The greenXpo Final Conference was held up North in Central Finland, focussing on the important role of enablers in eco-innovation. The meeting focussed on facilitating knowledge-sharing amongst participants on how to (better) design regional policies taking into consideration the eco-innovation concept. Valuable insights could be gained, and concrete examples were mentioned how to transfer them into daily work in the attendees’ countries. In a joint effort, the greenXpo project, EURADA, the City of Jyväskylä, and Jykes RDA organised the event. Participants could benefit from meeting in the beautiful and venerable City Hall of Jyväskylä, thus experiencing the central coordination point of Jyväskylä as a forerunner in sustainability policy.
The hosting region impressively demonstrated how stakeholders committed themselves to a 30 years development plan approaching the ultimate goal to live as a region in the limit of one planet’s resources. Local companies presented in pitches their unique eco-innovative approach helping to reach the aim of zero CO2 and zero waste even earlier. Participants were happy to celebrate with the Metsä Group the investment decision to build a new paper mill which will produce exclusively in circular design and uses as a strict design principle sustainable value chains for all substances going through the plant.
To widen the view results from the last INTERREG period were presented, confirming the high need to fasten the implementation time of eco-innovative best practices using efficient interfaces. A representative of UNDP discussed how important regions are in the development of global sustainability and well-being. She suggested to present greenXpo results during the next World Forum of Local Economic Development.
Interactive discussion were organised around key questions like what role do the stakeholders in a specific value chain have? How can instruments be implemented efficiently, what obstacles have to be overcome? What tools are smart? How the greenXpo approach can be deepend? The audience actively participated in these workshops and world café round table discussions, disclosing various perspectives on the main topic of the Conference.
Part of the event’s frame were field visits to local companies, giving an impressive insight into the daily work of the factory and explaining its integration into the circular value chain of the Region. A highlight of the Conference was the joint dinner which allowed experiencing a first glance of the new Kangas area of Jyväskylä, which will develop an old paper mill into the most innovative and resource wise corner of the city. A spin-off company of the local university of applied sciences, which follows strictly the concept of resource wisdom and uses high quality thrown out food of the local supermarkets, did the catering in the old factory building which was decorated with recycling material, proofing again the variety of potential and possibility once the concept of resource protection is accepted.
The Conference allowed for intense networking, facilitated discovering new perspectives on older ideas and established first contacts for further cooperation. European participants were happy to greet a delegation from China to the discussion as well. In order to facilitate further exchange and to feed the enthusiasm of the meeting into the daily work, results of the meeting are available online. Please have a look here.
The Jyväskylä Event on Efficient Interfaces in Eco-Innovation was a full success and we are happy to discuss the progress in this important sector further with you and the eco-innovation community!
22 April 2015
23 April 2015