The conference gathered some 120 participants from the 9 countries to exchange ideas, network and simply to be inspired by each other and the many impactful NPA projects, presentations and project displays. People of the North - Across the Generations was arranged in co-operation with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Government.Participants were welcomed by the Monitoring Committee Chair John Maxwell, Scottish Government, and by Carroll Buxton, Director of Regional Development, Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Among the keynote speakers were Ivan McKee MSP, Scottish Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, who joined via Skype. In addition, Pierre-Emmanuel Leclerc from the European Commission, DG REGIO.
Then projects illustrated their impact on the people in the NPA area in 3 blocks, the Younger Generation, the Ageing Generation and Across the Generations. Each block of presentations was introduced by a short documentary, recently filmed at 3 different peripheral locations by documentarists Bergur Bernburg and Bill Rathje. In their own concrete way, these short clips bring the stories behind the projects Northern Cereals, RemoAge and Rye Connect to life. A fourth video, People of the North, highlights some of the challenges of living in remote communities.
After lunch, participants were invited to the exhibition, where they could experience virtual and augmented reality solutions developed by NPA projects CINE and Sendoc, as well as Lateral North, a design agency from Glasgow. In addition, the Arctic Cluster project was on display. The final session of the conference included a keynote speech by Geir Are Johansen, Director of Museum Nord, about the history of the people of the North. Dr Irene McMaster presented the impact evaluation of the programme, and reflected on the development through different generations of the NPP/NPA Programme. The conference ended with a presentation by Arthur McCormack from Féisean nan Gàidheal, followed by a traditional Scottish dance performance. Speaker profiles and a selection of presentations are now also available on our website.