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Venue details for ‘Iceland Strikes Back’ meeting announced

Details of the venue location at Edinburgh University have been finalised. An  additional speaker  Sigrun Davidsdottir has been confirmed and  all up to date details are available here.

Events 2013

More events are on their way – in the meanwhile – join the Nordic Horizons Facebook group or follow us on Twitter @nordichorizons .

Nordic Welfare – a DIY Guide – Notes and Audio

    Nordic Welfare Events Poster This was the Nordic Horizons event that promised;  “From the land of Lego and fairytales we bring you the building blocks to create your own welfare systems. What is it about the Nordic welfare model that makes it stand apart and achieve both economic and social goals?”  Prof Jon Kvist has not only posed the question – he  answered it in some style. You can download a copy of his presentation here. Jon gave an outstanding exposition of the Danish Welfare system and “Honorary” Scot Jochen Clasen, Professor of Comparative Social Policy at Edinburgh University  responded to many of the points made. We made a full recording of the presentation and the response. There is a brief introduction from the Chair, Lesley Ri...Read More

Nordic Welfare – a DIY Guide

Professor Jon Kvist,  Centre for Welfare State Research, University of Southern Denmark Wednesday 28th November 2012 Venue: Old College – Lecture Theatre 175 (far right corner of old quad opp Blackwells on South Bridge) Edinburgh University Time: 18:00 – 20:00    “From the land of Lego and fairytales we bring you the building blocks to create your own welfare systems. What is it about the Nordic welfare model that makes it stand apart and achieve both economic and social goals?”  Prof Jon Kvist has not only posed the question – he will try to answer it at a time when Scotland is considering constitutional change which might bring a Scottish welfare system closer. Jon will give a run-down of the social investment policies in the Nord...Read More

The Rest & Be Thankful – Nordic Solution

The Rest & Be Thankful road is closed for the 5th time in 5 yrs. I reckon about 40k people in Argyll and Bute are facing a detour of 100 mile plus. In peak tourist season vital business may just go elsewhere – and it isn’t even winter yet!! But in this morning's Radio Scotland interview the local councillor didn’t even utter the T-word — tunnel. Maybe that’s because government ministers have made it clear that option is too expensive. Even though in Norway it's the automatic thought for communities a fraction of the size cut off annually in Scotland. I wonder how long people in Lochcarron near Kyle will have to ship their kids by boat across the loch to school before the rail and road link is permanently fixed there. Their website suggests the “ad hoc” arrangements have a...Read More

Building Cabins and Building Character: A Knowledge Exchange event at the Scottish Parliament

Over seventy people crammed into Committee Room One of the Scottish Parliament last Friday to listen to two experts in different elements of the Norwegian outdoor experience talk about their own approaches to it and what this could entail for Scotland. Delegates from the 2012 Nordic Research Network conference, hosted by the Scandinavian Studies section at the University of Edinburgh, and members of the public heard from literary scholar Dr Ellen Rees and outdoor educationalist Dr Ralf Westphal about different aspects of Norway’s famous tradition of friluftsliv (outdoor life). To continue reading – click here.

Size Matters by Lesley Riddoch and Paddy Bort

"The process of centralisation of governance has gone further in Scotland than in other countries. Highland Council, to take the most striking example, covers an area the size of Belgium with a population the size of Belfast. Councillors need to drive hundreds of thousands of miles a year to connect with fellow councillors and citizens in their council area. Despite such herculean efforts, many remote communities feel neglected and disenfranchised. That is “damaging democracy and economic development in Scotland,” writes Rob Gibson MSP in the introduction to ‘Small Works’. This consultation document proposes a major shake-up of the Highland Council, and Gibson has made the task his “personal priority” for this parliamentary session. “We have a situation in my constituency, where counc...Read More

The Swedish Social Democratic Party. Our Principles and Values

Lesley posted this on Facebook yesterday ; Thanks to Dr Audrey MacDougall for sending over this document sent to her by Prof John Veit-Wilson of Newcastle University. He says, "In these troubled political times, readers interested in the ideological basis of Nordic social democratic welfare states, and concerned about renewal of the Labour Party, may like to see the attached booklet by the Swedish Social Democratic Party setting out its principles and values. It could perhaps make a useful and thought-provoking contribution to some current public arguments."   Here is the document ( PDF) available to download.

STOP PRESS – 31 tickets left

The North Sea oil spill has made our High North debate horribly topical all of a sudden. So has the news that Statoil’s latest North Sea oil discovery (in Aldous Major South) is the biggest in 20 years. So is the Far North safe in Nordic hands? Do the Norwegians have systems ready to close down leaks more quickly than the British sector and less secretive oil companies – if not can they honestly say Arctic drilling is safe or ethical? Rune Rafaelsen of the Barents Secretariat says “All industrial activities have a risk for accidents. For the people in the North it is a challenge to minimize the risks. But the answer for the people of the High North must be economic development.” Anna Kireeva of Bellona says “Such spills can happen anywhere, and Norway is not an exception — no oil com...Read More

Is the far north safe in Nordic hands? – More details

Is the far north safe in Nordic hands? 13:30 – 14:30, Committee Room 1, FREE. The Arctic region contains a high proportion of the world’s fish stocks, includes important breeding grounds and has huge untapped supplies of oil and gas. The Norwegian government is pledged to exploit natural resources without harming this precious environment. On the 150th anniversary of the birth of explorer Fridtjof Nansen, the Chief Secretary of the Barents Secretariat, Rune Rafaelsen will outline Norway’s ambitious plans for human, natural and safe energy development in the High North, challenged by Anna Kireeva from the environmental group Bellona. The debate will be chaired by Lesley Riddoch, — co-Director of Nordic Horizons. Tickets are free but must be booked. Bookings open in “early July” ...Read More

Is the Arctic safe in Nordic hands? – A Date for Your Diary!

"The world in 2050 will be radically different from today. Northern countries – notably Canada, Russia and Scandinavia – will rise at the expense of southern ones." So says Laurence Smith whose book "The New North" has been a bestseller. Nordic Horizons invites you to hear more about the reality of change in the Arctic with Rune Rafaelson, General Secretary of the Kirkenes-based Barents Secretariat. The Arctic contains fish stocks, breeding grounds & huge supplies of oil and gas. Can the Norwegian government exploit them without harming the environment. Rune outlines Norway's ambitious plans to develop people, assets and energy in the High North with loads of projects to connect with neighbouring Russians and create a new dynamic cross border Arctic ...Read More

Welcome to Nordic Horizons

Nordic Horizons is an informal group of Scottish professionals who want to raise the standard of knowledge and debate about life and policy in the Nordic nations. We’ve been holding public meetings in Edinburgh since 2010 so Nordic specialists can discuss how they do things with decision-makers, practitioners, MSPs, academics and the interested public  here. We try to produce audio recordings of the meeting and even short interviews with speakers. You can browse topics, content and voices here. And join our Facebook group  , or listen via SoundCloud or watch via Vimeo or follow us on Twitter to join live debate and discuss Nordic news as it happens.  

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