Exploring the Northern Dimension

ND Newsflash No. 2/2019 (June)

Northern Dimension Newsflash 2/2019
In this issue we give you a few examples of our latest activities.

You can read the individual articles below or download the ND Newsflash here: Northern Dimension Newsflash 2/2019.

Enjoy the reading and have a relaxing summer!

Synergies of Creative Industries and Cultural Tourism: growth factors and known and unknown challenges

The round table discussion “Sustainability and Synergies of Creative Industries and Cultural Tourism” took place within the 10th Northern Dimension Forum on April 4, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The discussion was moderated by Elena Bogdanova, Director of the “Kizhi” Open-Air Museum and Dace Resele, Head of Secretariat, Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC).

With the help of case studies about the Synergies between Creative Industries and Cultural Tourism, the Round Table focused on an analysis of how these two sectors create products that encourage the development of human capital, social inclusion, strengthen connectivity, support responsible innovation and contribute to the development of the region. The focus of the Round Table was public sector and mostly non–commercial activities.

Seven presentations were given during the Round Table, followed by a discussion with the audience. Participants were from Northwest Russia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. At the end of discussion, there were several conclusions that have been drawn:

  • Taking into account rapid societal changes and the challenges within the CCI and Creative Tourism sector, one of the prerequisites for its further development is to boost professional capacity. It is evident that there is a lack of trained, educated specialists within these fields. That is why occasionally those are the investors who are upgrading the professional skills of stakeholders.
  • Cultural tourism should be more environmentally and socially responsible. That is a relatively recent issue within these sectors, but it goes hand in hand with the common Northern Dimension directives that could be more accentuated in the implementation of future projects.
  • In order to encourage local social initiatives, CCI organizations should apply an NGO approach to regional development through work with communities, raising social awareness and supporting individual social or cultural initiatives.
  • Collaboration between administration and authorities – local, municipal, regional and international – on the one hand, and NGOs, local businesses, on the other hand, is necessary in order to create the most effective services and products for the benefit of communities. It is crucial to develop specific cooperation mechanisms, e.g. private companies supporting CCI structures whose business values are overlap with theirs.
  • International cooperation serves as a quality indicator and helps to evaluate local strengths and weaknesses within the Creative Tourism and CCI sectors.

The ND Business Forum is an annual event and is primarily aimed at fostering cooperation between business, authorities and civil society involved in developing the Northern Dimension area in the changed reality.

Riitta Kosonen Dace Resele Paavo Lipponen web

Dace Resele
Writer is a new head of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) secretariat

Ms. Dace Resele (in the middle) with NDI Lead Coordinator Ms. Riitta Kosonen and Mr. Paavo Lipponen at the ND Business Forum in St. Petersburg.

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.

NDI attended the 29th Northern Dimension Steering Group meeting in Reykjavik

The NDI Think Tank Action was represented at the 29th Northern Dimension Steering Group meeting, which was held in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 7 June 2019. Project Leader Minna Hanhijärvi presented an insight of the ongoing Action, thematic research and planned activities for the end of the year. NDI will ensure designing thematic co-creation workshops in close collaboration with the ND Partnerships to ensure coordination, and synergies among planned ND events in the fall and relevant topics as well as relevant topics.

Reykjavik Copy







Reykjavik, Iceland. Image by Rebecca L from Pixabay

NDI Think Tank Action took part in the NDPC Steering Group Meeting

The NDI Think Tank Action was present at the NDPC Steering Group meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland, on 3 June 2019. Dr. Päivi Karhunen gave an overview of the Action and discussed synergies between the Action and the NDPC action plan for 2019. It was agreed that the Action will organize a co-creation workshop as part of the NDPC International Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia in November 2019. The Action will also continue its well-started collaboration with the NDPC’s new director Dace Resele. This includes, for example, jointly identifying relevant research on culture and creative industries in the ND area and fostering its communication to decision-makers and the public.

NDPC steering group 2019 



Participants of the NDPC SC Meeting in Rovaniemi

How to use the NDI to boost growth in the Northern Dimension area?

In the current times of economic and political instabilities, it is of utmost importance to seek economic growth to tackle environmental challenges, solve societal problems and provide help and assistance to those in need. Economic growth is not in contrast with the goals of combatting climate change. Rather, arguments for “degrowth” would only weaken societies’ capacity to provide sustainable solutions to the environmental challenges.

Taking the multifaceted nature of vicious environmental challenges, including their social, political and economic dimensions, there is increasing need for the use of research-based knowledge in policymaking. This is where the Northern Dimension Institute could provide more insight and tools for the common good.
The NDI could play a bigger role in boosting growth in various ways.

First, as the vicious environmental problems are characterized by several uncertainties, the NDI has a valuable a role as the provider of trustworthy, neutral and research-based knowledge for the use of private and public sector decision makers. There is increasing need for neutral, objective knowledge in the world, in contrast to fake news and hidden agendas.

Second, the NDI is useful in finding existing knowledge and feeding it to the decision makers. In fact, the world is packed with knowledge, but it is not easily available, or not served in a user friendly, applicable format.

Third, there is also need for new knowledge and targeted research. For example, we do not yet know enough of the sources of black carbon emissions, or the potential benefits of hydrogen as a fuel in the ND area. The NDI operates as a platform to fill identified information gaps.

Fourth, in the world characterized by instability and insecurity, we need more optimism in decision making and forecasting the future. Here, the NDI could play a bigger role in bringing to the fore success stories of economically and socially sustainable solutions to environmental challenges in the ND area. It has been proven that even small actions of modernization can have considerable environmental impacts at the local level.

Fifth, in addition to identifying success stories, the NDI could boost growth by analyzing the scalability of the invented solutions. Several technical and digital solutions, as well as social design innovations, could be more generally applied to boost growth in the ND area or even widely.

Sixth, there is growth potential to be derived from a more effective cooperation among the ND Partnerships. There are several synergies that can be exploited to provide savings and to generate larger societal impact. It is easy to imagine such synergies to be found e.g. among environmental and health-related activities. The NDI could be more effectively used in building bridges between ND Partnerships by identifying synergies and overlaps.

Finally, critical building blocks of sustainable growth are coherent societies with active social dialogue in decision-making. The NDI has already an established role as the platform for dialogue between the providers and end users of knowledge in the academia, Partnerhips, public sphere, business community and civil society. This role could be more effectively used. Here, also NDI’s access and ability to involve young academics and students in public discourse, is vital for the sustainable and legitimate future.

Here is the wish list, what about the funding?

Prof. Riitta Kosonen, NDI Lead Coordinator

KosonenRiitta 03

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