Reflections from 2019 ICRPS Summer Institute


By: Marc-Antoine Larrivée

On the occasion of the 16th International Comparative Rural Policy Studies (ICRPS), about 53 graduate students, faculty members and professional researchers met in Rovaniemi to discuss, exchange and learn on rural issues and policies. During the two weeks (June 16th to June 29th), lectures, group works, and field trips were organized around the theme Enhancing Smart Ecosystems in Rural Areas.  
Participants had the opportunities to reflect on the definitions of rural and their implications, different models of governance and their impacts on policies, the Arctic Smartness Clusters which are an implementation of the Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P) in Lapland, food policy in the United States, food-waste reduction strategies, food regimes in the Arctic, the development of natural products entrepreneurship in Lapland,  the political and policy implications of circular economy and bioeconomy, the impact of land-use policies for the conservation of natural resources, land-use challenges in northern Finland, the opportunities and challenges of the rural-urban fringe, the implication of migration for rural areas, Sámi research and education, collaborative research approach with Indigenous Nations in Canada,  the influence of feedback in policy and territorial capital assets applications.  
It was also possible to participate in workshops on research methods, visit the city of Rovaniemi and its city hall, the Loue education centre (dairy, production, artisanal meat and ice cream processing), the revived Tornio brewery, the Rovaniemi local history museum and the Kemijärvi vocational school.   
In summary, it was a great learning and networking experience! Don’t miss the 2020 Summer Institute in Brandon, Canada! Further details about the 2019 ICRPS Summer Institute can be found at

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