Zooming in on Gen Z: What’s next for the Nordic Region?

The upcoming Nordregio Forum 2023, set to take place in Reykjavík and online in October, turns the spotlight on the young generation of the Nordic region. This year’s forum aims to delve into the perspectives of young Nordics, as they navigate career choices, sustainability challenges, and where to settle down.

The choices of these young individuals will significantly influence the Nordic region’s future development. Given this, understanding their aspirations, mobility trends, and views on sustainability is crucial for integrating their perspectives into effective policymaking and planning.

During the event, young representatives participate in panel discussions to elevate the opinions of youth on topics such as ‘Youth as partners in the green transition – building sustainable communities’ and ‘What does GenZ need to stay in the Nordics?

Nordregio Forum serves as an essential gathering for professionals and policymakers in the Nordic countries, offering a platform to discuss regional, rural, and urban development, share knowledge, and influence policy agendas.

“This year’s Nordregio Forum is not just about recognizing the fresh ideas from our youth. It’s crucial we bring them to the decision-making table, ensuring their voices are not just heard but are influential. We are actively working with them for a sustainable Nordic future”, says Rolf Elmér, Director of Nordregio.

The event is slated for October 17th, 2023, with physical participation at Iðnó in Reykjavík, while a broader audience can join online. As youth prepare to shape the region’s direction, the forum presents a unique chance to listen to their voices and weave their insights into upcoming strategies.

Registration is currently open for those keen to join the dialogue and shape the Nordic region’s path forward.

Summary of Nordregio Forum 2023 Programme:

Opening remarks by the moderator and Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, the Icelandic Minister of Infrastructure

Session 1: Entering the Nordic labour market

  • Eva Mærsk delves into choices made by young adults in seeking higher education.
  • Mari Wøien Meijer reveals insights on young people’s visions for Nordic rural futures.
  • A spotlight on the initiatives of Lappeenranta Junior University – Uniori and Nordfjordakademiet’s efforts in connecting young individuals with local professional opportunities.

Session 2: Mobility & Housing

  • Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir discusses young adults’ distinct migration patterns within the Nordic region post-graduation.
  • Anna Granath Hansson talks about the challenges young Nordics face in accessing affordable housing, highlighting studies on housing development and collaborative housing models.
  • A panel discussion focusing on the day’s keynotes.

Session 3: Perspectives on environmental sustainability and green transition

  • Carlos Tapia offers insights from a survey detailing Nordic people’s perspectives on the green transition, focusing on generational differences.
  • Leneisja Jungsberg addresses the impacts of climate change and permafrost degradation on young people in the Arctic regions.
  • Ágúst Bogason speaks on the social effects of tourism growth in the Nordics, especially on the lives of young individuals.
  • A panel discussion on involving the youth as partners in the green transition, exploring the role of educational institutions and ways to foster young innovators.

Study tours and workshops at various on-site locations; details to be confirmed.