks alluded to above, can we observe new features in the interplay between discretionary fiscal policy decisions and fiscal multipliers and automatic stabilizers? These are some of the issues that will be presented and discussed during this peer-review conference of the upcoming Nordic Economic Policy Review. The conference will take place in Reykjavik and online on the 8th of November. The seminar will address questions like: We invite you to a full day with presentations of recent research by leading Nordic experts, comments by academics and policymakers, and policy discussions. We offer coffee and a light lunch for all onsite participants. Agenda November 8, 2023 8:30 – 9:00:              Coffee and registration 9:00 – 9:05:              Welcome remarks 9:05 – 10:15:            Fiscal stabilizers in Iceland                                     Presentation by Arnaldur Sölvi Kristjánsson, University of Iceland                                   Discussants: Gunnar Haraldsson, Icelandic Fiscal Council Katrín Ólafsdóttir, Reykjavik University 10:15 – 10:30:          Coffee break 10:30 – 11:45:           Fiscal stabilizers in Denmark                           …

CITY TALKS 1-2-3: Espoo, Täby, and Stavanger share experiences on green urban planning

Did you miss our latest and final webinar in the series? Watch our recording of it above. NORDGREEN – Smart Planning for Healthy and Green Nordic Cities project invites Nordic city planners and developers, architects, healthcare sector representatives and governance enthusiasts to join Friday morning webinar series CITY TALK 1-2-3 where four cities share learning on: CITY TALKS 1-2-3 CITY TALK 1: Engaging youth in planning – Espoo broke all records with an online tool10 February 2023, 9.00-10.00 CET (+1h in FI)Aalto University, City of Espoo, Nordregio This webinar shares how the city of Espoo gathered over 6,000 respondents of which over 2,000 were children and youth. This led to over 70,000 map markings via PPGIS surveys making this the largest citizen survey ever made in Finland. How did Espoo manage to work with schools and activate the youth? In this webinar, Espoo shares its success factors, which lie mainly in the process and smart collaboration. CITY TALK 2: How to use and connect green space and health indicators in city planning28 April 2023, 9.00-10.00 CET (+1h in FI)Norwegian University of Life Sciences NMBU, City of Täby, Nordregio Local authorities need knowledge, tools, and indicators in order to develop and manage green spaces in a way that can effectively promote health and well-being for the urban dweller. During this city talk, the researchers and planners share their experiences and discuss the use and applicability of objective and perceived green space and health indicators for planning purposes. CITY TALK 3: How can green space improve health? Stavanger explores new design methods22 September 2023,  9.00-10.00 CET (+1h FI)Nordregio, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU, The City of Stavanger In this webinar, researchers present evidence and evidence-based models for green space design – What kind of health-promoting aspects does green space planning…

From vision to action: Agenda 2030 in rural municipalities

Invited Nordic frontrunners will share their experiences and results How can rural municipalities integrate sustainability in their day-to-day work and what are the main benefits for the local community? Together with invited municipalities, Distriktssenteret (Norway), Hela Sverige ska Leva (X-ing Gävleborg), and the audience, we will discuss challenges, and concrete methods to develop a holistic approach to sustainability work. Rural municipalities in the Nordic countries share demographic and socio-economic challenges, as well as untapped potential – why not share experiences too? We welcome you to co-create this learning session, whether you work in community development, planning, or policy-making! Through Q&A and breakout rooms, you can share your thoughts, best practices, and experiences with Nordic frontrunners.   Agenda 13:00 Welcome and introduction – Nordregio 13:10   Distriktssenteret, NorwayResults of the study “Sustainability in rural municipalities”. Overview of working methods and processes to support sustainability work at the local level Roar Werner Vangsnes, Senior advisorMarianne Solbakken, Senior advisor 13:25 Tingvoll Municipality, NorwayExperiences from working with the Municipal Societal Plan and concretizing the sustainability goals into local reality and local action. Odd-Arild Bugge, Municipal director 13:40 Hela Sverige ska Leva X-ing Gävleborg & Söderhamn municipality, SwedenFrom understanding SDGs and developing local development plans at the village level to the municipal-wide sustainability work Mats Leivig, Board member (Hela Sverige ska Leva)Bitti Alvin Lehman, Rural developer and Project manager (Söderhamn municipality) 14:00 SDGs as a strategic framework in smaller municipalities in Finland – highlights from a forthcoming study Frans Cederlöf, researcher Ii municipality, FinlandClimate actions in Ii – Local solutions to global challenges. How did a small place in northern Finland manage to become one of the most eco-friendly towns and engage citizens in the process?   Marjukka Manninen, Mayor of IiNoora Huotari, Business developer 14:20  Breakout sessionsShare your experiences and take part in in-depth group discussions with one of the presenting municipalities 14:50 Final comments from…
  • 19 June 2023

Webinars on the Future of Urban Agriculture

Join this webinar series that will explore the multifaceted realm of urban agriculture. Delve into the intersections of innovation and legislation, culture, and education and science, and discover how they collectively shape the future of urban farming. Whether you are an urban agriculture enthusiast, policy-maker, community leader, educator, or simply curious about the future of our cities, these webinars offer a unique opportunity to gain insights, share experiences, and contribute to the ongoing transformation of urban agriculture. We look forward to your presence at these enlightening events as we collectively cultivate a sustainable and vibrant urban future. Webinar 1: “Cultivating Change: The Future of Urban Agriculture in the Nexus of Innovation and Legislation” When: Jun 8, 2023 11:00 AM Riga/Helsinki Register in advance for this webinar: In this webinar, we will unravel the transformative power of innovation and legislation in urban agriculture. Explore cutting-edge technologies, practices, and policies that are revolutionizing urban farming. Gain insights into how innovation maximizes food production, enhances sustainability, and ensures resilience. Discover the crucial role of legislation in creating an enabling environment for urban agriculture to flourish. Join us to be part of the conversation shaping the future of our cities through urban farming. Webinar 2: “Cultivating Community: The Future of Urban Agriculture in Connection with Culture” When: Jun 8, 2023 02:00 PM Riga/Helsinki Register in advance for this webinar: Join us for an inspiring webinar that explores the profound relationship between urban agriculture, culture, and community-building. Discover how urban agriculture can strengthen community ties, celebrate cultural diversity, and foster social cohesion. Learn about the transformative power of community gardens, rooftop farms, and urban farming projects in promoting healthy lifestyles, preserving cultural heritage, and connecting people with nature. Be part of this conversation as we cultivate vibrant communities through the lens of culture and urban…

