Coming Event:

The 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting

The 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting will take place in Trondheim (June 16 – 19 2019) under the heading Sustainable Geography – Geographies of Sustainability.

Please find the following call for papers at the session:

Industries and the green economy

Organizers:  Grete Rusten, University of Bergen, Patrik Ström, University of Gothenburg and Andrew Jones, City University, London.

Paper session

With an economic geographical perspective this session do aim to bring valuable insight to the understanding of concepts, theoretical debates and empirical practise of green transitions. This may include papers that discuss the understanding of green transitions and green growth, as well as a papers focusing on how business motivations, strategies, organisational arrangements and actions contribute to a greener economy. Topics can also concern how these initiatives are formed by production systems, technologies, products and stakeholders. The papers either theoretical or empirical invited to the session, may cover different sectors, geographical context and scales.  Examples of topics can be:

♦ The way goals of ecological sustainability are integrated with goals of economic growth

♦ Green economic transitions in global production systems and commodity chains

♦ The significance of services in the development of a greener economy

♦ Green economy and management strategies

♦ How green business initiatives are formed by policies, regulations and incentives

Other related topics are also welcome.  Abstracts can be submitted to: by extended deadline 10th of January.  Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by January 15 by the session convenors.

Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)-Benelux Annual Conference

This call is for the 2019 Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)-Benelux Annual Conference to be held at the University of Luxembourg 25-26. March 2019, with a topical interest in the areas of smart cities, urban development and climate change.

The 2019 SRA-Benelux Conference focuses on the theme: “Reasoning with Uncertainty”. Experts, practitioners and policy makers often have to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty. This sometimes leads to catastrophic outcomes, but often also results in averted disasters, innovation and unexpected discoveries. This conference, is devoted to how risk research(ers) can better inform decision-making in the face of uncertainty, anticipate negative outcomes, increase the propensity for positive outcomes, and better communicate uncertainty.

Deadline for abstracts is 7. December 2018.   For further information see the link below

Past Events:

The 28th International RESER Conference
Services in the Age of Contested Globalization
 including a special session on Services and the Green Economy
September 20th to 22nd 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden.

AAG Conference. Boston 5-9.4  2017.  Special session on: Services and the Green Economy

RSA Conference: Building Bridges – Cities and Regions in a Transnational World
Sunday 3rd – Wednesday 6th April 2016, Karl-Franzen-University Graz, Austria

Call for papers on this session
Knowledge dynamics and regional development policy in the transition to sustainable development, circular economy and bio economy

Session Organiser: Margareta Dahlström and Ida Grundel ( and Karlstad University. Jukka Teräs and Gunnar Lindberg ( and Nordregio.

Open session

Description: In the end of 2015 the European Union aims to present a new strategy for the development of a European circular economy compatible with Europe 2020 strategy ´Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’. Thereby a wide range of new and old concepts such as circular economy, bioeconomy, green economy and sustainable development are being used in policy making. The concepts used are all related, partly overlapping and not always well defined and the exact definitions vary between national and international actors. However, the definitions made, mainly aim to develop an economy based on sustainable use of renewable resources to develop new processes and products. In a policy perspective all concepts in one way or another also link to the innovation of goods, services and processes, e.g. in relation to clean energy and production processes, the reduction of waste, but also to organisational systems and behavioural changes that contribute to sustainable development. The role of policies at all levels from the local to the global therefore has a strong bearing on the concepts, where for example bioeconomy and circular economy have become significant for both the EU and the OECD.

To understand the underlying processes in the transition towards sustainability an important concept is knowledge dynamics stressing knowledge and learning as important drivers for innovation. Knowledge dynamics are increasingly cross-sectoral, multi-actor and multi-scalar. Here a wide definition of innovation is used to recognize innovations in as well goods, services as processes and not only in technological development or natural scientific knowledge. Cross sectoral knowledge interactions draw on different disciplines, industries and expertise, whereas multi-actor knowledge interactions involve different actors such as researchers, producers, consumers, the civil society and public policy makers. This latter perspective can also be related to the development of quadruple helix innovation systems, possibly seen as facilitators for the inclusion of more actors towards sustainable development. Some scholars also use the concept of quintuple helix and the inclusion of five helices, where the fifth helix is not an actual stakeholder but refers to the inclusion of environmental protection and natural settings in the innovation system. Multi-scalar interactions highlight the fact that local and regional networks of interactions are not enough. Innovation involves knowledge relations between regions, countries and continents. All together cross-sectoral, multi-actor and multi-scalar knowledge interactions play an important role for radical innovation rather than for incremental changes in goods and services. Radical innovations are also necessary to be able to achieve sustainability goals such as in relation to climate change or the transition to sustainable bioeconomy or circular economy. To address the complexity of societal challenges, and contribute towards solutions and transition to sustainability, different types of cross disciplinary research and development projects need to be developed, including transdisciplinary work involving non-academic partners.

