Dr. Anna Guðrún Edvardsdóttir will present some of the findings from her doctoral dissertation. This research examines the interaction of the knowledge society and rural development in three regions: The Westfjords of Iceland, East Iceland, and the Western Isles of Scotland.
Her overall conclusion is that rural development in the areas studied revolve around economic factors, such as job creation, population increase and research activities that focus on the main industry. The knowledge society however enables rural areas to deepen connections with environmental, social and cultural factors, thus creating sustainable activities and resilient communities, which is in line with recent policy in rural Iceland and the Western Isles.
The thesis suggests three criteria that could guide communities in becoming sustainable and resilient and where the knowledge society is a key player with a leading role. The first criterion is to form a broad partnership among stakeholders when working on place-based plans at community level, second, to establish a trust fund when dealing with the use of natural resources in the community and third, to form regional and national partnerships with universities, research institutions and knowledge centres.