During 2017-2020, what did we learn about sustainable rural development?
Each Nordic country is different, but also similar. The similarities make it possible to learn from one another, and differences highlight the meaning and uniqueness of creative local solutions. Nordic cooperation is generally considered to be an extremely important asset when working with rural development. This storymap summarizes the work of the Nordic Thematic Group on Sustainable Rural Development 2017-2020 (TG1). What did we learn? VISIT STORYMAP
Buildings retrofits are vital to achieving Europe’s energy and climate goals
Buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. An estimated 97% of the current EU building would need to be upgraded to achieve high efficiency standards. However, a number of challenges, from eco-gentrification to funding application capacity, have limited the opportunity for energy efficiency retrofits in social housing. As part of the Social Green project, Nordregio studied the complex issue of how achieve retrofits without create new social burdens. A series of barriers were identified, including a lack of knowledge to access available funding; strict stipulations on how to use of public funds for social housing retrofits; limited benefits to social housing residents themselves; incomplete data to measure what matters; and a lack of focus on rural and sparsely populated regions. Solutions to these challenges were subsequently identified through engagement with Social Green partner regions, local stakeholder groups and good practices. The solutions underline the importance of European level policy improvement on one hand, and a place-based perspective in policy design on the other. It is vital to identify buildings as critical infrastructure, with designated thematic objectives and earmarked funds within all operational programmes. Combined with more flexible financing solutions and consistent monitoring, these improvements can respond to the practical challenges faced by the decentralised network of local actors while ensuring benefits for residents in both urban and sparsely populated regions. Ultimately, these actors are responsible for seeing out the transition towards a truly energy- and resource-efficient European housing stock. Addressing the challenges they face is central to a greener future in Europe. Full article: EU Policy, Neighbourhood Results: Towards Efficient & Impactful Green Building Projects in Europe Nordregio will participate with two events at the UN climate talks (COP24), one on energy efficiency in the building sector and one on the…
New tools for policy makers and planners in remote regions
If you live in a small town where business is based on natural resources, sudden changes in the local economy – like a mine opening or closing – can have a major impact on the social structure. The REGINA project has developed a set of tools to prepare for such situations that will be launched at a conference in September. The flagship conference for the EU sponsored REGINA project, managed by Nordregio – an international research centre on regional development and planning established by the Nordic Council of Ministers, will take place in Rovaniemi in Finland, on September 11-12, 2018. The conference is entitled “Preparing for large-scale investments in small communities – a hands-on approach to local smart specialization” – and you can read more or sign up at http://www.reginaproject.eu/flagship-conference/. It builds on the concept of local smart specialization, but adapts this to the context of remote and sparsely populated regions. Online handbook and new toolbox The conference will mark the launch of an online handbook outlining the results of the REGINA project. This includes a series of workshops on some of the core tools developed: A Demographic Foresight Model, a Social Impact Management Plan and a Local Befit Analysis Toolbox. The tools are devised to help local planners and decision makers in communities where the economy is very dependent on resource based industries to deal with changes in socioeconomic structures, say if a big mine opens or an aquaculture plant is developed. Local businesses and citizens in general also stand to gain from the work done in the project, that has included five municipalities in the Northern and Arctic region covered by the activities of the EU Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme sponsoring REGINA. Speakers include Katri Kulmuni, Member of the Parliament of Finland, chair of the Finnish Delegation…
Extended deadline to submit abstracts for “Challenged ruralities: Nordic welfare states under pressure”
