On 7 December 2021 and 8 February 2022, the Rural Digitalisation Forum (RDF), set-up by DESIRA organised an EU scenario planning exercise. 



Bringing together more than 30 stakeholders from different backgrounds (research, public authorities, SMEs, stakeholders’ organisations, members of National Rural Networks), the exercise was intended to create linkages between the DESIRA Living Lab scenarios up to 2031 and the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas in 2040.

On 7 December 2021, the first workshop of the EU RDF foresight exercise was held. The event featured presentations from high-level speakers, who introduced the necessary context for the exercise. Participants, spread across breakout rooms, discussed how digitalisation could affect the different areas of action composing the long-term vision for rural areas (stronger, connected, more resilient rural areas that foster well-being, and prosperous rural areas).

The second workshop was held on 8 February 2022. The RDF experts came together to contribute to the work of DESIRA on the Scenario Planning, linking it to the long-term vision for rural areas. Building on the ‘Drivers of Change’ (DoC) identified by DESIRA Living Labs, participants tried to shape a fifth element or area of action for the long-term vision, ‘Digitalisation of rural areas’

By 2040, rural areas are vibrant, attract newcomers and offer qualified jobs with decent salaries. Rural areas are fully connected to urban areas, and population flows are bi-directional. The rural digital divide has consistently reduced, as governance mechanisms in place that monitor it have successfully intervened with specific initiatives. Rural administrations can offer a wide range of digital technologies to all, and this significantly improves their quality of life. Digital technologies fully support Digital rural areas local administrations in managing the rural environment and the related environmental risks. 

Find out the highlights of the second meeting of the Rural Digitalisation Forum here!