Exploring the Northern Dimension

A new logo for the Northern Dimension selected

Within the field of awareness raising, visual images play an increasingly important role. It had become clear that the Northern Dimension needed a logo to improve visibility and to underline Northern Dimension as a joint Northern agenda in Europe. Therefore, in its Reykjavik meeting in June 2019, the Northern Dimension Steering Group commissioned the NDI to produce a logo competition. The NDI produced the competition in cooperation with the Aalto University Visual Communication Department.

The competition call was launched in summer, with 2000 eur prizefor the winner. The competition was targeted to selected universities in the Northern Dimension area with visual communication study programs. The students were asked to design a long lasting logo that should give the Northern Dimension policy a clear identity in communication and in related media publications. The logo should also signify Northern Dimension’s four thematic areas and symbolize equal collaboration.

logo competitionThe competition was a great success with 43 suggestions, from which design experts pre-selected 14 finalists for the jury to decide the winner.

The jury consisted of design expertsand official representatives of the EU (Audrone Perkauskiene/EEAS), Russia (Igor Kapyrin/Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Iceland (Emil Breki Hreggvidsson (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Norway (Göril Johanssen/Ministry for Foreign Affairs ).

The decision of the jury was clear: the winner is Mr Jacob Stewart from the Aalto University.

Jury Comment:

A jury made up of international representatives of Northern Dimension and design experts from Aalto University’s Department of Media, consider that the winning entry of the competition cleverly combines Nordic aesthetics, the notion of an equal collaboration, and an original, perceptive idea. The logo offers possibilities for variations and is well suited for animation. Based on the logo and its design language, it is possible to create icons, which represent the organisation’s constituent areas of operation. The styling of the logo is fresh, modern, and suitably simple, and gives good potential for the realization of an interesting, working visual identity for the Northern Dimension.

The new logo, Jacob Stewart, the "founding father" of ND Paavo Lipponen and Riitta Kosonen from NDI

NArFU's news about the communication training

One of the NDI Think Tank Action partners, Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU), published a news article about the communications training for researchers held on Wednesday 12 June 2019. The training was a part of the Action activities.

The communications training "Make an impact with science communication" provided inspiration and tools for researchers for interacting with decision-makers and sharing their research results and policy recommendations in an effective manner.

Here is the link to the NArFU's article 'Научное сотрудничество в рамках международного проекта Института Северного измерения продолжается' (in Russian).

NDI organizes a communications training for researchers

NDI together with Kaskas Media, a Finnish media consulting company, organizes a communications training for researchers on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at Aalto University.

The communications training "Make an impact with science communication" provides inspiration and tools for researchers for interacting with decision-makers. Participants get to practice stakeholder communication, coming up with key messages and writing an effective policy brief. After the training all the participants will receive individual feedback on their policy briefs.

You can find the programme of the training here (PDF).

The training is part of the "Development of a think tank functions of the Northern Dimension Institute - NDI Think Tank Action”.

NDI Think Tank Action focuses on developing and institutionalizing think tank functions of the NDI to provide relevant research-based knowledge and a neutral platform for open dialogue, people-to-people contacts and co-creation among the decision- and policy-makers, civil servants, business, NGOs and the academic community.

The NDI Think Tank Action is a 3-year (2019-2021) project co-financed by the EC DG NEAR.

NDI Think Tank Action Launched

The NDI Think Tank Action was launched in a kick-off meeting at Aalto University on 27 February 2019. This 3-year Action, funded by the EU, serves the information needs of the four Northern Dimension partnerships between the EU, Norway, Iceland and Russia. The themes for these partnerships are environment, cultural cooperation, transport and logistics, and health and social wellbeing. The Action is carried out by NDI (Northern Dimension Institute) which is an international network of universities and research institutes.

In the Action, five Finnish, Russian and Austrian universities and research institutes produce research knowledge on diverse societal challenges of the North. The research topics identified together with the NDI partnerships are how to combat climate change and curb black carbon emissions, how to benefit from creative industries in solving societal challenges, how to facilitate healthy aging, and how to ensure the sustainability of emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia.

