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The observations and insights of PoliRural project - Häme region drivers of change


HÄME pilot stakeholder group gathered in groups Teams platform on 27th of August for a workshop to identify the drivers affecting the attractiveness of the Häme region. The goal of the workshop was to discuss:

  • How is the change happening in the area?
  • What changes are happening right now? 
  • What changes are likely to occur in the future? 
  • The order of importance of the drivers of change and the possibilities of influencing change.

The stakeholders were divided into 3 subgroups with 2 STEEPV categories per group. Groups were working on google drive with the aim of identifying the most important drivers from the drivers inventory listing. First, every member took a look at the drivers of change and chose the most important drivers affecting the goal of Häme pilot, then the group together chose the most effective change drivers and started the discussions on the basis of the questions on the table.  The questions groups were dealing with were:

  • Is the power of change affecting Häme now? How?
  • How is the change likely to continue in the future until 2040? Rate + / - / 0
  • Desired change (How do you see the desired future?)
  • Opportunities to influence the drivers of change (on a scale 1-5)

The summary of STEEPV groups identified by HÄME stakeholders

Häme stakeholder' accumulated scoring by STEEPV groups is demonstrated in the below radar. The main outcome is that political and environmental change factors draw stakeholders' attention. This result doesn't mean that the other change factor has no mean.

The results by each STEEPV group identified by HÄME stakeholders

Social Technological Drivers of Change

  • The skewed age distribution of rural areas - an aging population 
  • Increasing need for community 
  • Rural Society 5.0 - Smart Village 
  • The need for a sustainable lifestyle - climate change - the environment 

Technological Drivers of Change 

  • Broadband availability is a prerequisite for digital change.
  • Digital change is inevitably advancing, the challenge is to make the right use of it for rural development and entrepreneurship 

Economical Drivers of Change

  • Diversification of economical activities in rural areas and development of entrepreneurship and new business, economical sustainability
  • Digital, smart agriculture; profitability, transparency of food, benefit for farmers, not only for big (and rich) farmers 
  • Public investment (eg in infrastructure and telecommunications), political influence
  • Accessibility and mobility, new solutions are needed in rural areas 

Ecological/Environmental Drivers of Change 

  • Climate change (combating and adapting -> pioneering the search for solutions), subsidies to farmers, commitment to do actions .The discussion noted that many other forces for change in the theme are related to this. Like exceptional weather conditions which effects crop yields, heatwaves etc. 
  • Tipping points: The corona crisis has shown that it is important to be prepared for and able to react to unforeseen situations.

Political Drivers of Change

  • Regional Policies, direct actions strongly to wanted purposes e.g. circular economy. There is competition between cities and rural areas (which are not wanted). Including CAP, rural tourism policy etc.(41)
  • Policies of environmental and biodiversity affecting in EU - so in Häme too, possibilities for new business (but could be drivers or barriers, too).

Values as a Drivers of Change

  • Concern for the planet, the environment and the climate, linking with all development. Giving business opportunities for circular economy and wellness entrepreneurship. Foresight initiatives important, Häme leader. 
  • Glocalization, regional solutions important, hope for future, community actions needed 



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The overall ambition is to design, develop and introduce a platform that which will be modified on the base of real experiences during the project and prepare complex solutions, transferable to pilots and other regions. In addition to that, Polirural DIH aims to offer a solution for the global promotion of pilots. This DIH integrated technology, datasets and libraries in one infrastructure with a complex user-oriented portal in the Web environment. The DIH can connect end-users with developers or researchers to improve the impact of the demo applications or case studies by short-chain feedback from end-users. End users can join larger communities around the DIH to get advice, cooperation potential and access to modern technologies utilisation.


Polirural DIH AIMS TO

Provide a social space for a community of practices

Promote pilots work and support access to their analysis

Promote existing best practices

Offer new tools and technologies for testing

Provide access to digital technologies and competencies

Provide access to infrastructure and tests digital innovations (“test before invest”)

Support effective data management

Provide development playground for map-based projects

Offer training and skills development

Help in networking and connecting users and suppliers of digital innovations