Extensive local stakeholder dialogue has already provided guidelines for Rural Growth policy recommendations in the fields of digitalization, fast commercialization and improved networking to vitalize rural areas in South Savo (Etelä-Savo) region. Now entrepreneurs and innovators have their say for what would be the best means to facilitate change.

Think Tank launching event was organized 18th January 2018 . Through active marketing, the project managed to attract a total of 21 persons to participate. The goal was to keep threshold for participation low: people with business and product ideas and proposals for the improvement for customer service experience and for opening new distribution are all welcomed.  The adopted open innovation approach was eagerly embraced  by the participants. Received feedback indicated that there is a need for an open discussion forum.

After introductions, the participants discussed the terms and purpose of participation and agreed that the forum remains open for ideas benefiting from networking and open discussion.  In the following meetings, the ideas will further developed and documented and visiting experts will be invited to provide new insight. The Think Tank will report a summary of it's findings in August 2018.

Through the initiatives and concerns raised up the the RG Think Tank participants, the Rural Growth project will be able to prioritize and draft policy recommendations and actions for the regional action plan being developed for the benefit of improving regional policy, structural funds programme funding instruments. Later, also project proposals to support implementation of the Regional Action Plan will be developed.