Call for abstracts: We invite you to submit abstracts for the 5th Nordic Conference for Rural Research, in which Nordregio contributes with the discussion and the working group on bioeconomy policies. The deadline is extended to January 1, 2018. In recent years, the Nordic welfare states have been under pressure due to globalization, neoliberalism, the financial crisis, climate change, migration, etc. Although the welfare states still form the backbone of the Nordic countries and still secure democracy, the former division of labour between the state, market and civil society is no longer functioning as it once did. In many ways, the welfare states seem to have withdrawn, been transformed or become centralized with the responsibility for performing many functions being given to the private sector or civic societies. This is true for rural areas where a range of municipal and public reforms have had a significant and rapid impact on public services and enlarged distances to citizens. The fifth Nordic Rural Research Conference will explore the extent to which the changes we are witnessing today will influence rural areas and rural research in the Nordic countries. The conference will focus on the following four themes: Politics, governance, local capacities Infrastructure and services Demography and mobility Agriculture, forestry and fisheries Please, send your proposal directly to the working group convener and to the conference email: email@example.com before the 1 January, 2018. See list of working groups. Nordregio organizes one of the discussions which will focus on governance and policies related to bioeconomy: 4.3 Overcoming institutional constraints inhibiting the transition towards a ‘new’ bioeconomy. Enhancing governance and policy frameworks Organizers Michael Kull (Senior Research Fellow) & Karen Refsgaard (Research Director/Deputy Director), Nordregio, firstname.lastname@example.org Margareta Dahlström & Ida Grundel (Karlstad University), Sirpa Kurppa & Hilkka Vihinen (LUKE Finland), John Bryden &…
Nordregio Forum Day 1: Nordic cities in a global perspective
Day one of the annual Nordregio Forum, held at Vulkan in Oslo on 29-30 November, took a view at the Nordic city both as a local challenge and a potential global inspiration. The theme of the conference was urban-rural relations and synergies in a changing world. State secretary Paul Chaffey from the Norwegian Ministry of Local Development and Modernisation – co-hosting the event – opened the conference by pointing out that local knowledge is the corner stone to all development. We need to know ourselves to develop. He also called for increased dialogue between the rural and urban areas for future sustainable development in the Nordics and elsewhere, referring to the theme of the conference. Nordic cities are often ranked as the greenest in the world and Oslo has just been named European Green Capital for 2019. The city furthermore has an ambition to develop a car free city core by that same year, pointed out Secretary to Deputy Mayor Hanna Marcussen, Rasmus Reinvang in the next presentation. Historian Laura Kolbe from University of Helsinki reminded the 150 person strong audience that we should however not forget tradition in our endeavor to develop. She also pointed out that future urban development will be in small and medium sized cities mainly, mirroring the focus of one of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ working groups hosting the conference. There are three thematic groups under the Council of Ministers for regional development and one of them aims over the next three years to study specifically the role of the small and medium sized city in the Nordics. The next speaker, Monica von Schmalensee from White Architects, in fact lamented aspects of the development of the small and medium sized cities in the Nordic countries and called for reclaiming the city centers to create…
Nordregio Forum Day 2: Urban-rural relations in the Nordics and beyond
The second day of the annual Nordregio Forum delved deeper into the theme of urban-rural relations and discussed how to create more synergies between the two, pointing already towards the focus of next year’s Forum, which will deal with sustainable rural development from a post-growth perspective. The day was opened by Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Dagfinn Høybråten, who started by taking a look outside the Nordic region in connection with a new project on Nordic Sustainable Cities, part of the Prime Ministers’ initiative on Nordic solutions to global challenges. The Nordics are in Top 10 of most international rankings according to a new study that tracks the position of the Nordic countries in the world, said Høybråten, adding that the demand for Nordic solutions has never been bigger. He added furthermore that a recent poll shows that support for Nordic co-operation is massive within the Nordic countries themselves, with 90% being positive to it and nearly two thirds in favour of increased co-operation. The theme of the day was then expanded by Director General Hallgeir Aalbu from the conference co-host, the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, who called for an end to the false dichotomy between urban and rural development. They are two sides of the same coin and need to be handled as supplementary if we are to achieve sustainable development, he pointed out. This was supplemented by Steinar Johansen from the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, who argued that contrary to belief, economic development and relative share of GDP is not that disparate between urban and rural regions as normally assumed, at least in a Norwegian context. This was followed by a panel discussion on challenges within urban-rural relations and subsequently by round table discussions on similar topics. Along with…
