Teaming up for Smart communities

Nordic Edge Expo is an exciting and very important arena for us. For the municipalities, it is a great opportunity to meet, learn from others, and to show their own work, says Helene Arholm, Regional Director of KS

Wide participation

KS (The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities), DOGA (Design and Architecture Norway, the Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway joined forces with a joint pavilion at Nordic Edge Expo 2019. The pavilion was a hive of activity with programmes along the following tracks:

  • Democracy under pressure
  • Local innovation
  • Value creation
  • Social sustainability
  • Mobility

The ambition for this common arena is to delve deeper into these topics through interviews, panel discussions, lectures, partner exchanges and interactive sessions.

"In collaboration with DOGA, the Research Council and Innovation Norway, we want to bring people together, facilitate and help new relationships, new conversations and new collaborations," says Anne Romsaas, senior adviser in KS.

KS also hosted the seminar «Smart Sustainability and Democracy», especially aimed at mayors, councillors and Smart City managers. Smart cities and communities are now seen in direct relation to the UN's Sustainability Goals, and the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation (KMD) has made it clear that the Sustainability Goals will become part of the basis for community and land planning in municipalities and counties. The seminar deals with how municipalities can work politically, academically and at a management level, to achieve these goals.

"Many municipalities have come a long way in this work, and this seminar brings together those who want to learn from each other and team up for the work ahead," says Romsaas.

Setting the agenda

"At Nordic Edge, the municipalities can show how they envision the future, with solutions and opportunities. Also, they can harvest experience from others," says regional director Helene Arholm of KS.

Arholm also highlights the advantage of getting in touch with suppliers of various solutions, which is a perk of participating at the Nordic Edge Expo.

"Politically it is also of great interest. How will the municipalities be run in the future, in terms of digitalisation and action democracy? To find good, common solutions to various problems will be useful to many," says Arholm.

The Nordic model

The Nordic model – or the Nordic Edge, if you like – is characterised by democracy and high citizen involvement. Norwegian municipalities cooperate well with municipalities in the other Nordic countries, and KS has close contact with its sister organisations in the other Nordic countries.

"Nordic Edge Expo is a good arena for exchanging experiences on how society is built and run," Arholm adds.

Presentations from Nordic Edge Expo 2019

Refresh your memories from the conference with downloading the presentations.

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Match made at Nordic Edge Expo

A municipality with a need met a tech company with a solution at Nordic Edge Expo.

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