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Nordic VSR official launch: The Nordic View on Sustainability

It’s well known that most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will not be reached without local engagement. The Nordic countries have a long tradition of strong local governance and great potential to be frontrunners in SDG localisation. But what have the Nordic municipalities achieved so far? What works and what worries them? Welcome to the official launch of the first-ever Nordic Voluntary Subnational Review (VSR), showcasing local governments’ efforts to achieve the SDGs. The launch will take place on 9 July, in Conference room 8 at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development in New York. We welcome both those who will be onsite, and those joining online via stream. The Nordic VSR is based on surveys and interviews across all Nordic municipalities. Nordregio and the Local and Regional Government Associations (LRGAs) will present final results, key learnings and inspiring practices on SDG implementation from the Nordic Toolbox. Together, we’ll discuss how to face recurring challenges, including political support, SDG governance, cross-sectoral collaboration, stakeholder and youth engagement, and how to monitor progress.  Programme outline: Welcome and opening words Anna Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United NationsMerete Fjeld Brattested, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United NationsEeva Furman, Secretary-General of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable DevelopmentÞórður Ægir Óskarsson, Deputy Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United NationsErik Laursen, Deputy Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United NationsModerator: Åsa Ström Hildestrand, Nordregio  Presentation of Nordic VSR: Results and key learnings Nordic Local and Regional Government Associations (LRGAs):Anne Romsaas, Chief Adviser SDG, The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS Kommunesektorens organisasjon)Daniel Sazonov, Deputy Mayor of the City of Helsinki, The Chair of the AFLA Delegation, The Association of Finnish Local Authorities (AFLA/Kuntaliitto)Emil Broberg, Board member, The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR/SKR) and Councilor, Östergötland Region, SwedenHeiða Björg Hilmisdóttir, President, The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities (Samband…

Launch: State of the Nordic Region 2024

The 20th edition of the State of the Nordic Region is out! We shared the report highlights in an online launch on 19 June. A recording is available below. The speakers included: State of the Nordic Region 2024 takes stock of the latest socio-economic trends and developments in demography, labour market and economy in the Nordic countries, regions, municipalities, and cities. We have also included a brand new and revised Regional Potential Index that sheds light on the development potential and performance of regions across the Nordics and helps identify the regions with the strongest growth potential. The report is a source of comparative knowledge and insights. It offers a rich Nordic panorama through a collection of maps, data, figures and analyses that highlight both broader, common trends, as well as local and regional differences. The report is a treasure trove of information for the anyone and everyone interested in learning about the Nordics or getting inspired by the Nordic model, or drawing insights from the diversity of Nordic regions and areas. State of the Nordic Region is a biannual report published and produced by Nordregio. State of the Nordic Region 2024 marks the 20th edition of the report. Building on a rich knowledge base, extensive data sets, statistics, maps and analyses, it takes a closer look the latest trends and developments in the Nordic Region from three perspectives: Demography, Labour Market and Economy. The report gives a unique look behind the scenes of the world’s most integrated region, comprised of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, along with Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland.

Fiscal Policy in Uncertain Times: Nordic Economic Policy Review 2024

Welcome to the launch event of the new report “Fiscal Policy in Uncertain Times”. The Global Financial Crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have had vastly negative effects on economies and increased the risk of political instability in all corners of the world. One consequence has been a renewed interest in the efficiency of conventional macroeconomic policies, fiscal policy in particular.  This edition of the Nordic Economic Policy Review, provides a rich perspective on fiscal stabilisation in Nordic countries, highlighting different challenges in managing national economies during uncertain times. The event is organised together with the Danish Ministry of Finance.  Watch the live stream on YouTube 14:00-16:30 (CET) below: Programme 7 June:  13.30-14.00: Arrival and coffee  14.00-14.15: Opening remarks 14.15-14.25: Introduction to report 14.25-15.30: Fiscal Stabilisers in Denmark and Sweden 15.30-´15.45: Coffee break– 15 mins. 15.45-16.30: Panel Debate: Fiscal policy during uncertain times – What are the challenges facing stabilisation policy in the future? Moderator: Sune Bjørnvig, Communications Advisor and Partner, FRIDAY & Partner Panelists:  The event takes place on 7 June at 14:00-16:30 CET at the Danish Finance Ministry in Copenhagen, Denmark, and online. The event is open to all stakeholders and is free of charge. Please note that registration is mandatory. Register before 4 June!

