On the LEADER Information Days organized by the Estonian Rural Economy Research Centre on June 15-16, 2016 in Jäneda, Geomedia consultant Rivo Noorkõiv and RegPol2 fellow Bianka Plüschke-Altof were invited to present their current research projects to representatives of the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs, the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA) as well as to the members of local Estonian LEADER groups.

Focusing on the impact of peripheral images on regional development opportunities (“Kohakuvandi mõju regionaalarengule”), Bianka Plüschke-Altof discussed the Estonian media discourse on places labelled as peripheries. Based on a critical discourse analysis she showed, how rural areas are constructed as peripheries, by whom and with what consequences. Rivo Noorkõiv’s presentation on community empowerment (“Kogukonna jõustamine”) analyzed the role of village elders, rural development initiatives and community centers. Introducing the results of statistical analysis and mapping, it conveyed the unequal distribution of rural engagement and discussed the possible reasons and solutions. The presentations were followed by a lively discussion on the opportunities and challenges of rural life enhancement in current Estonian society.

For more information about the event, have a look at:

http://www.maainfo.ee/index.php?id=4110&page=3394