The NDI Think Thank Action’s lead partner is CEMAT research center, hosted by the Aalto University. The project partners are Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (NArFU), St. Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and University of Oulu.

The Action creates a culture of resource-informed policy making in the Northern Dimension area, promoting producers and end-users of research to co-create common understanding. This is achieved by active dialogue throughout the research project, which improves the accuracy of research topics and empirical material, and tailors the publication formats and dissemination platforms to be most applicable to the end users.

During 2019, the Action will produce several policy briefs and research reports for the use of ND environmental, culture, health, and transport and logistics partnerships. On the occasion of Finland's EU Presidency the year will culminate in the ND Future Forum in November. The Forum will be organized by the Action at Aalto University back to back with the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ high-level conference on Northern Dimension. The Forum will serve as a platform to collect young people’s visions on the Northern Dimension, and to channel them to the EU decision-makers.

 NDI Think Tank kickoff
Participants (from left to right) Anni Reissel, Minna Hanhijärvi, Päivi Karhunen, Arja Rautio, Marina Kalinina, Riitta Kosonen, Lassi Heininen, Ludmila Siluanova, Sofia Rekord, Svetlana Popkova, Dmitry Vasilenko and Hanna-Elina Koivisto

New Science Communication Handbook available

A Science Communication Handbook is published in the framework of the NDI Think Tank Action.

The Science Communication Handbook provides researchers with guidelines of effective science communication. The handbook includes practical tools and examples that will help researchers to plan communication and interaction to support their research projects goals.

Science Communication Handbook (link to the PDF)

The Handbook is based on the communications training for researchers organized by the NDI Think Tank Action and conducted by the Kaskas Media, a Finnish communications agency that specializes in science and expert communication. Kaskas Media has produced the handbook based on the science communication training day materials.

The communications training for researchers was held on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at Aalto University and it provided inspiration and tools for researchers for interacting with decision-makers and sharing their research results and policy recommendations in an effective manner. Presentations of the training are available here (link) and our news about the training here (link).

The Handbook and the training are part of the "Development of a think tank functions of the Northern Dimension Institute - NDI Think Tank Action”. The NDI Think Tank Action is a three-year project in 2019 - 2021 co-financed by the EC DG NEAR.

Researchers learned to make an impact with science communication

NDI organized a communications training for researchers on Wednesday 12 June 2019 at Aalto University. The communications training "Make an impact with science communication" provided inspiration and tools for researchers for interacting with decision-makers and sharing their research results and policy recommendations in an effective manner. Participants got to practice stakeholder communication, coming up with key messages and writing an effective policy brief.

During the day, participants heard and discussed successful real-life examples of co-creation and interaction by decision-makers and researchers. Ms. Tarja Haaranen, Director at the Ministry of the Environment of Finland, shared her experiences in successful communication with experts and researchers. Ms. Armi Temmes, leader of Smart Energy Transition project, Professor of Practice of Corporate Sustainability at the Aalto University introduced the participants how to use co-creation in a research project. Ms. Marita Laukkanen, Chief Researcher and Research Leader at the VATT Institute for Economic Research and Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of Helsinki spoke from her own experience, how researchers can contribute to societal debate via social media based on their research.

Presentations of the training are available below:
Tarja Haaranen: Successful science communication through the eyes of a decision-maker
Armi Temmes: How to use co-creation in a research project?
Marita Laukkanen: Why use social media as a researcher?

Discussion NDI communication training In the afternoon, the training was focused on defining stakeholders and key messages. Participants also learned how to turn their own research results into a policy brief with recommendations for policy actions.

Participants of the training represented the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON), the Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (NArFU), the Northern State Medical University, the University of Oulu and the Aalto University.

The training was conducted by Kaskas Media, a Finnish communications agency that specializes in science and expert communication. The training was a part of the "Development of a think tank functions of the Northern Dimension Institute - NDI Think Tank Action”.

NDI Think Tank Action focuses on developing and institutionalizing think tank functions of the NDI to provide relevant research-based knowledge and a neutral platform for open dialogue, people-to-people contacts and co-creation among the decision- and policy-makers, civil servants, business, NGOs and the academic community.

