In a resounding affirmation of its dedication to tackling the challenges and seizing opportunities in rural areas, the RUSTIK project actively participated in Euromontana’s Annual Conference—an integral component of the European Year of Skills. The conference, titled “Skills for Mountains in Transitions,” served as a convergence point for influential stakeholders, researchers, and practitioners, providing a dynamic forum to delve into the intricate transitions impacting mountain economies and labor markets.
Francesco Mantino, Architect of Rural Transitions:
Francesco Mantino, a prominent figure in conceptualizing rural transitions for policy-making, represented the RUSTIK project at a pivotal session. As the Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economy Analysis and a partner in the RUSTIK project, Mantino contributed valuable insights during the conference. He spearheaded discussions on the challenges and opportunities for skills and employment in mountain areas, sharing the stage with distinguished speakers.
Mantino’s session, titled “Setting the scene: challenges, opportunities and approaches for employment and skills for mountain in transitions,” saw him collaborating with Guillaume Corradino, the Director of Euromontana. The duo laid the groundwork for understanding the intricate landscape of mountain transitions, discussing both challenges and innovative approaches.
Additionally, Mantino shared the stage with Kirsty Blackstock, from the James Hutton Institute and partner of the MOVING project. Their discussion delved into “Skills for the future of mountain value chains,” shedding light on the evolving nature of skills needed in these regions.
Rural Proofing for Mountain Areas:
Beyond the conference sessions, Mantino actively participated in the General Assembly, engaging in a parallel session on rural proofing. Drawing from RUSTIK’s deliverables, he presented case studies from Finland and the UK, offering a nuanced perspective on the application of rural proofing in mountain areas. The discussions proved to be a melting pot of experiences, allowing participants to identify challenges and needs for effective rural proofing implementation.
Euromontana’s Vision and Conference Focus
Against the backdrop of declining populations, loss of attractiveness, climate change impacts, and the imperative green transition, Euromontana’s conference aimed to spotlight the challenges and solutions for employment and skills in mountain areas. The overarching goal was to explore sector-specific difficulties and opportunities while brainstorming innovative solutions to attract talent to these regions.
In the spirit of collaboration, Euromontana provided a platform for representatives of the European Commission, researchers, and practitioners to share their expertise, shaping policy and practical solutions for talent attraction in transitioning mountain areas.