4th stakeholder workshop in Nordland
4th stakeholder workshop in Nordland.

By Jens Ørding Hansen

The 4th SeeRRI workshop for the region of Nordland, Norway, was held on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

The objective of the 4th workshop was to create a space where stakeholders from all strata of Nordland society could share their vision for Nordland and debate how different groups of actors in Nordland may work together to shape the region’s future. The workshop built on the outcomes of the previous Nordland workshops in 2020, at which stakeholders had mapped out possible future scenarios for the region.

Whereas the first three Nordland workshops took place onsite in Bodø, the capital of Nordland, the 4th workshop was conducted entirely online because of safety regulations related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 36 people participated in the 3-hour Zoom event. As in the previous Nordland workshops, participants included representatives from academia, government, industry, and civil society – the entire quadruple helix. The workshop included two co-creation sessions in which participants worked in groups to discuss questions related to the future of Nordland. Answers were written down on virtual sticky notes using the software tool Miro. The picture below shows one of the Miro boards developed at the workshop.

The first group work session was kicked off with a poll in which participants were asked to pick their preferred elements from the future scenarios developed in last year’s workshops. By voting in the poll, each participant outlined a personal “vision” for Nordland. The groups were then presented with debate questions based on group members’ predominant choices in the poll. The purpose of differentiating the debate questions across groups in this way was to maximize the chance that participants got to discuss topics they cared about.

In the second group work session, participants were assigned to new groups according to their quadruple helix affiliation. Each helix group discussed what they will need from the other three helix groups when working together with them to shape the future of Nordland. For example, the government group discussed their expectations of academia, industry, and civil society, and so on. After the session, group moderators summarized the main points of the discussions for all participants to hear.

In addition to the co-creation sessions, the workshop featured plenary sessions with presentations by Dag Bastholm (Nordland County Council), who introduced the proceedings; Åge Mariussen (Nordland Research Institute), who discussed the outcomes of the previous Nordland workshops; and Nhien Nguyen (Nordland Research Institute), who shared findings from the other pilot territories of SeeRRI.

The workshop was organized by Nordland Research Institute, Nordland County Council, and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise.