NØRD - First Digitalization Congress in MV to inspire, connect and create in the Digital Innovation Space MV
Digitalisation is a process which needs to be accelerated in next-to-metropolitan regions. NØRD brings together the driving forces of digitalisation and interested parties in our country, i.e. digital start-ups, SME’s, regional and local authorities, idea owners and technology transfer centers (incubators).
In order to create visibility and awareness throughout the entire land there was a need to organise a first joint congress in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV) on the subject of digitalisation. In order to unite the many isolated activities in the digital transformation process, a joint congress of the actors in the field became necessary.
The necessity of this joint congress was confirmed, when actors used the same term "digitalisation", but interpreted it very differently. During the NØRD congress stakeholders got to know each other and were able to create new synergies in a sector-specific way.
The NØRD was a perfect event to show the potential and the attractiveness of the region, the players and the available resources. The event has shown that by bundling ideas, people, topics and knowledge, the region can become visible beyond its borders as an innovative centre of digital processes, which can counteract emigration to metropolitan regions.
An external agency needs to provide the event organisation, regional/local authorities should coordinate the process and involve stakeholders, volunteers can be involved to support the process.
In order to cover the number of topics, more than 200 speakers are necessary.
Evidence of success
The event of 2019 achieved its planned aim: 2000 visitors attended the event, 22 start-ups presented themselves and the network and brand "Digitales MV" has been promoted. Furthermore, the event led to the creation of networks and synergies, future projects were discussed, start-up investors were found, single actors came together on a new, interregional platform.
In order to attract visitors from different regions, it was necessary to organize the first congress decentralized at several locations in MV. This made it impossible for visitors to attend all favoured sessions on the spot, which took place in different regions (therefore live-stream was provided).
Potential for learning or transfer
For the concept of a digital conference we have been inspired by the SLUSH conference on Helsinki. Considering the rural characterisation of MV we recognized that in regions where a community around the topic of digitalisation does not really exist yet, such a decentralized, cross-thematic kick-off is an excellent means to create a community. It becomes obvious what potential is hidden in the regions, and above all, single actors get to know each other in an informal way. Especially the approach to offer an inspiring platform for young innovative minds helps to show this target group an attractive environment to stay in.
Based on the experience of this 1st conference, we would still recommend to plan the agenda very carefully. For example, perhaps the conference could be extended to more than 3 days so that stakeholders have a chance to participate in all sessions of their interest. Hiring shuttle services can have a positive impact on connections during a decentralized event.
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