Speeding up labour market integration of refugees in the Nordics
It takes an average of seven years before refugees get a foothold in the Nordic labour market. The seminar from Refugee to Citizens, which took place at Nordregio on November 8th, was an opportunity for Nordic actors who work with integration issues to discuss best practices on how to help newly arrived citizens find a workplace that is relevant to the individual’s education and experience more quickly. Annica Dahl, State Secretary to the Minister for Employment and Integration, opened the seminar. She pointed out that it is important that the individual’s asylum application period is used in an effective and meaningful way, particularly to make the establishment in the labour market and society easier: “At the same time, there is a shortage of labour in many industries in Sweden, so it is of most importance to both help employers find the opportunity to obtain people with the right skills, and to see to that newly arrived immigrants get a job in their profession.” Kristin Marklund, leader of the Nordic Welfare Centre’s integration project, stressed the global perspective: “An unprecedented 65 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees. 86 percent stay in the immediate area and 0.4 percent end up in one of the Nordic countries. By 2050, one billion people must move away from home due to climate change. Against this background, all countries, including the Nordic, must learn to receive and integrate immigrants.” Anna Karlsdóttir, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio presented a knowledge overview. The policy brief “Fler flyktingar fortare i arbete” is the result of a comparative study of policies and measures in place in the Nordic countries for achieving a swifter labour market integration. The policy brief shows that it is important that the mapping of the…
Retreating permafrost coasts threaten the fragile Arctic environment
On 22-24 November, Nordregio joins the kick-off meeting of The EU project Nunataryuk in Postdam, Germany. In five years, the project aims to determine the effects of permafrost thaw on Earth’s coldest shorelines. Among various activities, Nordregio will investigate planning processes related to the management of natural resources, eco-system services, and economic development. Permafrost makes up a quarter of the landmass in the Northern Hemisphere. Climate change means that Arctic coasts are thawing and eroding at an ever greater pace, releasing additional greenhouse gases. A large EU project, coordinated by the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), is now exploring the consequences for the global climate and for the people living in the Arctic. But that’s not all: working together with residents of the Arctic region, the researchers will also co-design strategies for the future in order to cope with ongoing climate change. The sheer size of permafrost regions make them a global issue. A quarter of the landmass in the Northern Hemisphere consists of permafrost soils, which have been frozen solid for thousands of years. A third of the world’s coastlines are permafrost and span Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Siberia. Researchers have known for years that the permafrost is thawing ever more rapidly due to climate change. Yet we still don’t know exactly what consequences this will have for the global climate, or for the people living there. In the EU project Nunataryuk experts from 27 research institutions will spend the next five years intensively answering this research question and determining the role of permafrost coastlines in the Earth’s climate system. Nunataryuk is unique because the scientists collaborate closely with local communities to determine how they can best adapt to thawing permafrost. “What makes the project stand out is the fact that we’ll…
From refugees to citizens
