New event: Change management for place attractiveness, 15-16 November in Oslo


An international training programme focusing on change leadership and management for more attractive places

Attractiveness is increasingly important for cities and regions – to attract and retain residents and talent, to promote investment, business and entrepreneurship and to attract visitors.

Improving place attractiveness is dependent on coordinating the work of an ecosystem of many different stakeholders from the public, private, civil society and academic sectors.

However, strategic initiatives often fail.

We simply underestimate the difficulties and lack the right tools to coordinate the work and get stakeholders to help drive the change that is needed.

How do you lead and manage the ecosystem of different place stakeholders to improve the attractiveness of the place?

Welcome to a unique training that will help you become a better change leader – for the attractiveness of your place.


Focus cases and guest speakers

The training programme will be based on the experiences and lessons learned from some of the most succesful, inspiring and innovative cases of change management, collaborative leadership and co-creation in a place setting in the Nordic countries.

The cases represent topics such as digitalisation and smart city development, place branding, city-university cooperation and innovation, talent attraction and destination marketing.

The following five cases will be presented and discussed:

1. Collaborative leadership in a regional setting – case Oslo Region
Engaging partners and implementing a new brand strategy with 78 municipalities and five counties
Øyvind Såtvedt, Director, Oslo Region.

Oslo finished its Oslo Region Brand Management Strategy in 2015. This was a huge feat, involving over 1 000 stakeholders through workshops, seminars, local support groups not to mention steering committee and board meetings. The extensive process was led by the Oslo Brand Alliance, consisting of Oslo Business Region, Oslo Region and Visit Oslo. The strategy work has gained much international recognition; the region for example won an award for it at City Nation Place, the annual global place branding and marketing forum in London.

The implementation has been picking up speed with the Oslo Brand Toolbox introduced in late 2016. The place brand management strategy is about developing and demonstrating Oslo’s values through appropriate and aligned actions.

How to pull this off in a region with 78 municipalities and five counties, not to mention business and other private stakeholders? Aligning agendas, building partnerships, co-creating place attractiveness – this all requires patience, a mind-set and skills to lead in a collaborative way.

What was Oslo’s secret?

2. Lessons on a city’s internal co-operation and how to manage change – case Helsinki
Lessons on a city’s internal co-operation and how to manage change
Outi Pekkinen, Marketing Director, Executive Office, Economic Development and City Marketing, City of Helsinki.

City of Helsinki is restructuring and rebranding at the same time this year. The Finnish capital is preparing for its biggest organisational reform in its history. And that comes on top of an already visible change that rebranding the city has brought along. That alone is an extensive and deep change inside the city’s own organisation.

With the methods and approach Helsinki chose, utilising service design, empowering people, teaching how to communicate and sell their projects in the city, they empowered their stakeholders and taught them how to proceed with their projects.

How did these efforts lead to results, excellent feedback and the co-operation between different city units growing immensely?

3. How a small town in Finland is revolutionising the way we learn in the 21st century – case Kotka
How City of Kotka makes a disadvantage an advantage and by disrupting the higher education scene is becoming more attractive to talent, entrepreneurs and students 
Jouni Eho, Director of Business Services of Cursor Oy, the regional development agency.

Kotka is situated in Finland, two hours from Helsinki and has no university. The city has been struggling to attract and retain its labour force, entrepreneurs and students. What happens, when a city that does not have a traditional university takes a radical approach to creating the learning environment of the 21st Century?

The City of Kotka has a vision of building a radical learning concept that is now attracting talent and companies as well as partners like MIT Sloan Management School and Cranfield University to join. Globally, we are witnessing the global higher education space being disrupted by radical learning programmes, such as the Singularity University and Draper University in the United States.

But how can a city take a lead – by adapting “an empty canvas” approach – in taking learning away from the classroom setting into concrete problem solving?

What have been the lessons learned in turning a bold vision into reality? What type of leadership does it require to disrupt the existing status quo?

4. Increasing business tourism in a win-win-win solution – case Aarhus, Denmark
How did Aarhus increase the level of business tourism and conferences in the city in a strategic city, tourism industry and university partnership.
Anders Frølund, Head of Events and Communication Support, Aarhus University.

The city of Aarhus has managed to attract significantly more conferences to the city – and therefore far more business tourists. This the fruit of long-term strategic cooperation between Visit Aarhus, Aarhus municipality and Aarhus University through the last 10 years.

The strategic co-operation is seen as a win-win-win strategy. The researchers are helped to attract and carry through high profile conferences, the city becomes high profiled as a destination not only for conferences but also for future employees, and the meeting industry is growing and benefits from the initiatives.

The case will tell the story of the rather unique collaboration between city and university, point out the challenges and wins, how partnerships are built, how we have worked with merging the mindset of the university, the city and the meeting industry, how have we measured the results – and lead to a couple of question for the participants to bring home.

5. Digitalising an entire city together with companies and citizens – case Tampere, Finland
How Tampere has successfully embarked on a smart city journey, transforming one sector after the other and involving multinational companies and citizens in the process.
Tuija Telén, Director, Economic Development and Public Relations, City of Tampere 

The city of Tampere in Finland is leading the change into a smart city through a strategic economic development program called “Smart Tampere”. The Smart Tampere program consists of two parts: creating smart city ecosystems and digitalising the city’s services. The aim is to have all the services digitalised by 2025. It aims for innovative and digital smart city solutions through cooperation between companies, organisations, municipalities and citizens.

This means better services for citizens and talents as well as new business opportunities for the companies by creating access to international markets in other smart cities of the world.

One success factor has been involving ecosystem leaders from outside the city organisation. What is more, they have managed to get Nokia, Siemens and CGI onboard, enjoying the international attention their press releases alone can generate.

Another success factor is inclusion and co-creation; it is for Tampere a norm and not merely a buzzword. Overall openness, citizen and company participation, hackathons and pitching competitions have been utilised to have companies develop solutions for example the health sector. Tampere has hired over a dozen digital managers in different fields of the city services. Their job is to test new ways to provide digital public services.

Six cornerstones of the training:

1. Leading change in a place setting 
– how do we build partnerships and collaboration between stakeholders with different agendas?

2. The role of the change leader
– how do you develop the skills and mind-set needed to lead and manage change in a collaborative place setting

3. Digital transformation and place attractiveness
– how can we use digital tools to lead change and improve place attractiveness?

4. Innovative strategies and tools for attracting business, talent and visitors
– what are the most effective strategies and tools for attracting business, talent and visitors?

5. Co-creating place attractiveness – involving stakeholders and target groups
– how can we involve companies, citizens and students in our efforts?

6. Your own challenge – applying the lessons in your own work
– how can you use the strategies and tools discussed in the training in your own work?

See the Event for agenda, practical info and registration!

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