The NDI Think Tank Action is a 3-year (2019-2021) project co-financed by the EC DG NEAR.

The Action Steering Group of the NDI Think Tank Action project reviewed the implementation of the project in the first ASG meeting

The EU co-funded project NDI Think Tank Action held its first Steering Group (ASG) meeting on 27 November 2019 at Aalto University, Espoo. The meeting was hosted by the Lead Partner of the Action, Aalto University.

The ASG consists of project partners’ representatives and leaders of the four ND partnerships. The project was represented by Professor Riitta Kosonen, Director, CEMAT, Aalto University (Chair), Dr Marina Kalinina, Rector’s Advisor on International Cooperation, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (NArFU), Professor Arja Rautio, University of Oulu, Dr Elena Rovenskaya, Acting Deputy Director General, Program Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Dr Dmitry Vasilenko, Vice-rector for International Relations, St. Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON). The ND partnerships were represented by Mr Oddgeir Danielsen, Director of NDP Transport and Logistics and Ms Dace Resele, Head of the NDP Culture Secretariat. In addition, the meeting was attended by Dr Päivi Karhunen, Research Expert, NDI, Aalto University, Ms Anneli Vartio, Project Coordinator, NDI, Aalto University and Ms Johanna Vakkuri, Controller, Aalto University.

asg kuv

In the meeting the first year’s activities of the Think Tank Action project was reviewed and future plans outlined. The ASG acknowledged the implementation of the following activities of the Think Tank Action project:

  • Creating a pool of expertise and conducting targeted research in the following four thematic areas: combatting climate change and curbing black carbon emissions, creative industries in solving societal challenges, healthy ageing, and emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia
  • Serving the information needs of the ND partnerships and other stakeholders, co-creation with the partnerships and awareness raising
  • Building capacities of the partner organizations by organizing the first communication training for partners in June 2019
  • A ND logo design competition launched in summer 2019 on the request of the European Commission and the ND Steering Group to increase the awareness and visibility of the Northern Dimension
  • The main event of the year, the Future Forum organized on 28 November 2019 in Espoo, Finland
  • Preparing policy briefs, research-based summaries targeted especially for decision-makers. The policy briefs are published on the NDI website and distributed widely. Several policy briefs are currently in progress.
  • Producing several articles and publications in the four thematic areas
  • Active networking and presentation of the project and its outcomes in various ND meetings, seminars and conferences

The representatives of the partnerships brought up topical and prioritized issues of their activities. In transport and logistics, new emerging trade routes, decarbonization of transport and alternative fuels, digitalization, robotization and automation, artificial intelligence, data management and best practices in transport education were mentioned. In the field of culture, cross-cutting topics and cross-sectoral collaboration, promoting research in cultural industries, sustainability of cultural and environmental artistic practices, urban planning and cultural heritage were brought up.

The ASG stressed the need to popularize science in order to fill the gaps in decision-makers’ knowledge. Policy brief was considered to form a good channel to distribute information in an easy way to policy- and decision-makers.

The next ASG meeting is planned to be held in Brussels in connection with the Future Forum 2020.

Upgrading Science Communication skills in the ND academic community

The NDI is contributing to better knowledge-based decision making culture in the Northern Dimension area. In the era of economic, environmental and health related uncertainties it is increasingly important to bring the best relevant research-based knowledge into use of policy makers.

The NDI is actively serving the information needs of ND Partnerships in Environment, Transport and Logistics, Culture, and Health and Social Wellbeing. To facilitate this, the NDI is training the ND academic community in science communication skills.

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In 2019, the NDI organized a science communication training that helped researchers and experts to identify key decision makers and to translate research results into policy-relevant language. This year the science communication training will focus on how to elaborate research results and expert knowledge into insightful policy briefs. The training will be offered to the ND Think Tank Action partners, wider academic community, and experts representing the ND Partnerships.

The training will result in the publication of several policy briefs for the use of ND Partnerships.

The training will take place in Aalto University in autumn 2020, or it will be organized as a web-based course.

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