Nordregio hosts a conference on Nordic experiences of inclusion in the labour market It is a major challenge for the Nordic countries to make it easier for refugees and their family members to enter the labour market. What are the key elements for a successful integration according to research and what are the obstacles for integration and how can these be overcome? What do the refugees say themselves? The aim of this Nordic conference is to gather policy-makers, researchers and practitioners in the field to share good solutions. Strategies and policies will be illustrated by good practices regarding labour market integration. The program The day begins with an opening speech by Annica Dahl, State Secretary to the Minister for Employment and Integration. Anna Karlsdóttir, researcher at Nordregio, will then follow with a knowledge overview of how to speed up the labour market integration of refugees in the Nordic region. Other speakers: Mai-Britt Haugaard Jeppesen and Shazia Mughal from Bydelsmødre, a Danish organisation that managed to break the isolation and motivate immigrant women to become active in society. Mohammed Al Nussirie, a pediatrician who came to Sweden as a refugee just over two years ago and is now working as a doctor in Stockholm. Mika Pyykkö, project manager at the Finnish Innovation Fund, will explain how Finland uses Social Impact Bonds to bring more refugees in to the labour market. We will also hear about Greve in Denmark, Gloppen in Norway and Sunne in Sweden, three municipalities who have proved successful in getting refugees into the labour market. Moderator: Soledad Pinero Misa, who has a background as administrator at the Youth Democracy Commission, chairman of the Red Cross Refugee Center, director of Youth Against Racism and administrator at the Youth Democracy Commission. We hope the seminar will inspire and facilitate dissemination among…
Nordic Climate Solutions at COP23
Nordregio will participate in the Nordic Climate Solutions Pavilion at COP23, the UN Climate Summit. Nordregio has three events during the first week of the summit, which takes place from November 6-17 in Bonn, Germany. The event programme at the Nordic pavilion, managed by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM), is organized around theme days, with Nordregio contributing to the Bioeconomy Day, the Arctic Day and the Urban-Rural Development Day. The debates there will focus on whether there is a limit to the bioeconomy or if it has unlimited potential to help alleviate the climate crisis, on how we can increase the synergies between the rural and urban areas in terms of sustainable development, and on what it takes to strengthen the involvement of the Arctic population in local decision making made necessary by a changing climate. The two first events are done in co-operation with Nordforsk, the Nordic science and research institution. The Urban-Rural event is organized together with the Norwegian chairmanship of the NCM. The Nordic Council of Ministers has organized a joint Nordic pavilion at the two previous COPs also, starting at COP21 in Paris. There has been widespread interest in hearing about Nordic perspectives on the climate crisis and getting inspiration from Nordic solutions. The event programmes have attracted thousands of participants and many have followed events online also. Read more about COP23 at norden.org.
Registration to a study trip to Värmland is open!
On 28-29 November, Nordregio invites experts and stakeholders interested in regional development to visit Värmland Region and learn how it promotes smart specialization sectors, such as bioeconomy and digitalization, and creates an attractive regional brand. The study visit is a part of the BSR Stars S3 project. Värmland´s economy is largely focused on pulp and paper industry, information and communication technology, steel industry and engineering, and hospitality industry. Värmland is also famous for clustering and networking initiatives, with Paper Province cluster as an internationally known example. The BSR Stars S3 study tour in Karlstad, Värmland, will introduce the key actors of the Värmland Innovation System, and will open up opportunities for the participants for concrete cooperation with Värmland. The company cases that cover fields, such as bioeconomy/circular economy, and digitalization, will be also presented at the study tour. The call is open to all interested parties in the Baltic Sea Region. Attending the programme is free of charge, but accommodation and travelling expenses will be covered by the participants themselves. Karlstad is 2,5 hours by train from Stockholm. We have made a deal with the hotel “Elite Stadshotellet Karlstad” regarding your reservations. The discount code is “-GREG271117” (booking via email or phone) and lasts as long as there are rooms available. You can register to the event by emailing Tuulia Rinne (email@example.com). Please, mention if there are allergies or special diets to be aware of. The registration is open until 20 November 2017. The study trip is organized in collaboration with The Nordic Council of Ministers, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and Region Värmland. Find the final programme here.
