28 November Attractive regions – The Nordic model

09.00 Registration and coffee PIRATENFOAJÉN


10.00 Opening speech: A coherent Sweden. A rural policy that should diminish the gaps between regions.
Johan Krafft, Director General, Department for Sustainable Growth, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden

10.20 Introduction
Pellegrino Riccardi

10.35 How has Region Skåne managed to balance the region by spreading its efforts and stimulating regional development also in the more sparsely populated and remote parts of the region?
Ulrika Geeraedts, Director of Regional Development, Region Skåne

11.00 A critical view on urban-rural connections – to emphasize the importance of listening to the voices out there
Bjørn Egil Flø, Research Fellow, NIBIO

11.25 How can entrepreneurship combined with skills in female enterprises,
cultural knowledge and sustainable values create successful business and jobs – against the societal flow?
Signe Aarhus, entrepreneur and CEO, Oleana

11.50 State of Nordic Rural Region and beyond – people, policies and perspectives
Karen Refsgaard and Michael Kull with inputs from Anna Karlsdottir, Jukka Teräs and Julien Grunfelder

12.15 Questions to all speakers, led by Pellegrino Riccardi

12.30 Lunch and book launch STORA SALEN


13.30 What is happening in the Nordic regional landscape?
Hallgeir Aalbu (NO), Hanna-Maria Urjankangas (FI), Hermann Sæmundsson (IS), Sigmund Lubanski (DK) and Sverker Lindblad (SE)

14.30 A comprehensive analysis of administration reforms across the Nordic countries
Siv Sandberg, Research Fellow, Åbo Academy University

14.50 Discussion regarding the role of the regions
Session lead by Pellegrino Riccardi

15.30 Coffee break


Tourism and Sustainable Regional Development GRÖNA SALONGEN

How can regions with sold out natural attractions deal with carrying capacity issues? What is the role of young adults in shaping and changing rural development through tourism. Who are the new voices in making rural destinations attractive in the Nordic countries?

The Blue And The Green Bioeconomy: Use of land and marine resources for competitive, resilient and inclusive rural regions? LUKAS SAL

How to ensure that a competitive bioindustry contribute to rural development, to sustainable resource management, to resilient and diverse ecosystems and to inclusive economic development?

Cross-border cooperation STEN BROMAN

This thematic session will give some concrete examples of Nordic cross-border cooperation today on municipal and regional levels and discuss how the planned reforms may affect the existing co-operational structures and agreements.

18.30 Bus departure from grand hotel to Ängavallen

19.30 Conference dinner at Ängavallen, Ecological farm in Vellinge


29 November Urban-rural linkages  – Challenges and opportunities

8.00 Registration and coffee PIRATENFOAJÉN


08.30 Introduction
Mary Gestrin, Head of Communications at the Nordic Council of Ministers

08.35 The rural flight – myths and realities. Danish experiences
Hans Thor Andersen, Director of Research at Danish Building Research Institute

09.00 Supporting Resilient and Attractive Rural Communities? – The impact of policy and governance
Hilkka Vihinen, Professor, Political Scientist, LUKE

09.25 What makes living in the countryside attractive for young people?
Emilia Astrenius Widerström, LRF Ungdomen

09.45 Questions to all speakers, led by Mary Gestrin

10:00 Coffee break


You look great today! – Good practices and measures of attractiveness in the Nordic countries LUKAS SAL

This session will explore the many reasons, drivers and obstacles behind rural attractiveness. We will discuss employment patterns, social entrepreneurship, innovative jobs and the availability / lack of skilled labour. Practice examples will be given of 3rd sector engagement and well-functioning and well-organised community life, where people (“doers”) had positive impacts on their living environment by working together.

Young people and educational choices in rural areas GRÖNA SALONGEN

What do decision-makers in the Nordic countries need to invest in to improve regionally equal welfare of the Nordic youth? We look at reasons for striking regional disparities within the Nordic region when it comes to young people, drop-out rates from schools, and youth well-being, and the mismatch between school affiliation, possibilities in educational attainment and labour market outcomes.

Innovative rural mobility solutions – how to make them flourish? STEN BROMAN

Rural areas are characterised by long distances and a low population density that makes transport provision challenging and expensive. While mobility initiatives in urban areas are largely focused on reducing congestion and responding to environmental concerns, rural initiatives tend to be motivated by the need to increase accessibility. The key question for rural areas is thus how to increase the mobility of all residents, regardless of their socioeconomic status, age, gender or health, in a cost-effective way.


How do young people in rural and remote areas pursue their life goals, studies and career? Moderated by Mary Gestrin
Aki-Matilda Høegh-Dam, Vice Chairman Siumut Youth
Edvard Bele Sæterbø, Cultural leader Norges Bygdeungdomslag
Emilia Astrenius Widerström, President LRF Ungdomen
Susanna Israelsson, Vice president Sáminuorra

12.55 Concluding remarks
Kjell Nilsson, Director at Nordregio

13.00 Lunch

14.10 Bus departure at 14.10 to ESS

14.30 Excursion to ESS – European Spallation Source
We will be back at Grand Hotel at 17.00