Culture

Living With The Mega-Regions: Embers Into Sparx, Online Talks

Will rural and island areas become ever more on the fringe for innovation?

That’s the question tackled in the first of a new series of online talks .

Starting tonight, Monday May 23rd, 7.30pm, is a series of 6 talks hosted on the Orkney International Science Festival YouTube channel which will look at how rural and island areas can stem the tide of centralisation.

The idea for the series developed through a Festival collaboration with a new Scottish project, Tech Embers. Tech Embers is supported by the Scottish Government Ecosystem Fund in connection with the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review.

The series of six talks put together by the Festival – titled Embers into Sparx – include the latest news on space developments in Scotland, and also a call for a renaissance of rail branch lines in response to road congestion and the climate emergency.

Two-thirds of the world’s economic activity, and 86% of its patented inventions, are concentrated in 40 mega-regions. With their resources of skills, technology and investment, they are continually attracting people and resources.

There’s also the story of regeneration of landscape and wildlife on a Scottish estate, and a new approach to biology which argues that a living organism is more than the sum of its parts.

Monday evening’s talk, and titled ‘Out of 40’, looks at a radical approach to the growing problem of economic centralisation in 40 megaregions. The approach comes from a Slovenian thinker who argues that island and rural areas should join together digitally to provide opportunities for innovators to share ideas and work together, just as they would in a mega-region.

The challenge is how in practical terms to build links for innovators in scattered communities across Europe and beyond. Monday evening’s talk, given by Festival director Howie Firth, looks at ways in which this might be done.

It starts at 7.30 pm and is free to all. You can find out more here: Orkney International Science Festival.

And on YouTube

Orkney Eco Park, Hatston, Kirkwall

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