During a week at the end of August we gave a glimpse of our Baltic Sea research to highschool students from Nybro and Kalmar to inspire them for the future of our seas. We also took regional businesses, public authorities and politicians onboard to discuss and promote Blue Growth in the Kalmar region and the Baltic Sea. Decision-makers from society at large and academia sponsored a networking dinner onboard: an evening to remember with excellent food both for thought and our taste buds (Incredible Chef!). Remarkably there was an even diversity of women and men among the guests! This does not happen every day in our world.
We arranged these events in co operation with Linnæus University, Kalmar port authorities and the municipality, Initiativet Hållbara Hav and Kalmarsund Promotion. Our mutual interest to improve the health of the Baltic Sea and to promote sustainable business brought us to collaborate in a concrete manner.
Our strongest attraction was Briggen Tre Kronor, a beautiful sailing ship of the 19th century, which visited ”our” harbour for five days. She is loaded with sailing romance and acts as an ambassador for Sustainable Seas. Captain Palmer and his crew are devoted to train competent youngsters to make the Baltic Sea a healthy sailing ground. Altogether the ship and its actions are run by Initiativet Hållbara Hav.
On Thursday and Friday morning we welcomed 90 highschool students and their teachers to inspire them about a healthy Baltic Sea. Students visited Briggen Tre Kronor, stopped over at our exhibitions while answering a smart pop quizz about the Baltic Sea under the guidance of Pernilla, Ingrid, Elyas, Christoffer and Samuel. Catherine and Elin presented our education programmes, our innovative research projects connected to a healthy Baltic Sea at Lnu (for example ALGOLAND and ECOCHANGE), as well as options of future careers in Blue Growth. Kris and Emmelie told the students how to cope with the sea and nature in general in a sustainable way. The response from the students and their teachers was very positive and gave strong relevance to repeat a similar activity next year.
On Thursday evening the networking dinner onboard the brig turned out a great success, with a strong mix of dedicated and competent decision makers. Presentations on sustainable business – blue and green! – and Blue Growth were given by Lars Idermark, CEO Södra, Karin Nilsdotter, Environmental strategist at Kalmar municipality and Catherine (yours truly). We all did it ”old fashion”: no power point involved! I managed to ”show” an algal bloom in the sea without a slide! Lively and constructive discussions took place in an relaxed and energetic atmosphere and our guests sketched future perspectives. The even number of women and men around the tables pointed out that diversity (gender equality maybe?) is an important factor in the success of the business and authorities of the Kalmar region.
The dinner also gave a great opportunity to crown the three-year EU-project Generation Balt with the signing of Letters of Intent with industry clusters, government representatives and NGOs. Altogether seven Letters of Intent were signed by the Prorector of Linnaeus University, Bo Bergbäck, and representatives of the different stakeholders. The aim of the letters is to build on and consolidate the international GB network, promoting exchange of knowledge between stakeholders of the maritime sector in the different countries around the Baltic Sea. Similar Letters of Intent have been signed by other Generation Balt partner’s countries . In brief the Generation Balt project produced a proof of concept to promote collaborations between academia and industry to provide an innovative and sustainable future of the Baltic Sea.
Catherine and Ingrid