Gen Z Agency: Mobilising young people to strengthen Nordic rural areas

This project will identify and describe key enablers and solutions that young people think are important for the Nordic rural areas to be attractive to live, work and thrive in.   

Many rural municipalities are experiencing an aging population, outmigration of young people, a less diversified labour market and provision of services.

The young people’s engagement and commitment are central to strengthening the Nordic rural areas and promoting the well-being of young people and rural communities.

This project will draw on participatory and interactive methods that involve young Nordic people directly. The aim is to discuss and formulate enablers and solutions for the future of young people in rural areas in all Nordic countries and self-governing territories. 

The project will recruit a network of Nordic young adults and engage them in a series of co-creative thematic workshops during 2023. The premise is the youths’ active participation in designing the themes and clarifying the issues from the start so that the project reflects the participants’ needs and wishes.  

The project will explore the following questions:  

  • What is essential for young peoples’ establishment and conditions for living, working, and thriving in rural areas?  
  • What concrete enablers and solutions do young people identify as central in solving challenges or removing barriers keeping them from establishing themselves and staying in rural areas? 

The young people will participate in the formulation of recommendations aimed at the Nordic ministers, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and national, regional, and local authorities. The recommendations shall provide the Nordic co-operation, national, regional and local authorities and organisations with knowledge and insights to strengthen the conditions for young people in rural areas and promote solutions and opportunities to enable young people to stay or establish themselves in Nordic rural areas. A reference group with representatives contributing with expertise and insights from different Nordic settings about rural policy, inclusive methods, and youth perspectives is also recruited to support the knowledge formation. 

The aim of the project is to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive rural development and support young people to participate in society and feel a sense of ownership of their future.  


Mari Wøien Meijer
Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir

Sofia Strömgård
Elin Cedergren