What is the bioeconomy to you? It was one of the questions that we asked participants of the first co-creation workshop held within the framework of the EU project BLOOM Bioeconomy and its Nordic Hub. Together with representatives from different parts of society, we wanted to find out how we can best increase interest and knowledge of the bioeconomy amongst the public in Sweden.
Representatives of academia, industry organisations, civil society and regional actors devoted the afternoon of 5 December 2018 to discuss forestry and forest-based materials in Swedish the bioeconomy. The purpose of the workshop was partly to gain a common understanding of the concept of the bioeconomy, to find out which forest-based materials and products are used in society, and the type of communication activities that are currently being carried out.
After a brief introduction of the BLOOM project and some ice-breaker knowledge sharing exercises, we, moved directly to the core of the workshop by asking the participants – What does the bioeconomy mean to you? In the group discussions that followed, the participants had to agree on and find a common definition of what the bioeconomy is. The group findings resulted in the following definition:
“An economy based on rural resources, business and competence which is renewable and consists of products/services from natural resources/biomass materials and processes (soil, forest, sea and fresh water). It is an economy that includes trade with ecosystem services which might require a conversion of processes and skills.”
As a fun and creative end to the workshop we asked the participants to reflect on target groups for future communication activities by creating a fictional person that we should target with information about the possibilities that the bioeconomy offers. The two groups threw themselves wholeheartedly into the exercise and created two personas.
On 29 January, we are inviting parties interested in bioeconomy, forestry and forest issues to a second workshop in Stockholm. This time we will go more in-depth into the topic and focus on target groups and activities to help communicate about the bioeconomy. The overall goal of the workshops is to create arenas for knowledge transfer and dialogue, and to design activities at both regional and EU level to increase interest and knowledge of the bioeconomy in society, about how we can become more climate-smart, reduce the use of fossil fuels and reduce material waste through the use of innovative bio-based raw materials.
The results of the discussions will be used by the BLOOM Nordic Hub to design and implement various types of communication activities in both Sweden and Finland. Would you like to participate? Get in touch with Maria Hagardt or Lotta Tomasson at the Nordic Hub for more information.