Digital Inclusion in the Nordic-Baltic Region – The Conference

During two half days, 14-15 May 2024, it is finally time for the “Digital Inclusion in the Nordic-Baltic Region – The Conference” where we will deep dive into the development in the Nordic and Baltic Region! What is the current status of digital inclusion policies, or the rollout of eID and what role does civil society play? This and much more is on the agenda when policymakers, practitioners, civil society, and academia gather in Stockholm.  We will showcase the outcomes of two years of research, highlighting the unique challenges and solutions specific to the Nordic-Baltic Region. As this event aims to foster collaboration, dialogue, and knowledge exchange – we need you in the room with us. During the two days two reports, two studies and two new tools will be launched!  Programme Tuesday, 14th of May  Starting 11:30 with check-in and lunch. The first day of the conference will tackle the question of “What characterises digital inclusion in the Nordic/Baltic region?” and “What can we do to reduce digital exclusion in the Nordic/Baltic region?”. Topics include discussions on the evolution of the political landscape concerning digital inclusion post Covid-19 in the Nordic and Baltic region, the status of digitalisation of the public sector, barriers and solutions of E-id roll out in the Nordic and Baltic region, the pivotal role of civil society actors in ensuring digital participation across all societal groups and, lastly, how can the political level work together with the civil society level.  11.30  Arrival and lunch     12.30  Welcome to the conference!Our moderator Annika Östman, head of communications at Nordregio, opens the conference Rolf Elmér, Director at Nordregio, welcomes you       12.45  Official Opening of ConferenceDan Sjöblom, Director-General of the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) and Representative for the Swedish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2024        13.00  Setting the stage: What…

Urban Transformation Talks

The TANGO-W project—which focuses on transformative capacity in energy, food, and water—invites urban planners, sustainability experts, and innovative thinkers to join our enlightening webinar series Urban Transformation Talks. The series features partners from diverse European cities who will share insights and advancements in driving sustainable urban development. Register for one, two, or all three webinars to engage with researchers and practitioners, and learn about new approaches to building resilient, sustainable cities. What is Urban Transformative Capacity and why does it matter for sustainability in your city?Webinar 1# 9 April 10-11 CET Our first webinar in this series covers what is Urban Transformation Capacity—and why it is crucial for sustainability. To become more sustainable, cities need to adapt their capacities to meet the challenges following climate change and learn how to successfully implement new processes and governance models in urban contexts. This calls for a paradigm shift among political, administrative, and research sectors, with a focus on linking food-water-energy policies as part of holistic solutions in cross-sectorial collaboration. In this webinar, you will hear insights from Doris Willhelmer (Austrian Institute of Technology); Maria Lennartsson (Stockholms Stad, Sweden) and Stefan Guggenberger (Klagenfurt Municipality, Austria) Urban Transformative Capacity in practice: Implementing sustainability projectsWebinar 2# 16 April 10-11 CET This webinar will discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing sustainability projects. Insights from practical examples of local urban food production through aquaponics in Norrtälje (Sweden) and a food-waste reduction project with kindergartens in Halden (Norway) provide the context for discussing preconditions of urban transformative capacity. In this webinar, you will hear insights from Anja Wingstedt (Smart Innovation Norway); Kristiina Mustonen (Campus Roslagen, Sweden) and Hilde Marie Wold (Halden Municipality, Norway) Instruments for driving changeWebinar 3# 23 April 10-11 CET This webinar highlights different approaches for driving change towards a sustainable future, shaped by urban…

The Nordic View on Sustainability – lessons and practices

Welcome to this webinar where you will learn about the first ever Nordic Voluntary Sub-National Review of local governments’ efforts to reach the global sustainability goals and Agenda 2030. The “Nordic VSR” is based on a recent survey sent to all Nordic municipalities and regions. In July, Nordregio together with Nordic Local and Regional Government Associations will present it to a global audience at the UN High Level Political Forum in New York. We will share Nordic learnings and show the world that the local level is leading the way. During the webinar, you will be the first to learn more about the preliminary results and recommendations from the Nordic VSR, followed by comments and discussion with key stakeholders, including Nordic municipalities, youth networks and civil society. As our digital audience, you will be able to interact with the speakers throughout the programme via chat and polls. You will also be encouraged to share your success factors, needs and challenges working with the global goals/Agenda 2030 at the local level. Register to the webinar using the form below. The Nordic VSR is produced by Nordregio and an editorial group consisting of:Local Government Denmark (Kommunernes Landsforening – KL)Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (Kuntaliitto)The Icelandic Association of Local Authorities (Samband)The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS)The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges Kommuner och Regioner) Programme Tuesday April 9, 13.00-14.30 (CET) 13:00 – Welcome by Moderator (Åsa Hildestrand, Nordregio) Greeting by Anna Calvete Moreno, UCLG World Secretariat Barcelona: the Nordic VSR as a tool to boost SDG localisation globally About the Nordic VSR, intro by Nordregio  – survey and production 13:15 Editorial group presents key recommendations in the Nordic VSR:Eveliina Kiema-Majanen, Kuntaliitto, FinlandAnna G. Björnsdóttir, Samband, IcelandAnne Romsaas, KS, NorwayAnna Eklöf, SKR, Sweden 13:30 Comments by civil society,…

