Paving the way for the joint work in Work Package 4: Foresight analysis

Work package 4 in RURALIZATION project seeks contributes to identification of opportunities for rural regeneration that exist or are about to open in different types of regions. We try to identify promising opportunities through review of prevailing trends and inventory of futures dreams by the youth.

Participants in Germany, Poland and Finland will make a systematic literature and statistical review of megatrends and trends which might turn into potentials for rural newcomers, new entrants into farming and better access to land. In addition, all the participants are invited to spot trends and weak signals in their own country and location. These findings will be synthesised and redesigned into trend cards which hopefully inspire and activate actors in many contexts to reach out for positive futures in rural areas.

Each new generation comes with values, attitudes, competences and experiences that differ from previous generations. By studying the futures dreams by the youth, it is possible to get an idea of the futures they might be striving for in adulthood. To observe this cohort effect, we organise a series of inventories of personal futures by the youth in 10 Member States. Th inventories are organised through workshops, surveys or interviews of 2,000 young people aged 18–30 years in various types of regional contexts. The livelihood, accommodation and lifestyle recipes and obstacles for realising these dreams will be attached to the type of dream region. This suggests targets for policies and actions that facilitate responses to futures dreams by the youth in various types of regions.

Finally, a series of workshops and conferences is organised by several participants in which findings of the trend analysis and the inventory of the futures dreams will be evaluated and translated into policy initiatives and measures. At the end of WP4, in October 2021, hopefully, we all will enlightened about the opportunities for rural regeneration that wait out there to be found and exploited.

Tuomas Kuhmonen

Research Director

Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku, Finland