To this session we welcome papers addressing issues related to a transition of the economy into for example bioeconomy or circular economy through and by knowledge dynamics and regional development policy. Such issues could include topics related to the restructuring of the economy focusing on knowledge dynamics, regional development, smart specialisation and regional innovation systems. To a large extent it also relates to new innovations, radical innovations, eco-innovations and a deepening of the knowledge about for example ecosystem services in both industry, society and as a tool for policy making. It can also include topics related to the enlargement of earlier innovation systems from a triple to a quadruple or a quintuple helix system where civil society is included in the innovation system. How can civil society be included in innovation processes in the transition to bioeconomy or a circular economy? How can regional development policies be designed to contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth? Are new kinds of bioeconomy innovation systems being developed through knowledge interaction across sectors, scales and actors – and across regions or countries? Can climate challenges work as drivers for new innovations and ecosystem services contributing to sustainable development?

Anyone interested in participating in the session should register for the conference before

7th December 2015 by visiting




Past activities


Regional Studies Association, 16-18.06.2014, Izmir, Turkey.

A special session titled “The green economy, knowledge dynamics and regional development policy” will be organized at the RSA conference in Izmir. For more information click here (conference in general), and here (special session).



Session at 2014 IGU Regional Conference, 18-22.08.2014, Kraków, Poland.

Organized in cooperation with the commission: Dynamics of Economic Spaces

Title: The geography of ‘greening the economy’ – restructuring, knowledge, networks and discourse

Session organisers: Brita Hermelin, Linköping University, brita.hermelin@liu.seand Margareta  Dahlström, Karlstad University,

Session theme: For this session we invite papers discussing different themes of and approaches to the green economy. Possible points of departure are exemplified below. First, there are aspects of greening the economy that is about the restructuring of industrial sectors, restructuring of companies, firm formations and entrepreneurship. The energy sector, the ‘green-tech’ sector, public transport and environmental management are examples of industries with many new companies and entrepreneurs involved in greening of the economy. The geography of the dynamic growth areas of the environmental economy has implications for regional economic development. Second, the transition to sustainable production and green economy requires knowledge development and innovation systems and processes. There is a knowledge approach on the green economy and discussions about sustainable innovations. The conceptualisation of innovations for sustainable development is a central aspect of studies in the sustainability transition school. Third, networks are fundamental resources and aspects of economic activities. Networks integrating actors and resources among companies in the private sector, organisations in the public sector, and higher education institutions are important. Such constellations may be traditional triple helix formations of industry, academia and government including a mix of regional and extra-regional interactions. This model is also expanding into quadruple helix including the roles of consumers and civil society. The fourth aspect important for research is derived from the background of the green economy to be a political concept. This means that the issues of discourses and power are important. The idea of the green economy is integrating into the discourse of ecological modernization. Discourse analysis approach and political economy perspective helps to make the power relations of ‘the green economy’ visible. These four themes – restructuring, knowledge, networks and discourse – are examples of sides of the greening of the economy. It is hoped that papers presented for this session may consider some of these issues and also proposing and exploring other aspects of the geography of the green economy.

For registration to the conference and abstract submissions:

Abstract submission for AAG Tampa 2014

Professor Grete Rusten and Associate Professor Ragnhild Overå , Department of Geography, UiB will organize a session for the AAG Conference in Tampa in 2014.

Theme: Entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability

Business perspectives inspired by the sustainable development discourse have been marginal but are gaining ground as we globally experience increasing economic inequality, climate change and other environmental concerns. Achieving higher degrees of sustainable social and environmental entrepreneurship and innovation will represent important economic drivers for both business and policy makers in the years to come. This session aims to provide useful insight into how industries can play their part in making societies in different geographical contexts more ecologically and socially sustainable. The session also aims to look into the cultural, economic and political challenges that exist in specific contexts and in different industries with regards to moving businesses and communities in a more sustainable direction.

Topics on this planned session that can be included are:

-Local socio-geographic contexts of sustainable entrepreneurship

-CSR motives, strategies and effects
-Management and sustainability

-Innovation and sustainability
-Gender and sustainable entrepreneurship

-Entrepreneurship and poverty alleviation


We aim on the basis of contributions from this session to organize a special journal-edition.

Please send paper abstracts to Ragnhild Overå ( and Grete Rusten ( by 1st November. We will then submit the selected abstracts to the AAG and the session organizers by November 30th.


Guest lectures at the National PhD Course in Economic Geography, 23-24 October in Gothenburg, Sweeden

Network members Grete Rusten, Brita Hermelin and Andrew Jones held interesting lectures in connection to a National PhD Course in Economic Geography. Patrik Ström organized the course-module in Gothenburg.

Session at the IGC Cologne Congress

A session titled Green Economies – a business, society and policy approach was organized by Brita Hermelin and Grete Rusten for the IGC Cologne Congress 26th-30th of August, 2012. Six presentations by reserachers from the US, France, Sweden, Denmark and Norway covered interesting topics including respectively: transport, knowledge dynamics and entrepreneurship innovation issues. Approx. 50 audiences joined this event.

Presentation at the HELIX conference, University of Bergen

The 22nd of March, Professor Grete Rusten held a presentation on environmental technologies and value creation. This was part of the HELIX conference for the marin sector entitled: ‘Challenges and possibilities for the seafood sector’, hosted by the University of Bergen.

Guest lecture at the University of Bergen

The 6th of March 2012, Professor Brita Hermelin held a guest lecture titled «Regional perspectives on knowledge, innovation and sustainable development» at the Department of Geography, University of Bergen. The lecture was part of the ERASMUS teaching exchange programme.