28 NOVEMBER

ATTRACTIVE REGIONS – THE NORDIC MODEL
09.00-10.00 Registration and coffee

PLENARY SESSION
10.00 Opening – Welcome speech: A coherent Sweden. A rural policy that should diminish the gaps between regions
10.20
Welcome and presentation of the programme by Moderator Riccardi Pellegrino
10.30 Key-note speaker: Ulrika Geeraedts, Director of Regional Development, Region Skåne
How has Region Skåne, as a pioneer for regional development in Sweden, 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?
10.55 Key-note speaker: Bjørn Egil Flø, Research Fellow, NIBIO
A critical view on urban-rural connections – to emphasize the importance of listening to the voices out there
11.20 Key-note speaker: Signe Aarhus, entrepreneur and CEO, Oleana
How can entrepreneurship combined with skills in female enterprises, cultural knowledge and sustainable values create successful business and jobs – against the societal flow?
11.45 Key-note speaker: Karen Refsgaard and Michael Kull, Nordregio
State of the Nordic Region: Rural regions and population scenarios 
12.15 Questions, led by Riccardi Pellegrino

12.30-13.30 Lunch at Grand Hotel and book launch!

13.30 What is happening in the Nordic regional landscape? Regional reforms in Sweden (Sverker Lindblad), Finland (Hanna-Maria Urjankangas), Norway (Hallgeir Aalbu), Denmark (Sigmund Lubanski), Iceland (Hermann Sæmundsson)
14.30 Key-note speaker: Siv Sandberg, Research Fellow, Åbo Academy University
A comprehensive analysis of administration reforms across the Nordic countries
14.50 Discussion regarding the role of the regions lead by moderator Riccardi Pellegrino and Siv Sandberg

15.30-16.00 Coffee break

PARALLEL SESSIONS
16.00
Tourism and Climate change
Use of land and marine resources for competitive, resilient and inclusive rural regions?
Cross-border cooperation

19.00 Conference dinner at Ängavallen, Ecological farm in Vellinge


Ängavallen

29 NOVEMBER

URBAN-RURAL LINKAGES – CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
8.00 – 8.30 Registration and coffee

PLENARY SESSION

08.30 Welcome and presentation of the programme by moderator Mary Gestrin, Head of Communications at the Nordic Council of Ministers
08.35 Key-note speaker: Hans Thor Andersen, Director of Research at Danish Building Research Institute
The rural flight – myths and realities. Danish experiences
09.00 Key-note speaker: Hilkka Vihinen, Professor, Political Scientist, LUKE
Rural business service provision and habitation: How do rural policies affect them?
09.25 Key-note speaker: Emilia Astrenius Widerström, LRF Ungdomen
What makes living in the countryside attractive for young people?
09.45 Questions led by Mary Gestrin

10:00-10.30 Coffee break

PARALLEL SESSIONS
10:30
You look great today! – Good practices and measures of attractiveness in the Nordic countries
Young people and educational choices in rural areas
Innovative rural mobility solutions – how to make them flourish?

12:00 Youth panel with Emilia Astrenius Widerström, President LRF Ungdomen, Susanna Israelsson, Vice president Sáminuorra, Aki-Mathilda Høegh-Dam, Vice Chairman  Siumut Youth and Edvard Bele Sæterbø, Cultural leader Norges Bygdeungdomslag
How do young people in rural and remote areas pursue their life goals, studies and career? Moderated by Mary Gestrin.
12.45 Concluding remarks

13.00 – 13.45 Lunch

14:00-17.00 Excursion to ESS – European Spallation Centre: https://europeanspallationsource.se/


PARALLEL SESSIONS


TOURISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE

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? What kind of regionalism should guide sustainable tourism development?


THE BLUE AND THE GREEN BIOECONOMY: USE OF LAND AND MARINE RESOURCES FOR COMPETITIVE, RESILIENT AND INCLUSIVE RURAL REGIONS

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?

