A Webinar Series: Rural perspectives on digital innovation

Digitalisation is often described as a global megatrend and is set to transform all elements of our economy, government and society. But what exactly does that mean at the local level? What are the implications for communities, businesses? What challenges are on the horizon? What are the opportunities and how can we make the most of these? And how should policymakers respond? Throughout March, Nordregio researchers will be joined by practitioners and experts in the field to explore these questions from a rural perspective. Join us for the webinar series here: https://www.lyyti.in/ruraldigitalization

  • March 10, 13:00 (Swedish time) – Webinar 1: The digital divide
  • March 17, 13:00 (Swedish time) – Webinar 2: Manufacturing/Industry
  • March 24, 13:00 (Swedish time) – Webinar 3: Bioeconomy
  • March 31, 13:00 (Swedish time) – Webinar 4: Sustainable tourism

Webinar 1: The digital divide

Rural and sparsely populated areas are often painted as lagging behind their urban counterparts when it comes to digitalisation. This situation is often referred to as “the digital divide” and relates to both the availability of digital infrastructure and the use of digital technologies among the population. This webinar will explore the digital divide from a critical perspective, highlighting examples of how it is being overcome in different parts of the Nordic-Baltic Region. We will here from Tommy Nilsson (Byanätsforum, Sweden) about how communities across Sweden are mobilising to get connected; Regina Westas Stedt (Vingåker Municipality, Sweden) will talk about what it means to be a “smart” rural municipality; and Aiga Irmeja (Latvian IT Cluster, Latvia) will share an example of how a rural community in Latvia is upskilling in order to tackle local challenges through digital means.


Webinar 2: Digitalisation in the manufacturing industry

We are at the beginning of what is commonly termed the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where digitalisation is gaining solid ground. In this webinar, we will zoom in on the manufacturing industry and dive into how digitalisation is affecting this field, particularly for the SMEs in the Nordic and Baltic rural areas. What does digitalisation actually mean and where do SMEs see themselves within this field? What are the challenges and possibilities that decision-makers and actors working with SMEs need to draw attention to? And what are the good examples of how SMEs can be helped to embark on their digital journey? Join us in the webinar on the 17th of March to hear more and examine these questions with us.


Webinar 3: The digital revolution in the bioeconomy

When coupling the bioeconomy with digitalisation, three strands emerge 1) the application and use of digital tools in the everyday operation of traditional bioeconomy sectors; 2) data-driven analysis to identify and tackle gaps in supply and value chains  (circular economy-approach), and 3) digitalisation as an enabling vehicle for enhancing innovation capabilities and high-value extraction in the bioeconomy. In this webinar, we take a look at these three strands and we will hear about good practices and experiences from the Nordic-Baltic Region. What challenges and opportunities are the bioeconomy sector facing, and what are the barriers to entry for SMEs in rural areas? Join us for our webinar on the 24th of March to hear more about the ways digitalisation is revolutionising the bioeconomy!

Webinar 4: Sustainable tourism and digitalisation

On a global level, information and communication technologies have revolutionized and reshaped the tourism sector. Social media, low-cost airlines and online booking sites have made the world more accessible and transparent for a global audience. In this webinar, we will dive into how tourism companies in the Nordic rural areas work with digital solutions as well as how sustainability is an increasingly important factor within the tourism sector. We will hear from Knútur Rafn Ármann (Friðheimar, Iceland) who will share his story on how digital tools are a part of the tourism business Friðheimar; Annelie Persson (Region Västerbotten, Sweden) will share how regions can help tourism companies develop their digital knowledge and skills; Ágúst Bogason (Nordregio, Sweden) will prove insights on how the Nordic destination management organisations work with sustainability. Join us Tuesday March 31, 13:00 (Swedish time)!