Nordic urban-rural typology reveals population changes 

We are proud to present the Nordic urban-rural typology and a new report with it!   This new grid-based Nordic urban-rural typology offers a versatile tool for enhancing spatial planning, policy development and research. Join us as we present how to use it to understand territorial differences, settlement, and population development patterns across the urban-rural continuum.   Improved results and analysis on Nordic level  The typology uses 1×1 km grid data to categorise territories in the Nordic countries, by urban and rural characteristics. It identifies seven types of areas: ranging from densely populated urban centres, to sparsely populated rural areas. By using this typology as an analytical framework, we have studied demographic trends across the Nordic region and conducted localised analysis, presented in the report that will be launched during the event.   Thanks to the statistical data – available on a very detailed level – the urban-rural typology serves as an analytical tool, giving you the possibility to compare population trends and settlement patterns between different types of areas and countries, offering a more detailed spatial analysis than ever.  On 19 March, we invite you to a webinar where we will go into depth on why and how we developed this grid-based Nordic territorial typology and then used this typology to conduct comparative analysis across the Nordic countries.  The webinar will cover:  Possibilities for policy and research   Nordic typology shows that many municipalities are at the same time both urban, intermediate, and rural, and in many cases these different categories seem to be undergoing quite different types of development. The typology itself does not communicate any trends, but offers a framework for informed decision-making in spatial planning and policy formulation across the Nordic Region. Analysis enabled by this tool are crucial for crafting effective policies and strategies, especially in adapting to trends such…

Meet a local. A Nordic model of community sponsorship for refugees

Community sponsorship programmes aim to support integration of refugees into the new community. Originating from Canada, the model has gained increasing interest throughout Europe in recent years. At this webinar, we will hear about recently launched pilot programmes in the Nordic countries. The Nordic countries have a tradition of organizing resettlement of refugees as a state-run and -sponsored scheme, involving municipalities during the reception and integration phase. The societal model is anchored in a system of free access to social welfare, housing, health care and education. Community sponsorship builds on the idea, that local volunteers and organizations can add to government-assisted integration support and play a central role in welcoming refugees. It supports the integration by engaging citizens and local communities in providing emotional, financial, and practical help to newly arrived refugees. The volunteers are committed to foster inclusion and self-sustainability of refugees but do not have to contribute financially. Recently launched pilot programmes in the Nordic countries are designed for quota refugees within the national resettlement programmes, and in the case of Sweden also for spontaneously arrived refugees with residence permits. Read more about community sponsorship at UNHCR Representation for the Nordic and Baltic countries. At this webinar, we aim to raise awareness, share practical experiences, and discuss the Nordic model of community sponsorship. Speakers join us from organisations and municipalities involved in community sponsorship and similar initiatives in the Nordic countries, as well as from a Danish partnership programme Venner Viser Vej. Programme: 13:00 Welcome and introduction to community-based sponsorship in the NordicsErika Löfgren, UNHCR Representation for the Nordic and Baltic countriesKaisa Kepsu, Integration Norden, Nordic Welfare CentreÅsa Ström Hildestrand, Moderator, Nordregio 13:15 Experiences from the Nordic countriesAnna Gezelius, Danderyd municipality, SwedenSit Elgeel Abdalkreem Abdalrhman Saber, matched newly arrived, Danderyd, SwedenLeigh Neil, welcoming guide, Danderyd, SwedenÞórunn Pálína Jónsdóttir,…

Symposium: The Public Value of Communication Infrastructures in the Nordics

On 8 February, a symposium hosted by Nordicom and Nordregio brings together experts from the fields of media scholarship, industry, and policy to discuss critical communication infrastructures in the Nordics. The debate will focus on whether the Nordic states are too reliant on tech giants to sustain the critical communication infrastructures of the welfare state. Three panels will discuss the issue from research, policy and industry perspective. You can tune in for the discussion via a live stream on 8 February (11.00-16.00 CET). A recording of the debate will also be available online afterwards.     Programme 11:00 Welcome 11:15 Keynote – Gateways: Comparing Digital Communication Systems in Nordic Welfare States 12:00 Break 13:00 Research panel: The preparedness of communication infrastructure in the Nordics 13:40 Policy panel: Regulating critical communication infrastructures in the Nordics 14:20 Break 14:40 Industry panel: The future infrastructure for democracy in the Nordics 15:20 Discussion 16:00 Closing   See Nordicom’s website for more information about the symposium. About the symposium The symposium is funded by the research project The Datafication of Communicative Power: Towards an Independent Media Policy for Norway’s Digital Infrastructures, The Research Council of Norway (grant number 314257), led by Professor Helle Sjøvaag at the University of Stavanger, and convened by Nordicom and Nordregio as part of the 2024 Swedish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers.