Podcasts

2: Pint-sized Nordic democracy

Scotland has the largest units of 'local' government in the developed world with just 32 councils for 5.3 million folk. Norway has almost 400 councils for roughly the same population. The Faroes - with a smaller population than Falkirk - has 29 local cou

1: NATO, Nordics and Russian Aggression

Three Nordic experts discuss Russian aggression in Ukraine and the way it is unravelling 70 years of neutrality and non-alignment in Scandinavia. It deals with opinion polls suggesting most Swedes and Finns want to join NATO, but questions American commit

PODCAST: NATO membership for Finland & Sweden – the end of Baltic neutrality??

This podcast was produced after a fascinating online Nordic Horizons meeting in March 2022, eight weeks before the Swedish and Finnish premiers announced their intention to join NATO. It explores their fears about Russian intervention during the accession process when both states might be vulnerable to attack, their reasons for not originally joining NATO along with neighbours Denmark and Norway in the 1950s and fears that a change in US President might make NATO a less stable long-term bet than it currently appears. Nordic Horizons · NATO, Nordics and Russian Aggression Our speakers – 3 Nordic experts and one Scot discuss opinion polls suggesting most Swedes and Finns want to join NATO and predict whether that will happen. They consider how well Nordic non-alignment has worked for 7...Read More

NEW PODCAST Powerful pint-sized Nordic democracy

Scotland has the largest units of ‘local’ government in the developed world with just 32 councils for 5.3 million folk. Norway has almost 400 councils for roughly the same population. The Faroes – with fewer folk than Falkirk – has 29 local councils. What difference does that make to dynamism and democracy? Don’t small councils run the risk of nepotism, inefficiency and high costs? Listen as Lesley Riddoch chairs a discussion recorded just before Scotland’s local elections in May 2022 with with Norway’s State Secretary for Local Government Ole Gustav Narud, and Dennis Holm, the former Mayor of Vágur on the Faroes island of Suðuroy.   More info The EU average council has a relatively meagre 10 thousand inhabitants. And Vágur, on the isolated southern...Read More

PODCAST – How Denmark & Sweden heat homes without mains gas

None of Scotland’s Nordic neighbours depends on gas for heating – but 85% of Scottish homes do. How did they jump this green hurdle & what can Scotland learn? Norway actually exports gas to Britain but uses its own clean hydro energy to heat its own Norwegian homes. So should Scotland fix its current energy crisis by installing district heating as Sweden and Denmark have done – or by going electric like Norway? That was just one of the big climate crisis questions answered in a Nordic Horizons event weeks after the 2021 gathering of activists and world leaders in Glasgow – COP26, the Nordic verdict. Now you can hear a 50 minute podcast of that online meeting with edited highlights of the lively, eye-opening conversation between Viktoria Raft, an energy journalis...Read More

Have the Finns Ended Homelessness?

Have the Finns Ended Homelessness? – Event Details Have the Finns ended homelessness? ..and can Scots follow their lead? Speaker – Juha Kaakinen CEO of the Y-Foundation in Helsinki Venue – Grassmarket Community Centre 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA Tuesday 18 September Time 6-8pm The Finns have come up with a radical approach to tackling homelessness. They give homeless people houses without having to engage with addiction or mental health services first. Housing First is a national strategy to eradicate homelessness that’s been running in Finland since 2008. It’s built on cooperation between the government, local municipalities and NGOs and the simple notion that people can tackle social and emotional problems better if they have a secure home. Juha Kaakinen is the CEO ...Read More

Podcasts

Charging Patients – managing demand for healthcare visits in Norway

Charging Patients – managing demand for healthcare visits in Norway Date and Venue Tuesday 27 November 2018 Grassmarket Community Project 86 Candlemaker Row Edinburgh EH1 2QA Tor Ingebrigtsen is professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway and senior adviser to the CEO at the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) in Tromsø, Norway. Chaired by Lesley Riddoch, writer and broadcaster Spending on health in Scotland is proportionally less than in other European nations, and our NHS is often overwhelmed. Last winter delayed discharge of elderly patients led hospitals to cancel scheduled operations and miss A&E targets. In Norway patients pay to see GPs and need referrals to A&E, and councils, which run hospitals, are charged fo...Read More

“Finns can only get better” – the podcast

 Humza Yousaf MSP, the host introduced  Dr Tapio Lappi-Seppälä, Director, National Research Institute of Legal Policy, Finland.  Finland had one of the highest prison populations in western Europe until the 1970s. Since then, the imprisonment rate has fallen to the low Nordic average but crime rates have stayed the same. Today, Finland has 59 prisoners per 100,000 of population; Scotland has 153. Finnish reform began when academics in the 60s argued criminal policy should be part of social policy, with employment and educational opportunities, and they also pointed out there was no evidence of a link between long prison sentences and less crime.  Politicians legislated to turn prison sentences into community alternatives. The Scottish Prisons Commission modell...Read More

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