The Role of Social Economy and Social Innovation in rural communities
Rural communities face challenges related to demographic decline and ageing, employment and training opportunities, access to public services and weaker infrastructure. In some rural communities, the social economy has developed solutions to mitigate these challenges This session will highlight these innovative ways of delivering positive social and economic outcomes in rural places, and illustrate social innovation processes and social enterprises.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises play a key role in our economies and societies, especially in rural areas. They are also critical to attract and maximise the benefits of inward FDI. But SMEs were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and vulnerabilities have been exacerbated by inflationary pressures, disruptions in global supply chains and financial market volatility, which threaten the recovery. Moreover, SMEs in rural areas face additional challenges of remoteness to markets, and more restrictive access to labour and capital. This session will focus on the challenges of developing SMEs in rural areas as well as the opportunities that can be leveraged on in light of on-going mega-trends, and consider policy measures to address these challenges and exploit opportunities.
Exploring the Opportunities for Rural Development when Taking a Food-System-view on Agricultural Policy
Food systems include the production, processing, retailing and delivery of food. Different policy levers influence food systems including agriculture, rural development, environment and public health. Thus there is a need to integrate them to ensure coherence and effective outcomes. This session will discuss synergies between food systems and rural development and policy responses that can ensure coherence.
The COVID-19 pandemic underlined the importance of delivering effective health services in rural communities. Rural proofing involves the systematic application of a rural lens in health services to ensure rural needs, contexts, and opportunities are considered. This joint OECD/World Health Organisation session will involve public and private authorities to discuss rural proofing initiatives for health services. It will consider the main opportunities and challenges and effective partnerships needed to support rural proofing for health services.
Assessing the impact of Ireland’s Rural Development Policy, Our Rural Future 2021-2025, and examples from other countries.
Ireland’s rural development policy, Our Rural Future, provides a blueprint for the economic, social, environmental and cultural development of rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025. It is a holistic forward-looking policy that addresses the main challenges facing rural communities and the many opportunities to improve well-being standards and quality of life for rural citizens in Ireland. This session will present the implementation of this new policy and showcase other national rural policy frameworks from OECD countries.
Social Inclusion in Rural Communities: Bringing Communities Together
Improving social inclusion at national and local levels is a central priority for OECD member countries. Yet efforts to achieve social inclusion require commitment from all levels of government and strong partnerships with the private and third sector. In rural places, policies to foster social inclusion must consider rural characteristics of remoteness and low density. This panel will discuss initiatives across rural places from OECD countries to increase social inclusion.
Responding to Short and Long-term Shocks: Building more Resilient Rural Places
The COVID-19 crisis and the recent war in Ukraine have brought new challenges to rural places, in particular related to food and energy security. In addition, rural places must also address structural transformations brought by globalisation, urbanisation, ageing, migration, population decline, the production revolution, digitalisation climate change and other transformative trends, such as remote working. This session will identify policies that can help jump-start a more equitable and diverse landscape of resilient rural economies to enable them to thrive and better respond to short and long-term shocks.
Strategies to Empower, Attract and Keep Youth in Rural Areas
Rural communities across OECD countries often struggle to attract and retain young people and support them in their ambitions. How can rural communities better meet the needs of this younger generation and provide the economic opportunities and quality of life they desire? This session will discuss strategies to improve the attractiveness of rural places for young people.
Beyond Recovery: Remote Work and Opportunities For Rural Communities
COVID-19 has accelerated the digitalisation of working and social interactions. Remote working brings a number of benefits to rural places including the potential to reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions, greater flexibility for workers, reduced costs for firms and opportunities to attract skilled workers. Yet not all rural places have benefitted from virtual forms of interaction due to gaps in digital infrastructure and digital skills across places, workers and firms. National and subnational governments can play a decisive role to make the most of remote working. This session will discuss initiatives to help rural communities take advantage of remote working and tackle emerging challenges.
The Rural Agenda for Climate Action: Leveraging Climate and Circular Bio-Economy Opportunities in Rural Areas
The bio-economy produces and converts renewable biological resources and waste streams into value-added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products as well as bioenergy. It has the potential to reduce carbon emissions and support the sequestration of carbon in soils, biomass and, ultimately, bio-based products. The circular bio economy aims to transition from our current, linear, economic system to a more sustainable production and consumption model that has the potential to address food loss and waste; biodiversity loss; climate change; land use change and resource scarcity. This session will discuss policies and initiatives to help overcome challenges and implement strategies that leverage the circular and bio-economy.
Youth Panel - Young as Future Leaders in Rural Communities
Young people are the future of rural communities. It is vital that their views are heard and understood as part of rural development policy-making so that rural communities are attractive places for them to grow up and plan their futures. This panel will hear from young people from different rural backgrounds about their experiences, their views on youth participation in rural communities, and ways in which young people can be supported to have their voices heard. This session features a youth panel and they will discuss these topics and more.