“The bioeconomy is of fundamental importance to the national economies of the Nordic countries, especially  for rural development in large parts of the region”. It is an economy based on land and marine-based natural resources producing vital goods and services.  The Nordic Region is a major producer of primary biomass – approximately 30% of Europe’s forest production and more than 50% of the total marine harvest in Europe, but differ widely between areas from fish, aquaculture and macroalgae being abundant in the West Nordic countries, forests being of main importance in Sweden, and Finland and animal manure of main importance in Denmark. The opportunities for their use are vast, ranging from food to fibre, from medicines to energy to tourism. However, all of these are dependent upon a sustainable management of biological resources and a fair distribution of economic benefits. The newly developed Nordic Strategy for Bioeconomy from 2018 combines environmental, social and economic ambitions for a more sustainable Region. The vision is based on four points:

  • Competitive bio-based industries
  • Sustainable resource management
  • Resilient and diverse ecosystems
  • Inclusive economic development

As land and marine areas are key for these biological and human activities increasing competition between uses are likely to occur. The areas are also integral parts of ecosystems and indispensable for biodiversity and the carbon cycle. The regulation of ownership and management of land and sea, and user rights to the land, the sea and freshwater resources, or to the key products and services arising from them, is therefore crucial for their sustainable development potential. Such rights, their allocation and distribution, taxation and associated rules, determine productivity and the distribution of costs and benefits, including related public goods and ”bads”.


CROSS-BORDER COLLABORATION

The objectives of Nordic cross-border cooperation are very similar to the regional reforms; to secure the provision and delivery of high-quality services while keeping the costs at a reasonable level. Cooperation becomes challenging in the changing circumstances; local and regional actors do not know any more which organization or person in the new organization has the responsibility for joint issues. They do not know neither who has the mandate to make decisions in the new organizations, nor on which level different decisions are made.

During 2019-2020, the Nordic thematic group on Sustainable Rural Development will carry out a project that has focus on the impact of municipal and regional reforms. The project will make an overview of recent reforms, discuss governance issues in this context, and propose alternative scenarios to mergers, for example.

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.


YOU LOOK GREAT TODAY! – GOOD PRACTICES AND MEASURES OF RURAL ATTRACTIVENESS IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES

Your municipality or region is struggling with depopulation and outmigration, there is a lack of interesting jobs and job loss or a lack of relevant labour force, high youth unemployment (NEETS) and high old-age ratio? At the same time, or quite the contrary, you have succeeded in increasing the attractiveness of your place for various reasons? There is, for instance, an increase and successful integration of both domestic and foreign migrants?  The economic development is sound?  You have a vivid community life, an active local society and both citizens, local / regional businesses/industries do contribute to local community development?

This session will explore the many reasons, drivers and obstacles behind rural attractiveness. Practitioners and researchers will look into access to public services (schools & day-care, healthcare) and new forms of service provision. Housing policy and infrastructure developments in terms of transportation and functioning IT-connections will be explored, too. 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.

We highly recommend attending this workshop to:

  • receive fresh and stimulating research results,
  • listen to and discuss good/best practices from colleagues from the Nordic countries
  • build networks and personal relations with people engaged in and fostering attractiveness of rural areas.

YOUNG PEOPLE AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICES IN RURAL AREAS

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. How are challenges being dealt with from regional level, and what separates the condition of rural youth from urban in this sense? What is this group called NEETS and how are regional and national authorities dealing with re-engaging this group of future adult citizens.


INNOVATIVE RURAL MOBILITY SOLUTIONS – HOW TO MAKE THEM FLOURISH?

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.  Designing mobility solutions that work requires a thorough understanding of the factors that influence transport preferences and travel behaviour. It also relies on intimate knowledge of the specific context where the solution is to be applied and the different actors who will play a role in making the idea a reality.

This parallel session will provide an overview of the current and future trends in innovative rural mobility solutions in the Nordics. The mobility business models that have the biggest potential in rural areas will be explored and the key opportunities and challenges for rural mobility will be discussed. This parallel session draws upon the findings from the Interreg BSR MAMBA project, the research results from the VTI (Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute) and good practice examples from Sweden and Denmark.

We highly recommend attending this workshop to:

  • Receive recent research results from rural mobility experts
  • Gain knowledge on the key challenges and opportunities for innovative rural mobility solutions
  • Listen to and discuss good practices from colleagues from the Nordic countries


 

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