Sesjon 3B: Utdanning - kultur - natur


3 Utdanning – kultur – natur

Det islandske prosjektet Biophilia education er ett eksempel på innovative samarbeidsformer mellom forskjellige områder i samfunnet, som for eksempel utdanningssystemet, kulturinstitusjoner, naturvitenskaplige forskningsinstitusjoner og foreninger på grasrotnivå.

Nye arbeidsmetoder som brukes på konferansen integrerer Biophilia erfaringer, hvor kreativitet er en forutsetning for forskning. Metoden brukes for å forbedre samarbeidet mellom vitenskap, kultur og utdanning. Metoden knyttes til nyere forskning og forskningsbasert utviklingsarbeid, og i arbeidsprosessen integreres kunst, naturvitenskap, voksenpedagogikk og ikt/media. 

Sesjonsrapport 3B:

Workshop 3B: Education – Culture - Nature

Chair: Hans Mikkelsen

The chair introduced workshop 3B by linking the workshop theme with the overall aim of the conference. This aim was to challenge stakeholders at all levels to engage in multidisciplinary co-operation, network-building and to create dialogue between different sectors of adult learning. Interlinked with the overall aim, the specific aim of this workshop was to focus on challenges and opportunities for regions and peripheral areas in terms of developing new sources of creativity and innovation in ways that stimulate local development. In what way can educational institutions and work places cooperate and complement each other for the benefit of the community? The premise is that education should not be seen as an isolated phenomenon, but as an active collaborator that together with local businesses and other work places jointly develop new sources of creativity and innovation. Key-words are: co-operation, communication, learning in networks and bridge-building.

In order to illustrate in what way interdisciplinary co-operation can prove to be conducive to local development, light was first thrown on the Nordic welfare state model and its global challenges, and then two cases on how to work with education as an integrated part of local development were presented. The first case was about “master-learning” as a societally relevant model for tertiary education in the Faroe Islands, and the second one was about projects based on interdisciplinary collaboration in Iceland.

Shahamak Rezaei: The Nordic Welfare State & Global Challenges

An overview was given of the core characteristics of the Danish welfare state, characteristics that are seriously challenged in today’s society due to globalization. These include economic, political and cultural challenges that pose problems for soveriegn policy-making and the nation-state based democratic culture and universal solidarity. The presenter also focused on class, social cohesion, changing solidarities, inequality on the labour market, economic consequences of immigration and political discourses about regulation and democracy. He emphasized that the Nordic countries need to make up their minds about what kind of welfare state they want to keep and develop. Because of diverse and demanding challenges, entrepreneurship is important. His message was that integrating entrepreneurial theory and entrepreneurial practice is a necessity. For this purpose he used the concepts of “Train-Place & Place-Train”.

Gestur Hovgaard: “Master-learning”

The focus in this presentation was on introducing “Master-learning” as a potential solution for small scale universities in peripheral regions to develop high quality and societally relevant educational programmes. The concept, inspired by the apprenticeship system known from vocational education, is a pragmatic approach to learning that refers to individually designed master’s programmes consisting of individual study plans for each master student. “Master-learning” consists of theoretical studies combined with practice learning at public institutions, in companies or in voluntary organisations. It emphasises “training with a purpose” and may viewed as a new form of “problem-oriented work”. Moreover, it is a way to develop an academic community between students and ‘masters’ (supervisors) for reciprocal learning and competence building. The challenge is to tie together the local need for developing tertiary educational degree programmes based on small numbers of students and, at the same time, to take into account that a small labour market needs varied and flexible competences. “Master-learning” may thus contribute to the development of the tertiary educational sector in peripheral areas and to combating ‘brain drain’. A more detailed description of the concept in question is published in a recent book edited by G. Hovgaard et al., Vestnorden – nye roller i det internationale samfund. Faroe University Press 2014

Thora Valsdóttir: Supporting Entrepreneurs in Food Processing and Marketing among Local Producers and University Students in Iceland

The main focus in this presentation was on bridging the gap between universities and local industries. The practical examples presented by Matís, which is an independent research institute which strives toward innovation in food industry, biotechnology and food security, were from projects where interdisciplinary collaboration was key. This type of collabaration between real sciences, arts and social science has proved to be a success factor in terms of supporting and training entrepreneurs in local food production as well as in training university students in becoming independent entrepreneurs. Staff at Matís and from the university for example do research for companies, develop courses on demand from industries, and cooperate with designers and farmers. Interdisciplinary collaboration is a mindset, which has contributed to the creation of many business opportunities in rural areas. Some of the concrete results and success factors are new products, more tourism, creative environments, people returning to rural areas and beneficial co-operation between researchers and businesses.

Key messages

Interdisciplinary cooperation between universities and local businesses has proved to be conducive in terms of local development and entrepreneurship. It combats brain drain.

Integrating Entrepreneurial theory & Entrepreneurial practices into each other! “Train-Place & Place-Train!” – academia closer to working life

Chair: Hans Mikkelsen 

Hans is a practitioner in the field of Organizational Development. Currently he is involved in national, regional and interregional projects, dealing with innovation and business development in SME. His focus in these projects are strategic issues like how to design the expansion of SMEs innovative capacity and operational issues like how to spark the creativity needed to do so. 

At IBA International Business Academy in Kolding, Denmark, he is involved in development projects and also member of a new NVL network group, with focus on quality development in the area of adult pedagogy with a special focus on entrepreneurial and innovative methods of teaching, learning environments and general education.

