Gen Z workshop at Nordregio. Photo by Sofia Strömgård


Find the latest updates on the Nordregio Forum 2023 programme on this page.

Tuesday, 17 October, 8:30 - 19:00 GMT (Reykjavik, Iceland)



8:30 - 9:00

Registration & coffee

9:00 - 9:10

Welcome by the moderator, overview of the day

  • Moderator: Snorri Másson, Journalist and podcaster
  • Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Icelandic Minister of Infrastructure

9:10 - 10:05

Session 1: Entering the Nordic labour market

9:10 - 9:25

Keynote by the guest speaker: Should I stay, or should I go? Young adult’s choices for obtaining higher education

  • Eva Mærsk, Researcher at the University of Southern Denmark

9:25 - 9:35

Thriving rural areas or beautiful future graveyards? Recommendations from the Nordic Youth Panel

  • Mari Wøien Meijer, Research Fellow, Nordregio
  • Gen Z Agency representative

To ensure viable, thriving, and inclusive Nordic rural areas, it is pertinent that young people are involved in policy making processes, to voice their hopes and dreams for rural futures and their concerns regarding their opportunities to settle in rural areas. Nordic rural municipalities are experiencing a demographic trend of an ageing population and an exodus of young people – but why is that? This keynote will share findings from the project “Gen Z Agency: Mobilising young people to strengthen Nordic rural areas” in which Nordic Youth Panellists sought to develop policy recommendations for Nordic policy- and decision makers through co-creative workshops during 2023.

9:35 - 10:05

Nordic Tour

Lappeenranta Junior University - Uniori

  • Annamaria Mostonen, Coordinator, Junior University

Nordfjordakademiet aims to introduce young people to the local professional life opportunities in Nordfjord. It follows young people through the entire training course into working life. The organisation acts as a central hub between the public and private sectors, educational institutions, schools and anyone who wants to know more about the opportunities in Nordfjord.

  • Tonje Bjerkan, Managing Director

10:05 - 10:25

Coffee break

10:25 - 11:45

Session 2: Mobility & Housing

10:25 - 10:40

Research insights: Early career mobility in the Nordic region

  • Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir, Research Fellow, Nordregio

Recent Nordregio studies show that adults in their 20s and 30s stand out from the rest of the Nordic population when it comes to their migration patterns and intensity within the region.  How do young people choose where to settle and enter the labour market after graduating? The keynote will share findings from a survey on young people’s choices and their implications for regional development policies.

10:40 - 10:55

Research insights: Young Nordics’ access to affordable housing

  • Anna Granath, Senior Research Fellow, Nordregio

Young people are often described as a group with difficulties in the housing market. Here, two research projects focusing on moderate and mid-income households’ access to housing markets will be briefly presented with a focus on the young. The project Strategic Housing centers around affordability and social mix and studies larger cities’ housing development programs, inclusionary housing planning tools and initiatives by housing developers to include the young. All in all, the three articles that are the outcome of the project shed light on opportunities and restraints affecting young people trying to enter the housing market.  In a parallel project on Collaborative Housing, the possibility of young people developing their own housing in collaboration with others is also explored, an initiative that might be especially relevant in less populated areas.

10:55 - 11:45

Discussion: What does GenZ need to stay in the Nordics? Developing education and labour market policies to fit a new generation


Mari Wøien Meijer, Research Fellow, Nordregio

Panelists (Gen Z representatives):

  • Mads Harstad, Norway
  • Bára Örk Melsted, Iceland
  • Annie Linsemark, Sweden

Panelists (policy representatives):

  • Hans-Peter Carlson, Sweden
  • Lilja Rannveig, Iceland (Member of Althingi, Progressive Party)

11:45 - 12:45


12:45 - 14:30

Session 3: Young people‘s perspectives on environmental sustainability and green transition

12:45 - 12:50

Welcome back by the moderator, overview of the second part of the day

  • Snorri Másson, Journalist, podcaster

12:50 - 13:05

Research insights

  • Carlos Tapia, Senior Research Fellow, Nordregio

The green transition is much needed to cope with climate change but is expected to have a mix of social and economic impacts on all groups on society, including younger generations. This is where the concept of a fair green transition comes in. This keynote will present the most important findings from a representative survey capturing Nordic people’s opinion on the green transition. The survey focuses on climate policies as fundamental enablers in the shift towards a low-carbon society and focuses on the following aspects: 1) general attitudes towards climate change and climate policies; 2) current effects of climate change mitigation policies on individuals and households; 3) expected effects of climate change mitigation policies on individuals and households, and; 4) fairness of climate change mitigation policies. The keynote will look at these aspects from a generational perspective: how do younger people’s opinions differ from those by older generations when replying to the survey questions

13:05 - 13:20

Research insights

  • Leneisja Jungsberg, Senior Research Fellow, Nordregio

Young Voices from the Arctic: Insights on Climate Change and Permafrost Degradation. This presentation will examine the perceptions of young people in Greenland and the Nordic Arctic, aiming to understand the impacts of climate change and permafrost degradation on their lives. Additionally, it will explore current projects and strategies that aim to enhance the capacity of young people, including co-creation and innovation labs. These initiatives empower the younger generation to prepare for and participate in designing the green transition, as well as developing adaptation strategies. The voices of younger generations are crucial as they will be the future leaders. This work is part of the Nunataryuk and Arctic Sustainable Futures project, which brings together researchers from various fields including physical science, engineering, health, anthropology, economy, and planning.

13:20 - 13:45

Research insights: Socially sustainable tourism and implications for the youth

  • Ágúst Bogason, Research Fellow, Nordregio

Tourism in the Nordic countries has increased exponentially in the past decade. Indeed, tourism has provided great economic opportunities. In rural areas it is often presented as a substitute for declining traditional industries and a way to tackle declining population trends. In the more urban areas, improved public services and better standards of living for local residents are often highlighted as the main benefits along with economic growth. In the quest for planning for a sustainable Nordic tourism development the focus has tended to mainly evolve around two dimensions of the sustainability concept, the economic and the environmental. The third dimension, the social sustainability, has not achieved as much attention. The social effects of increased tourism in the Nordics are however substantial, some positive and others more negative. This session will look into an ongoing research project on socially sustainable tourism, with a special focus on the possible social effects on the life of young people.

13:35 - 14:30

Discussion: Youth as partners in the green transition – building sustainable communities


  • Snorri Másson, Journalist, podcaster

Panelists (GenZ and Youth2030 representatives):

  • Helena Forsgren, Sweden
  • Bára Örk Melsted, Iceland
  • Mads Harstad, Norway

Panelists (Policy representatives):

  • Mika Uolamo, Finland
  • Malene Tonheim, Norway

In this panel we will ask youth for advice and discuss tested methods, actions, and learnings from current projects and initiatives. Potential questions: What does sustainable living mean to youth in rural settings? How can we integrate young people’s perspectives in the green transition policies – and engage youth in sustainable local development? Which actions are most important to take first? The role of schools and colleges as hubs for innovation and green transition? How to boost young entrepreneurs and change-makers?

14:30 - 15:00

Coffee break

15:00 -
Several places on site

  • Study tours organised by TGs in collaboration with Green Force
  • Youth 2030 (parallel workshop on youth inclusion in practice)

19:00 -
Only to physical participants

Conference dinner in Borg Restaurant, Pósthússtræti 11, 101 Reykjavík

Rolf Elmér, Director, Nordregio

Wednesday, 18 October

Post Forum: For TGs only, organised by TG secretariats in collab

TG meetings and study tours organised by TG Secretariats