31 / 08 / 2023

Cooperation and competition are needed when facing the green transition

Viktor Salenius, one of the key speakers at the Kvarken Council’s event during Wasa Future Festival, argued that the energy transition and the climate crisis that we’re facing is making collaborative forms necessary in the Kvarken region.

Viktor Salenius, PhD candidate in Management at the Saïd Business School at University of Oxford, described that cross-border cooperation in the region is not only desirable but quite natural and even necessary in a sustainable transition to green energy production.

– Not only is it a nice thing to have interregional collaboration for the green transition but it’s quite essential. We’re in trouble if there isn’t a build-up of collaboration across Kvarken and within the Nordic countries themselves.

Salenius said that the energy transition and the climate crisis that we’re facing is making these economic collaborative forms necessary. He also argued that it’s quite lucky for these regions because there’s a tradition and a culture of collaboration in the Kvarken region that’s unique, not only to the Nordics, but also to Europe and the world.

– This area needs co-opetition, which means collaborating and competing at the same time. It’s not only a fun thing to do but the only thing we can do. These energy transitions will happen anyway in about 10 years, but we might just start already.

Silicon Valley’s concept will not provide answers to the green transition

Salenius described that the Silicon Valley is an incredible successful pioneering innovation region of the world, but at the same time it was built for what is already now a bygone age before the green transition.

– The green transition is not similar to what the digital transition was even though they are connected. The old models that we have learned from the digitalization, the digital transition and the innovation that goes around that, they don’t really apply. It’s a completely different economic model that we need now.

Salenius argued that Silicon Valley will play a role in the green transition but that we shouldn’t look to them for answers on how to build our own models. We need digital technologies, but we also need to figure out how our existing industrial capacities are going to be transformed in a sustainable way.

Salenius also briefly addressed the region’s attractiveness and competence supply. He pointed out that it’s a societal problem rather than an issue of technology and exports.

– This region is going to need a lot of people over the past years to make this work. People aren’t going to move here if there’s only one sector that somebody can work in, because people usually come in families or larger groups.

– Wouldn’t it be amazing if this area would be the first place in the world where the climate transition in industry had the effect to really create a larger regional innovation system in both social and economic terms?

Download Viktor Salenius presentation HERE
Watch the streaming HERE
Read the other texts about Wasa Future Festival HERE, HERE, and HERE