Future workshops have started!


The Future of Nordic Youth in Rural Regions seeks to examine how rural young people envision the future of their regions; what kinds of dreams, hopes, worries, and possible future solutions they envision. For this purpose the project organizes 16 workshops in the four participating countries.The series of workshops was started this week in Finland! 

Picture: Our Future workshop -method combines discussion and drawing. Future life is outlined with the help of avatars created by each participant, and a co-created map that captures their ideas of future development. 

Travel planning is essential when doing research in sparsely populated areas! For the two first workshops our team in Finland used multiple vehicles and spent several hours on the road. Despite of this, private car was the most important means of transportation for us. In sparsely populated and rural areas in Finland there are less public transport options available, and it is seldom possible to reach your final destination with these options.

Transportation turned out to be one of the primary discussion topic in our workshops, too. How to move around is one of the key issues in everyday lives of young people in the sparsely populated areas. Many discussions in the workshops was related to vehicles, mobility, transportation and roads.

Other topics included opportunities and threats related to the future. Young people's voices and opinions, and their perspectives to future challenges are essential in our project. In the first workshops young people brought up issues like the climate change, migration and the preservation of livelihoods. 

For the young people, thinking about these heavy topics can be burdensome. It is also important to understand that these issues concern young people differently in different areas. One of the aims of our project is to highlight this diversity. Rural young people are not one uniform group: different groups of young people have different needs and hopes, and each region has its own special characteristics that should be taken into account, for example, in regional planning.

When travelling to fieldwork together with a colleague, the trip is also an opportunity to get to know each other better. The trip offers opportunities to refine the plans and to reflect after the workshops and interviews. We took advantage of these opportunities and the journey and working together was rewarding.

In Finland, two more workshops will be organised during the spring. In Sweden, Norway and Denmark, workshops will be launched soon after.

We look forward to new future workshops!

Henna Tuomiranta and Helena Ristaniemi

Photos by: Henna Tuomiranta