Nordregio at Ungdommens Folkemøde NORD

Nordregio and the Youth for Sustainable Living project will be present during Ungdommens Folkemøde NORD in Copenhagen on 21-22 April. Through funding from Sustainable Living, four youth organisations will participate and promote different aspects of sustainability during the event. ReGeneration 2030 You have the power to fight for a better future! We need collective youth power for system change, and ReGeneration 2030 will help you to find a role in the sustainability movement that suits you. Learn more about tangible actions and find out more about different youth sustainability organisations in different regions, and participate in creating an interactive artwork piece in the container to demonstrate your commitment to fighting climate change collectively. Visit their container: Friday at 14-19 and Saturday at 13-19, Sustainability & Future theme area. Listen to their talk: Friday, April 21, at 17-17.30, Sustainability & Future stage. ReGeneration 2030 is a youth movement for sustainability in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region, bringing activists aged 15-30 from across the region together to share knowledge and strategize. ReGeneration 2030 is on a mission to fight climate collapse and build a sustainable future for all. Tænketanken Frej Can we on the one hand be climate heroes who lead the way and on the other hand, be some of those who burden the planet the most? Tænketanken Frej focuses on food consumption and changes in food culture among young people. Is it really up to the individual to make a difference, or is it up to the system and political regulation to change the world? The panel debate on the stage engages several representatives and involves the audience. In their container, you can pop by for legume bingo, taste plant-based drink options and get to know more about their climate footprint. Visit their container: Friday at 14-19 and Saturday…

5G for smart societies: Transport and mobility

The second 5G matchmaking event takes place on the 20th of April, at 14-15.30 CET. We focus on smart societies and the transport and mobility sector through inspiring examples: cross-border mobility and automation in logistics.  5G enables a more connected transport sector Effective transport and mobility are essential in building smarter societies. 5G has significant potential to revolutionize how we travel and transport goods. 5G connectivity enables connected and autonomous vehicles and can improve logistics efficiency. 5G can also make roads safer and more environmentally friendly while saving costs.  During our second 5G matchmaking event, we will again: Frame the issue: Share inspirational stories and learnings from the Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as other European countries, on the role of 5G in smart societies, especially focusing on mobility and transport examples. Provide a platform for discussion and foster networking: Promoting the debate on 5G research and innovation in the transport and mobility vertical, multi-actor collaborations, and overcoming the gap in research-to-practice/industry. We encourage you to submit ideas for your own 5-min pitch (see more in the registration). This allows you to bring forward your own specific 5G matchmaking needs as well as current challenges and questions. What: Second 5G matchmaking event with a focus on transport and mobilityWhen: 20 April at 14-15.30 CETWhere: Online (a Zoom link will be sent to all participants after registration)Why: To gain new insights, get inspired, share ideas, and network  Our keynote speakers: Anna Schieben, 5G Living Lab Consortium Leader at Institute of Transportation Systems, German Aerospace Centre (DLR): Mobility Use Cases of the 5G Living Lab in the Mobility Region Braunschweig-Wolfsburg Elina Lidere, 5G Innovation Lead at Latvijas Mobilais Telefons SIA: 5G Routes: Testbed for Cross-border Mobility in Europe Petri Kalske, Head of Industrial Solutions at Unikie: Data Driven Optimization and Automation in Ports & Logistics In 2023, Nordregio…

Policy workshop: Integrating Climate into Macroeconomic Modelling

How to use models to make informed policy decisions: Tracking progress towards Fit for 55 and REPowerEU   The goal of the workshop series is to facilitate exchange on the current challenges in relation to the use of modelling tools in each stage of the policy cycle, design, planning and evaluation.  This second policy workshop focuses on the monitoring interface from the perspective of policy makers and modellers. It discusses how such interface could be improved in the future.  Using the new EU Energy Directive as a framing policy, the examples presented and discussed in the workshop will illustrate how counterfactual analyses can support decision making processes on energy taxation and subsidies. The presentations will also shed light on the challenges of multilevel governance structures involving local, national and EU levels, often with disconnected goals and challenges.  The framing policy questions are as follows:   How to use models to make informed policy decisions (decide on what to do and how to do it at various levels)?  How to use models to evaluate policy decisions (monitoring and evaluation)?  Agenda 13:00  Welcoming words from the Integrating Climate into Macroeconomic Modelling (ICMM) Project  13:05     Using models to make informed policy decisions: Overarching comments drawing on Finland’s national climate policy    Magnus Cederlöf (Senior advisor at the Ministry of Environment in Finland; member of the Nordic Working Group on Environment and Economy) 13:20  Trade-off between assessing policy compliance vs providing insights to policy makers:    Case study1: Saving energy or saving effort? Decomposing effect of an energy savings policy  Case study 2: How time affects the quality of new model results and the value of new model results to policy makers differently  Kristoffer Steen Andersen (Danish Energy Agency) 13:50   Short break   13:55   Open Debate   14:25   Wrapping up and practical information  14:30   Meet the expert session  …