Kickoff for Futuring Nordics

The research project Futuring Sustainable Nordic Business Models is under way.

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Friday November 15, in “Kjerka” in the Domus Media building in central Oslo, the kickoff was held for the new research project Futuring Sustainable Nordic Business Models (Futuring Nordics) – one of eight research projects funded by UiO:Nordic.

Creating future

UiO:Nordic’s director Tore Rem welcomed the project into the UiO:Nordic collaboration with a metaphor meant to fit this project’s research interests. He emphasized that UiO:Nordic wishes to contribute to the “green shift,” and expressed great enthusiasm about being present at the kickoff for Futuring Nordics. At the same time, Rem gave a reminder that the English word “futuring” historically has had two very different meanings: “creating future” and “putting off until a future time.” He urged the project to put their efforts toward the former.

– We have no time to lose, was the UiO:Nordic director’s reminder.

Tore Rem, Peter Stadius og Jukka Mähönen
From the left, Director of UiO:Nordic Tore Rem, Professor Peter Stadius og Project leader and professor Jukka Mähönen. Foto: UiO:Norden.

– Aldous Huxley envisioned a Brave New World in dystopian terms. But there is little doubt that we need a “brave new world” in a more positive sense: We need researchers who can show courage and ingenuity, and thus help us toward a necessary reorientation and realignment.

Dr. Sarah Cornell from the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Peter Stadius, professor at the University of Helsinki and project leader for the Nordic research hub ReNEW (Reimagining Norden in and Evolving World), had been brought in to give the main talks.

Action now!

While the latter emphasized the project’s Nordic frame, Cornell, who researches global sustainability, showed why a reorientation to a more sustainable societal model is necessary. She pointed out that academia must help translate between scientific insights, society and businesses.

– The Nordic region has big ambitions for its climate politics, and “Futuring Nordics” fits well here, said Cornell

Direktør Tore Rem og Dr. Sarah Cornell
Director Tore Rem and Dr. Sarah Cornell. Foto: UiO:Norden.

– The project can contribute to showing the value of small and medium sized business models. We have to consume less, we need a “slow economy.” Action is required, now!

The project Futuring Nordics will work on presenting suggestions for sustainable business models over a three-year period. And they proceed in a practical manner. As project leader Jukka Mähönen said to UiO’s websites in October, Futuring Nordics’ ambitions go beyond analysis, they also intend to provide concrete advice for authorities and businesses, and create ways to help businesses cope with future challenges.

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