Sustainability: Perspectives from two Islands in the Baltic Sea
On the 27-28th of November 2021, ReGeneration 2030 collaborated with Gotland Headquarters of Sustainable Thinkers, GHOST, to host an event that showcased the sustainability efforts of the Åland Islands and Gotland. The aim was to learn from each other's examples and inspire people in the local community that even in small societies, transformative change can happen.
"There are unique challenges in making island communities sustainable, but we also have tight kinship networks, a sense of island identities that help us develop bonds and leadership, along with more agency to create our envisioned sustainable societies." - Lennie Jansson, ReGeneration 2030
ReGeneration 2030 in collaboration with GHOST, Envis, and Food Rescue organised the Sustainable Islands event with the theme “Sustainability: Perspectives from two Islands in the Baltic Sea”. The event created an opportunity to build a space between different actors both in Gotland and Åland for collaboration, inspiration, and innovation, all anchored in sustainable living. In order to overcome emerging societal, economic and environmental issues, the event aimed to foster multidisciplinary dialogue in sustainability around the Baltic.
"A pattern I see in sustainable solutions is a partnership. We need many people, with different perspectives, lives and passions, to have platforms for collaboration. We need brave visions of how people can work together to give each other decent standards of future living." - Lennie Jansson
There were a number of talks held throughout the event, with representatives from Gotland and Åland presenting a number of different topics around sustainability. Sustainable food systems were discussed at length, with presentations from Marcus Wahlgren of Stora Coop and Leonie Paul of Food Rescue, showing the innovative ways in which residents of Gotland were fighting food waste. Harriet Strandvik of Spectrum Åland also discussed food systems and spoke about her work on Åland to educate young people on avoiding food waste. Another key topic from the event was island development, where Lennie Jansson represented Åland's Bärkraft movement, discussing how a civil society movement had led to sustainable changes on a governmental level. William Cöster of Region Gotland also discussed a number of sustainability projects on Gotland, providing great insight into what individuals can do in a small community.
With around 70 participants on-site and 100 more joining through online streaming, the event showed that the interest and potential for developing this collaboration between Gotland and Åland exists and hopefully it can grow even further in the future.