SIMRA Final Conference

Highlights and key messages from SIMRA’s Final Conference

Since starting in 2016, the Horizon 2020 project “Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural” (SIMRA) has been at the forefront of promoting the contribution of social innovation to social, economic and environmental development in disadvantaged rural areas. As a transdisciplinary research project, SIMRA has managed to address numerous facets of the current global  context such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, etc. and to make its research relevant in the real world.

SIMRA organised its final conference in Brussels on 19 and 20 February 2020. This two-day event comprised a full-day policy conference and a half-day training workshop to about tools and approaches developed in the SIMRA project. During the final conference, many of the project’s main findings were presented and their implications for policy at all levels (EU, national, regional and local) were discussed, including with regards to the legislative reforms still in discussion for the next EU programming period 2021 to 2027.Continue reading

Snowshoe hiking in Nansens footstep

A long row of colourful jackets, hats and small talk is ploughing through the deep snow at Valbjørgmorka in Vågå, Norway. Some hikers have ski poles; others keep their balance by just dividing their body weight, left, right, left right. We leave a long path of yeti-look-alike footprints behind.

The great thing with snowshoes is that everyone can use them, tells guide Tesfahiwet Hailu. -In contrast to cross-country skiing, you do not need any training. In Vågå, you can borrow snowshoes at the library, take them on and get to places you otherwise cannot access during winter.

This Sunday’s snowshoe hike is the second one hosted by Hailu, a refugee from Eritrea. Both hikes are a very visible result of SIMRA’s Norwegian Innovation Action. Researchers from the Eastern Norway Research Institute use outdoor life as a bridge to inclusion and integration of immigrants.Continue reading