In a significant stride towards addressing the multifaceted challenges confronting rural areas in Sweden, researchers Annie Roos and Helene Ahl, our project’s colleagues from Linnaeus University and Jönköping University, respectively, unveiled the findings of the FLIARA Project during the second edition of the Conference of Rural Areas and Regions in Transition in Stockholm from November 8th to 9th, 2023.
The conference, themed “Rural and Regions in Change,” served as a dynamic platform for scholars from across Sweden to share insights, foster new connections, and collectively explore avenues for the sustainable development of Swedish rural areas. The event aimed to tackle pressing issues such as climate change, evolving energy and food systems, and the future of forestry and agriculture.
Roos and Ahl showcased the outcomes of the FLIARA Project within the framework of “Visions for Sustainable Rural Areas in Sweden: Do the Entrepreneurs and the Innovation Support System Envision the Same Future?” The project, utilising Foresight and Trend Analysis, engaged key stakeholders at the local level within each project region. This process facilitated a crucial connection between local contexts and sustainable futures.
The researchers emphasised on how entrepreneurs and local innovation support system actors envision different sustainable futures for rural areas in Sweden. The goal is to generate practical solutions for the challenges faced by Swedish regional and rural development, encompassing aspects like welfare, skill supply, and services.
The FLIARA Project’s innovative approach to integrating local perspectives with foresight analysis promises to offer a holistic understanding of the needs and aspirations of rural communities. As climate change continues to reshape societal paradigms, this research endeavour strives to provide a roadmap for steering Swedish rural areas towards a sustainable and resilient future.
The unveiling of the FLIARA Project at the conference marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing discourse on rural development in Sweden, bringing together academia, policymakers, and local stakeholders in a collaborative effort to envision and enact positive change.