3 February 2021: Sustainable Tourism Post-Covid, Nordregio Forum session 4 

2020 has been a tough year for tourism and we are yet to witness the full regional and national impacts across the world. This year has also provided an opportunity to take a step back and ponder what kind of tourism is sustainable in the long run? Has the business been financially, socially, and environmentally beneficial for the region?

In this webinar, Professor Arvid Viken, and our researchers will focus on the tourism paradox, regional plans for sustainable tourism, the challenges ahead, and how to measure economic impact. We will also hear directly from Guðrið Højgaard, Director at Visit Faroe Islands, and other Nordic tourism associations and businesses. How did they survive the shock, so far? Which are the new trends, tools and strategies to support local tourism, innovation and resilience, post-Covid? 

PROGRAMME Wednesday 3 February 2021 - 13:00-15:30 CET (online)

Opening by Dr. Rolf Elmér, new Director at Nordregio 

Keynote 1: Dr. Anna Karlsdóttir, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio will present Critical challenges for Nordic tourism development, depletion of resources and how to measure the impact of tourism on local and regional economies. She has also studied young people as lifestyle entrepreneurs and innovators in tourism.  

Keynote 2: Ágúst Bogason, Research Fellow at Nordregio will talk about Regional plans for sustainable tourism – key trends and learnings on how to make tourism planning work for the environment, the locals and their economy 

Keynote 3: Professor Arvid Viken, from the University of Tromsø, Norway will present The Tourism Paradox: Lofoten and other examples of sustainable Arctic tourism and destination development. How to handle the social and environmental strain from tourism in small communities?                   

Q&A Session Ask the experts! Here is your chance to ask questions to the speakers.

14:30 Short break

A moderated Tour Around the Nordics

Hear directly from Nordic tourism associations and regional experts. Which are the new trends, tools and strategies to support local tourism, innovation and resilience, post-Covid? 

Denmark: Anne Thomas, Director, Centre for Regional & Tourism Studies, Bornholm

Faroe Islands: Guðrið Højgaard, Director at Visit Faroe Islands 

Finland: Minttu Heimovirta, Founder, Pihka Outdoors, an innovative tourism company in Finnish Lapland

Åland: Jouko Kinnunen, Head of Research, Statistics Åland

Sweden: Dr. Jonathan Yachin, Dalarna University,  New study on micro tourism companies in Dalarna, their motivation, utilization of local resources and impact in local communities 

Key take aways and next steps with Anna Karlsdóttir

Meet and mingle with today's speakers and participants on Zoom (see the link in your email)!  

Previous sessions

23 November: Skills, matching, and future workplaces

With the past year bringing changes to our lives and to the way we work, the final session of Nordegio Forum 2020 will focus on a topic that is becoming more and more important – acquiring the right skills for the future. One other important part of the discussion will revolve around what the workplaces of the future will look like, taking into consideration changes in the labour market, such as automatization of jobs and changes in working-age groups.

Despite relatively high standards of living, several indicators show that large groups of young people in the Nordic countries are not thriving. In addition, regional variations in the situation of young people across the Nordic countries are striking. The topic of youth, the skills they have, their prospects for the future and how policies and ecosystems can promote the right skills will also be part of this last session.

13.00 Karen Refsgaard, Research Director at Nordregio will start today's session together with Åsa Ström Hildestrand and Vaida Ražaitytė, our moderators for the day, and introduce you to the programme and topic.

13.10 Oskar Penje, GIS expert at Nordregio, will set the scene with some interesting maps on labour market changes and forecasts, education levels by municipality, areas affected by automatization, change in working-age population, and cross-border commuting.

13.20 Anna Lundgren and Anna Karlsdóttir, both Senior Research Fellows at Nordregio will talk about Policies and ecosystems to promote skills, followed by Youth, skills, and workplaces in the future.

13.45 Sveinung Skule, Director, Kompetanse Norge (Competence Norway) tells us how they work to improve matching and skills provision throughout Norway, both at a regional and municipal level.

14.05 Ask the experts! Here is your chance to ask questions to the speakers.

14.30 Short break

14.35 How do we improve matching and life-long learning, rural youth involvement, cross-border collaboration; digitalisation and changing skillsets? We have invited five experts to share their views as well as some regional initiatives to learn from. With us are Birgitte Wohl Sem, Senior Analyst at Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Jouko Kinnunen Head of Research, Åland Statistics & Research, Maria Edvardsson, Coordinator of Vocational SFI School, Karlstad Municipality, Sigurður Ólafsson, Secretary-General at the West Nordic Council, and Søren Melcher, Special Advisor at the Danish National Association of Municipalities (KL). Questions from the Q&A will be addressed throughout the session.

15.25 Wrap-up and next steps, Karen Refsgaard.

15.30 Meet and mingle with today's speakers and participants on Zoom (see the link in your email)!


Programme for the two final events in our Nordregio Forum series will be released in December.


Previous events:

11 November: Non-functioning housing markets in the Nordics

During the last decades, the housing markets in the Nordics have gone through significant changes, its role at the core of social welfare being tested. The first session of Nordregio Forum 2020 will gather experts, researchers and policy-makers who will address this issue, focusing mainly on solutions from the Nordic region that have been tested and have proven successful over time.

