Sustainability and dialogue in Lapland - the platform meeting of the Refinery project

The third platform meeting of the project Refinery of Sustainable cultural tourism products in the Northern Dimension Area was arranged in Finnish Lapland on June 1st–3rd. The main themes of the session were continuous development and sustainability.

The meeting started with a two-day Field Trip to Inari which was collaboration with two major events: The Cumulus Rovaniemi 2019 Conference and The Arctic Arts Summit taking place in Rovaniemi in the end of May and early June. Thematically the trip was to the purpose of the Refinery project, thus the participants were invited to join the group of 70 art, culture and design professionals from over 20 countries around the globe.

Field trip to Inari focused on connectivity pondering especially how to enhance the dialogue between mainstream and margins. The long distances of Lapland were taken not as a problem but as an asset – the bus trips were spent by listening to speakers from several experts dealing with art and design-based methods. The field trip was led by service design expert Päivi Tahkokallio, Tahkokallio Design+.

After the field trip, one day was spent in Culture House Korundi where participants had a chance to give a short pitch about their cultural tourism service or product ideas. Sustainability as a theme has followed throughout the project as one of the key elements. Now, in Rovaniemi meeting, a local expert Liisa Kokkarinen from Business Finland/ Visit Finland opened the theme from many perspectives. Moreover, she led group clinics in which participants could reflect how their own services meet the sustainable values.

Another visiting speaker was Katja Lindholm, experienced entrepreneur from InnoLight Consulting. She talked about Continuous Development and also led her own clinic where participants could for example get help on setting their own price tag accordingly and tips to reach their own target audience.

The meeting was so far the last face-to-face meeting of the Refinery project. Based on the feedback collected from the participants, the conclusion is that the attendees are positive towards the project content. The results of the workshops are encouraging: many participants have managed to develop their services further and some of them have even created new products that are already at the market. Participants have especially appreciated the chance to not only to network with new people but also to constantly interact with them. Service design as a method and the tools and strategies the project gave to the participants were also highlighted in the feedback.

Project is financed by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and operated by Ministry of Education and Culture, Arts Promotion Centre, Finland in co-operation with regional cultural authorities. Funding has been also granted from the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture.

More info:

Malla Alatalo, Regional artist/ project coordinator, Arts Promotion Centre Finland +358 295 330 859

Refinery -project enhances the collaboration between the tourism and creative industries within the Barents and Baltic Sea regions in order to create sustainable cultural tourism products and services to the area. Entrepreneurs from the tourism field, tour operators and developers of the Northern Dimension Partnership area, as well as artists and creative professionals who have an interest in creating services for tourists have been invited to join moderated service design workshops.