Slussen: Urban spaces in our hearts – then and now
The “New Slussen”-project has been called one of Sweden’s most criticized projects and has engaged a great number of citizens in protests and public discussions about urban planning. In a series of seminars, different aspects of the project will be discussed with the contribution of amongst others Moa Tunström, senior research fellow at Nordregio. Stockholmia in collaboration with Nordregio and other partners have launched a series of seminars that aim to throw light on the controversial rebuilding of Slussen in Stockholm, to convey knowledge and provide space for reflection on complex social planning processes and to generate new knowledge and materials for further research. The seminars will gather service personnel, politicians, activists, “expert citizens”, journalists, consultants and researchers to discuss the following questions: What lessons can we draw? How does the interaction between citizens, politicians and management work? What is the role of the media? Who has the power over social planning? And are the conflicts around New Slussen the only ones of their kind? On 24 October, Moa Tunström, senior research fellow at Nordregio, will talk about normative underpinnings of urban planning visions and the constant search for “the good city”. More about Moa’s presentation: (in Swedish) Vi är alla på spaning efter den goda staden I planer och visioner för ny stadsutveckling kommer urbana normer och ideal till uttryck, liksom uppfattningar om vilka som är de viktigaste problemen att lösa med ny stadsutveckling. Staden behöver förtätas, bli levande, integrerad, grönare, eller attraktiv. Barriärer behöver överbryggas, eller förorten bli till stad. Idealbilder kopplade till staden och dess platser kommer naturligtvis till uttryck även på andra sätt – i samtal människor emellan eller i form av protester, insändare, skönlitterära berättelser eller nyhetsartiklar, forskning med mera. Vi är alla på spaning efter staden – den goda, och den onda. För det…
Nordregio joins the third European Rural Parliament
On 18-21 October, European Rural Parliament partners gather in the Netherlands to discuss prominent issues for the rural communities, inspire others and get inspired. Nordregio’s Research Fellow Anna Berlina will share insights on social innovation, empowerment and local food initiatives during the workshops. European Rural Parliament is a long-term campaign to express the voice of rural people in Europe; and to promote self-help and action by the rural people, in partnership with civil society and governments. This year, the participants will share the experiences of dealing with rural issues, re-confirm the European Rural Manifesto and agree the Venhorst Declaration. Among other activities, a series of workshops will be carried out where the knowledge from several Nordregio projects will be shared: During the workshop “Tackling poverty and exclusion in rural areas” good practice examples of combating social exclusion in rural areas through ‘social empowerment’ and ‘social innovation’ based on the Interreg SEMPRE project and Social Innovation in local development in the Nordic countries and Scotland project. In the workshop “Sustaining rural services and infrastructure”, Anna Berlina will share the information about the Interreg MAMBA project and discuss how the innovative rural mobility solutions are implemented in the European rural areas. You can also join plenary sessions through the live-streaming! This will be available at the following times: Thursday October 19 – 9.00 – 10.30 CET Friday October 20 – 8.45 – 13.00 CET Saturday October 21 – 9.00 – 15.00 CET Click on the following link to open the live streaming: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzhiOXPCQbv2wm2fO6zn5ow/live The European Rural Parliament gathers partners every two years from all parts of Europe. The third European Rural Parliament is hosted in Venhorst, the Netherlands. Find more information about the European Rural Parliament here.
Social Green contributes to the Policy Learning Platform
On 17-18 October, Nordregio Researcher Ryan Weber joins INTERREG Europe’s Policy Learning Event on Energy and Resource Efficiency, where he will present good practices from the Social Green Project led by Nordregio. Social Green aims to develop regional and local policies and actions plans in six EU countries, helping them to retrofit social housing to improve their energy and resource performance. Energy efficiency in social housing not only decreases GHG emissions and contributes towards a lower carbon economy, but it also improves the socio-economic conditions by reducing fuel poverty in EU cities and towns. One such example is the KredEx scheme deployed in Estonia, which shows how innovative policy and funding tools can increase the energy efficiency of social housing without increasing the costs to residents. The Social Green project aims to promote the greening of the social housing sector through mutual learning and development of improved regional policies. The partnership includes 8 partners from 6 countries (Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Estonia, Sweden, Romania), with capacity to influence the policy instruments related to greening the social housing sector. A two-day conference is organized by INTERREG Europe as a part of the policy learning platform on energy and resource efficiency which gather researchers and policy-makers to discuss the needs of cities and regions.