Teoretisk innledning: Shahamak Rezaei 

Shahamak Rezaei obtained his Doctorate in Business Administration from University of Southern Denmark in 2001. Has was recently Visiting Professor at University of Oxford, Center on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) in UK. Currently he has a dual visiting appointment, respectively as Visiting Fellow at Princeton University, Center for Migration & Development (CMD) and as Visiting Scholar at University of California Los Angeles, Department of Sociology. 
He is associate professor at Roskilde University in Denmark, Department of Society and Globalisation where he also served as Head of Social Science studies. His research has focused on Migration, Globally born SMEs, Migrant Entrepreneurship, Transnational Entrepreneurship, Economic Consequences of Migration, Informal Economic Activities, Industrial Relations and Comparative Welfare State Analysis.

The Nordic Welfare State & Global Challenges

The presentation will focus on how the Nordic welfare states are facing economic, political and cultural challenges associated with globalization. These challenges pose problems for sovereign policy-making and the nation-state based democratic culture and universal solidarity. Further there will be focus on class & cultural differences and social cohesion, economic consequences of immigration and political discourses about regulation and democracy. 


Presentasjon 1:

Gestur Hovgaard holds a Ph.D. from Roskilde University. Currently he is an associate professor in social science at the University of the Faroe Islands, and director of studies. Before this, he has been a researcher at Centre for Local and Regional Development (the Faroes), and an associate professor in business administration at Roskilde University.  Much of his work is centered on local and regional development issues, especially in a West Nordic and Faroese context. His recent research focuses on educational planning and work related mobility.

Master-learning as a small scale alternative

This presentation focuses on the following question:  In what way can small scale units like the University of the Faroe Islands develop societally relevant educations at the tertiary level? Like many other small island states, the Faroes has the double-sided problem of, on the one hand, a weak demographic and institutional basis for the provision of traditional master's degrees, and on the other hand a need for highly qualified and diversified work competences. The old small state strategy that tertiary educations can be taken solely in the regional context, if ever, does not work as a viable strategy to ensure a demographic balance. The idea of “master-learning” is to develop a master’s process, which takes point of departure in the individual student, but also works as an academic unit. Modern principles from apprenticeship and problem-oriented work have proved themselves as valuable techniques of learning, and the argument here is that they can also make it possible to develop a professional context with diverse individual profiles for each student. One of the preconditions for this is to get their academic base supported more extensively by regional (i.e. Nordic) cooperation and arrangements. 


Presentasjon 2: Sigrún Mjöll Halldórsdóttir og Thora Valsdóttir  

Sigrún Mjöll Halldórsdóttir, holds a Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Iceland. Currently she is a project leader at Matis in the division of Biotechnology and Biomolecules. She has also been supervising students in food science and giving lectures in the University of Iceland. Sigrún is an expert in the field of bioactive compound derived from seafood resources. She has been co-operating with Icelandic micro SMEs located in the Icelandic countryside that specialize in the utilization of seafood waste to produce high value bioactive ingredients for the food and cosmetic industry.

Thora Valsdóttir, is a food scientist and project leader at Matís. Her expertise is in food products development coaching regional SMEs with the focus on traditional products, authenticity, sustainability and Eco innovation.  She led a three year project on food and sustainable tourism in Iceland and has taken part in national and international innovation in developing seaweed products.  She has also planned and carried out training courses in food safety, food processing and labelling for local food producers.   

Supporting entrepreneurs in food processing and marketing among local producers and university students in Iceland

Gudjon Thorkelsson1,2, Thora Valsdottir1 and Sigrun M. Halldorsdottir1
1Matis ohf, 2University of Iceland

               The cases presented by Matis/University of Iceland in this workshop are from projects where interdisciplinary collaboration between real sciences, arts and social sciences has been the success factor in supporting and training entrepreneurs in local food production and training university students in becoming independent entrepreneurs and in creating new food businesses. 

               Matis involvement in the training of students has to do with its legal role to increase the value of food production, through research, development, and dissemination of knowledge.  It´s experts and joint staff members have through contract with the University of Iceland planned and taught courses both at bachelors and masters level and supervised projects.  Most of the projects involve food companies and their interests or deal with food safety and the interests of food consumers.  Many of them are linked to international activities through Nordic and European projects and the United Training Program of Fisheries.  Some of the students are 35-50 years of age and have already a degree and long working experience but want to renew or get new training to become more competitive on the job market or simply want to try something new and exciting.  Innovation competitions are held to stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration and to encourage students to create or start working for small food businesses.  Ecotrophelia Europe focusing on Eco-innovation has been held three times in Iceland and a team from Iceland has taken part in the European competition four times.  In 2013 the team from Iceland won the price for the most innovative idea1.

               Matis has food innovation centres in many places in Iceland to support local food producers and fishermen in adapting from being suppliers of raw materials to big food businesses in Iceland and abroad to become providers of ready products, gifts and services both to local people and guests visiting the area like tourists.  This is done through workshops, private consultation and coaching and by providing them with facilities to start producing in order to test their products on the market.

               Most of the production is in micro-SMEs with 2-4 employees.  Here the challenge is to train people from scratch and guide them through the regulation jungle.  Marketing, design and labelling have also to be tackled.  One of the most successful projects involved design. It was initiated by the Icelandic Academy of Arts2.

               There is also a Nordic collaboration in training of food producers in order to make local communities economically, socially and environmentally stronger.  The New Nordic Food program has supported cooperation between food competence centres in the Nordic countries3.  On 26th of June there is a conference, Nordtic, on innovation in the Nordic and Arctic bio-economy that deals partly with local food production4. The success of the new era of local food production is based on what is unique in each country/region. Matis is a part of FOODUNIQUE, a European Network that is encouraging interdisciplinary research, education and training encompassing location, identity, perception and well being5.



Sesjon 1A  -  Sesjon 1B  -  Sesjon 2A  -  Sesjon 2B  -  Sesjon 3A  -  Sesjon 4A  -  Sesjon 4B