The session will take us through several essential topics, from non-functioning housing markets and the effects of spatial injustice, the future of rural housing and if and how it has been affected by the Covid19 pandemic, to ways of improving the housing market and increasing access to housing in urban areas, with predominantly unaffordable options.

*Note that all times are preliminary and subject to change. We will use Menti for questions and opinions throughout all three events.

13.00 Welcome to the webinar series! Paula Lehtomäki, Secretary-General at the Nordic Council of Ministers will speak about the Nordic Vision and the added value of Nordic cooperation. Our moderator, Michael Funch, will give us an introduction to the theme, speakers and programme.

13.10 Egon Noe, Professor at the University of South Denmark talks on how to Make housing markets work for people.

13.30 Moa Tunström, Lecturer at Karlstad University, and previous Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio, presents some of the findings from the report Building affordable homes: Challenges and solutions in the Nordic Region.

13.50 Søren Qvist Eliasen, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio reflects on a recent study conducted by Nordregio on behalf of the Nordic Thematic Group for Sustainable Rural Development, namely Rural housing – a frozen market? 

14.10 Time for questions from the audience! Our key-notes will line up and respond to your questions.

14.30 - 14.40 Short break

14.40 Welcome back! We're starting with some expert comments, tour around the Nordics, regional examples and case study results, all gathered under the title "Post-pandemic housing and living in the Nordics". With us, we have Harry Flam, Professor in Economics at Stockholm University, Tina KM Sinclair, Senior Advisor at Vestland County Council, Anna Granath Hansson, Lector at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, Elmar Erlendsson at the Housing Authority in Iceland, and Gunnar Casserstedt and Larz Johansson CEO and Chairman at Kiladalens utveckling in Stavsjö, Sweden. Questions from the Q&A will be addressed throughout the session.

15.20 Wrap-up and next steps, Kjell Nilsson, Director at Nordregio.

15.30 Mingle and meet, digitally! Use this opportunity to chat with the speakers and meet other participants.

Meeting room 1 (Egon Noe, Professor at the University of South Denmark and Harry Flam, Professor in Economics at Stockholm University)

Meeting room 2 (Moa Tunström, Lecturer at Karlstad University and Anna Granath Hansson, Lector at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden)

Meeting room 3 (Gunnar Casserstedt, CEO at Kiladalens utveckling in Stavsjö and Søren Qvist Eliasen, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio)

Meeting room 4 (Tina KM Sinclair, Senior Advisor at Vestland County Council and Elmar Erlendsson at the Housing Authority in Iceland)



18 November: Planning and policies for inclusive towns and cities 

The keyword for the second session of Nordregio Forum is "inclusiveness": How to create communities where everyone can contribute and thrive - regardless of background. The session will start with a dive into recent migration trends and demography in the Nordics, and the causes and effects of growing minorities in small and medium-sized cities. We will also compare policies and urban development projects for social inclusion and youth involvement across the Nordic region, from Reykjanesbaer via Arendal, Norway, to Pori in Finland. Last but not least, you will meet the evaluator of the Danish 'Ghetto policy' and hear about positive and negative impacts.

13.00 Our moderator, Åsa Ström Hildestrand, Head of Communications at Nordregio will introduce today’s session together with Kristin Marklund, Project Manager at the Nordic Integration Programme: www.integrationnorden.org

13.10 Timothy Heleniak, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio, will talk about Migration and mobility – growing minorities in small towns. He will also share some interesting maps showing migration patterns and demographic changes.

13.25 The next topic is Overcoming barriers to inclusion in Nordic cities, presented by Mats Stjernberg, another Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio, and Sandra Oliveira e Costa, Research Fellow at Nordregio. Mats Stjernberg and Sandra Oliveira e Costa have worked with a project called "Inclusive Cities" and this presentation will focus on some of the cases and findings from that study.

13.45 Claus Bech-Danielsen will talk about the Danish ghetto policy in practice – lasting effects? Claus Bech-Danielsen is a Professor in architecture and spatial planning at Aalborg University and Principal Investigator in an ongoing evaluation of the reconstruction of certain Danish “ghettos” or segregated areas.

14.05 Ask your questions!

14.30 Short coffee break

14.40 Effective local measures for inclusive towns: Hear our Nordic experts dwell on what effective local measures can be. With us are Hilma Hólmfríður Sigurðardóttir, Project Manager for Diversity and Inclusion in Reykjanesbær, Lisbeth Iversen, Project Manager, Med hjerte for Arendal, Antti Kurvinen, Post-Doctoral Researcher at Tampere University, and Ali Ababneh, representative of Haparanda-Tornio cross-border collaboration. Questions from the Q&A will be addressed throughout the session.

15.10 The key to sustainable inclusion: Youth engagement. Meet Thomas Melin from the Swedish Local 2030 Hub and Lotte Fast Carlsen, Nordic Safe Cities Network.

15.25 Wrap-up and next steps, Kjell Nilsson, Director Nordregio.

15.30 Mingle and meet, digitally! Use this opportunity to chat with the speakers and meet other participants.