Nordregio discusses youth issues at the Arctic Circle Assembly
13 October, Research Fellow Leneisja Jungsberg and Senior Research Fellow Timothy Heleniak from Nordregio present the latest research on education, employment and migration issues concerning youth in the Arctic region. Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. It is an open democratic platform with participation from governments, organizations, corporations, universities, think tanks, environmental associations, indigenous communities, concerned citizens, and others interested in the development of the Arctic and its consequences for the future of the globe. Meet Nordregio researchers at the Arctic Circle Assembly: 13 October, 17:30 – 19:00 ARCTIC YOUTH AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: CASE STUDIES AND FOCUS GROUPS FROM ACROSS THE ARCTIC Organized by Stefansson Arctic Institute and the University of Akureyri Location: Viðey, Second Level Leneisja Jungsberg, Research Fellow, Nordregio, Sweden: Spatial disparities in education and employment outcomes and Arctic youth future perspectives. Timothy Heleniak, Senior Research Fellow, Nordregio, Sweden: Newcomers to the North: International Migration of Youth into the Arctic The annual Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2000 participants from 50 countries. The Assembly is held every October at the Harpa Conference Center and Concert Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland. It is attended by heads of states and governments, ministers, members of parliaments, officials, experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, indigenous representatives, environmentalists, students, activists and others from the growing international community of partners and participants interested in the future of the Arctic. Find more about the Arctic Circle here. The full programme of the event
Managing social impact – new guide to making the most of human capital in local communities
The REGINA project addresses the social issues as well as the challenges posed in terms of economic and environmental sustainability when developing local resource based economies. At the recent REGINA partner meeting in Greenland a new guide on how to handle social impacts of major changes in local communities was presented. One of the three main toolboxes to come out of the REGINA project is a so called SIMP (Social Impact Management Plan), that looks at the social effects in remote communities involved in major change processes. The guide outlines potential challenges and presents advice on how to handle them. The SIMP guide was launched at the REGINA partner meeting in Kujalleq municipality in Greenland in the beginning of September. One aim of the guide is to continuously monitor social change to soften the blow from large scale industries operating in the local area. But it also looks at the positive side of the coin and explores the human potential in local communities. The guide provides guidance to work with citizen participation and public involvement to manage social impacts of large scale resource based industries extracting natural resources. It looks specifically at a mining project and is developed in cooperation with Sodankylä municipality in Finland, but the results are applicable within other sectors and in other local projects too. People matter – We talk a lot about natural resources when discussing development. But maybe we should focus a bit more on human capital and “people potential”. We should not just look at the challenges, but also at the quality of life in remote communities, said one of the writers of the guide, University Lecturer Leena Suopajärvi from the University of Lapland in connection with the partner meeting in Greenland. The REGINA project has adapted the concept of Smart Specialisation Strategies…
The Nordic story on Sustainable Cities
Nordregio is working on a White Paper for the Nordic Prime Minister’s initiative on Nordic Sustainable Cities – a paper that will be presented at the Nordic Edge Expo in Stavanger on 26 September. Nordic Sustainable Cities is a continuation of the Nordic Built Cities programme, which, just as well as the new initiative, was managed by Nordic Innovation. Nordregio has been given the task of writing a White Paper and the first draft is now available online. The Nordic Edge Expo gathers practitioners, industries and more under the theme of “Smart Hapiness” for three days of seminars, panels, exhibitions and workshops. Nordic Innovation will run a half-day conference on 26 September under the theme When Smart Meets Human – The Nordic Model in Urban Development. Nordregio Director Kjell Nilsson and Senior Research Fellow Luciane Aguiar Borges who is leading the work with the White Paper will both be present at this event. The draft of the White Paper can be found here. White Paper pdf.