Launch of two OECD publications: Unlocking Rural Innovation and Swiss case study
The drivers for innovators and public policies to lead innovation in a rural context are not well understood and fully exploited. The OECD’s Enhancing Rural Innovation Initiative aims to unlock this knowledge to help rural areas improve their prospects for development and support reforms to shift rural policies to placed-based innovation beyond a subsidy and sector specific approach. In this session, two publications from the Rural Innovation Initiative will be launched:
- Unlocking Rural Innovation
- Enhancing Innovation in Rural Regions: Switzerland
Special address by Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union
22:00 - 23:00
Local traditional music, onsite
September 29, 2022
08:30 - 10:00
Impact of the War in Ukraine: Responding to Inflation Pressures and Food Security in Rural Economies
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has destroyed lives, homes and infrastructure, triggering a grave humanitarian crisis. It has also shocked the global economy, disrupting supply chains, generating inflation, raising concerns over food and energy security and threatening an already fragile economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will seek to understand the impacts and implications of the war in Ukraine on rural places and policy responses to support people, places and firms.
Rethinking Rural Development: Effective Solutions for Bottom-Up Rural Economic and Community Development
Bottom-up rural development strategies aim to place communities at the centre of their economic development planning, service delivery, and execution. They can generate effective results by enabling an identification of local needs and solutions, and mobilising the efforts of stakeholders across the community. This session will discuss how bottom-up initiatives can be developed and implemented to maximise community engagement and align local efforts with initiatives at different levels of government.
Local Strategies for Sustainable Rural Energy Communities: Transforming Emission-Intensive Activities into Environmentally Friendly and Net-Zero Alternatives
Rural policies have an essential role to play in reaching net-zero GHG emission targets while also generating benefits for rural communities. The need and the potential for people – individually and through their community, public entities and small enterprises – to actively engage in the energy transition is significant. OECD work in this area identified a few potential areas of action including: improving the evidence base at the regional and local level; building local capacity; fostering renewable energy; promoting sustainable land management and higher valorisation of ecosystem services; and decarbonising transport. In this session, Panellists will discuss policies and initiatives that are bringing sustainable rural energy to communities.
Revitalising Town Centres: Creating Places Where People Want to Work And Live
Revitalising town centres can enhance amenities, culture and leisure in rural places. They can be powerful hubs for economic and social activity, and attract new residents and visitors. Initiatives might seek to address any number of local goals or priorities such as critical infrastructure environmental stewardship, public safety, housing, transportation, historic preservation and much more. For this reason, it should be a collaborative process that involves local citizens and responds to community needs. This session will discuss different successful strategies as well as some of the barriers.
Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Communities and the Blue Economy in rural regions
Rural coastal communities are on the front lines of climate change. Many are threatened by coastal erosion and increasingly frequent extreme weather events, as well as a higher water table and, saltier aquifers. Communities will need to take steps to manage these risks. The blue economy represents new economic opportunities for coastal communities. This session will discuss policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change and transition to the blue economy to make the most of potential opportunities.
Reducing Gender Gaps: Creating Opportunities and Removing Constraints for Women in the Rural Economy
Despite the remarkable progress made by women in paid work and in education and skills attainment over the past half-century, women in rural areas face multiple barriers to employment and entrepreneurship. Governments at the national, regional, and local level can play an important role in empowering rural women through targeted, place-based policies. This session will discuss policies and initiatives to improve opportunities for women in the rural economy.
Innovative Ways to Deliver Education and Skills Training in Rural Areas
Rural secondary school students and adult learners often face fewer opportunities for education and training. Adult learning helps maintain and upgrade workers’ skills so they can keep pace with changes in the labour market given digitalisation, the green transition as well as other trends and shocks affecting the location and skills content of jobs.. This session will discuss initiatives and policies to promote high quality learning in rural contexts, and solutions to overcome the barriers that prevent many rural people from obtaining the skills needed for good jobs.
Building Stronger Local Partners: Bringing new stakeholders and partners to the table to support and amplify the rural voice in policies and strategies.
To deliver an ambitious and sustainable development strategy, rural communities must mobilise different stakeholders, including organisations, businesses, government representatives, and local residents. Effective local partnerships set the stage for well-coordinated strategic planning that both maximizes resources and brings creative solutions to the table. However, these arrangements can be undermined by high transaction costs and tensions within the community. This session will explore different policy actions and initiatives that can increase the likelihood of success.
Moderators from the three sets of parallel sessions will deliver the main messages from each session. They will be followed by the Chair of the Rural Working Party, OECD and the Irish Department of Rural Community Development to provide an overview of what needs to be done next to build on the discussions in Cavan.