Slussen: International perspectives on urban planning
The “New Slussen”-project has been called one of Sweden’s most criticized projects and has engaged a great number of citizens in protests and public discussions about urban planning. In a series of seminars, different aspects of the project will be discussed with the contribution of amongst others Moa Tunström, senior research fellow at Nordregio. Stockholmia in collaboration with Nordregio and other partners launch a series of seminars which aims to understand the controversial rebuilding of Slussen in Stockholm, to convey knowledge and provide space for reflection on complex social planning processes and to generate new knowledge and materials for further research. The seminars will gather service personnel, politicians, activists, “expert citizens”, journalists, consultants and researchers to discuss the following questions: What lessons can we draw? How does the interaction between citizens, politicians and management work? What is the role of the media? Who has the power over social planning? And are the conflicts around New Slussen the only one of their kind? On October 24th, Moa Tunström, senior research fellow at Nordregio, will talk about normative underpinnings of urban planning visions and the constant search for “the good city”. More about Moa’s presentation: (in Swedish) Vi är alla på spaning efter den goda staden I planer och visioner för ny stadsutveckling kommer urbana normer och ideal till uttryck, liksom uppfattningar om vilka som är de viktigaste problemen att lösa med ny stadsutveckling. Staden behöver förtätas, bli levande, integrerad, grönare, eller attraktiv. Barriärer behöver överbryggas, eller förorten bli till stad. Idealbilder kopplade till staden och dess platser kommer naturligtvis till uttryck även på andra sätt – i samtal människor emellan eller i form av protester, insändare, skönlitterära berättelser eller nyhetsartiklar, forskning med mera. Vi är alla på spaning efter staden – den goda, och den onda. För det finns naturligtvis problembilder…
BioWiseTrans: local innovation is the base for bioeconomy
On 14 September, Nordregio hosted a kick-off meeting of the new BioWiseTrans network which involves not only researchers but also representatives of the public sector (municipalities, regions and ministries) and different stakeholders, such as associations and industry that are interested in bioeconomy transition. The transdisciplinary network is led by Nordregio and the project leader Michael Kull. The aim of the network is to encourage and empower these key stakeholders to participate in research and innovation processes to identify conflicts and to gain improved governance and utilization of land and resources. BioWiseTrans kick-off meeting at Nordregio. Karen Refsgaard: “We want to engage people relevant for sustainable rural development and from a variety of sectors such as rural interest groups, agriculture, forestry, bioenergy, recreation and cluster organisations. At the same time, solutions need to be deliberated in a science-policy-practice dialogue and solutions co-constructed between these different actors”. BioWiseTrans will arrange a larger conference in the field as well as a few workshops including field trips to learn from best practice examples in place in all Nordic countries. Ultimately, BioWiseTrans seeks to create an environment for practitioners to learn across regions and localities. It also aims to increase the understanding of how positive outcomes are inhibited or encouraged by locally adapted institutional regimes. One part of the job will be mapping of resources and outcomes of regional and local initiatives and to encourage local innovation networks. The network will also study the ways in which national and EU regulations and policies affects processes of local adaption. Michael Kull: “We will also include experts from Latin America, such as from Brazil, who have a strong interest in Nordic approaches and practices of the transition towards a new primarily land and biomass-based bioeconomy. Last but not least, durability of our efforts is thought of, too.…
Nordregio contributes to “Arctic indicators and scenarios workshop”
Two Senior Research Fellows Timothy Heleniak and Anna Karlsdóttir from Nordregio will share insights and results from former and ongoing Arctic research. The aim of the workshop is to gather international experts for the discussion on how to manage sustainable development planning in the Arctic region in the context of multiple pressures. Demands for sustainable development at a time of rapid environmental and social change in the Arctic have increased the need for tools that can help decision makers assess capacities for navigating uncertainty. The specific focus will be on identifying the needs for further method development to make such tools useful in local and national decision-making processes related to extractive industries and for overall assessments related to the Sustainable Development Goals in the Arctic. The workshop will address two key questions: How could scenario methods help inform the development of relevant indicators for sustainability in the context on the long-term impacts of extractive industries on Arctic communities? How can different indicators or indicator domains be integrated into tools that can be used in social and environmental impact assessments and policy? Timothy Heleniak will present a paper titled “Polar peoples in the future” about the future size and composition of the Arctic population and Anna Karlsdóttir will share the experience of developing policy recommendations on basis of foresight workshops during the work of Nordic Arctic Working Group 2013-2016. The workshop is co-organized by the Nordforsk-funded project Resource Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities and Mistra Arctic Sustainable Development and New Governance with supplemental funding from the Swedish Research Council Formas. The workshop will take place at Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm, on 7-8 September.