Arts & Culture - Anti-Capitalism - Environment

2007 - 2022

Arc of Innovation?

Here’s an unashamed plug for Lesley Riddoch’s Nordic Horizons series with two events coming up ‘The Great Green Danes’ in January and ‘Iceland Bounces Back’ in February.

First up, something is renewable in the state of Denmark. Scottish Parliament Committee Room One – Wednesday 16 January – 18:00 to 20:00


Soren Hermansen

Asking: What size is the right size for renewable energy? this event explores the inspirational example of the carbon-free island of Samso – the sort of place likely to give Donald Trump palpitations.

“Danish Soren Hermansen is one of Time Life’s Heroes of the Environment 2008. In 1997 the small, tight-knit, conservative, farming island of Samso, nestled in the Kattegat Strait, won a contest sponsored by the Danish Government to become Denmark’s showcase for sustainable power, eventually going carbon-free without any state funding, tax breaks or technical expertise.

Samso isn’t just carbon-neutral — it produces 10% more clean electricity than it uses, and feeds extra power back into the grid at a profit. How did Samso do it – how did islanders make sure control didn’t shift to big multi-national energy firms – what lessons are there for communities across Scotland?”

Labour’s Jenny Marra MSP (pioneer of the Switchtogether scheme) will host the event. Book free seats by “joining” on Facebook or send an email to NH via

Iceland Bounces Back

How could a small northern nation possibly go it alone? How does Iceland survive?

Feb 13, 2013, 6-8pm, Edinburgh University, Old College, Lecture Theatre 183

Featuring Icelandic Economist Professor Thorvaldur Gylfason – the most voted-for member of the Icelandic Constitutional Council which drafted the country’s new “crowd-sourced” constitution – this meeting will explore the recovery of the Icelandic economy and how you create a more participative democracy. In the last year Icelanders have been to the polls in a six question referendum to approve it and Iceland has clawed its way back to BBB+ credit rating and a projected 2.3% growth rate after opting to let “bad banks” go to the wall (in contrast to the UK and Ireland.)

It seems this Nordic nation of 300,000+ people is making (yet another) comeback. So will they join the EU – or continue alone? Has the People’s Constitution passed its final political hurdle? Is bank regulation now tight enough to ensure crisis can never undermine the whole country again? And what prompted Icelandic President Olafur Grimsson to end 2012 with a BBC interview backing the prospect of Scottish independence?”

Prof Thor joins us for an Icelandic update together with Sigrun Davidsdottir – a London-based journalist working for the Icelandic State Broadcaster Rúv whose blog, Icelog, explores the financial “adventures” of her home.

The event will be introduced by Independent MSP Jean Urquhart and chaired by journalist and Nordic Horizons Chair, Lesley Riddoch.

Book free seats on the NH Facebook page or email Dan at


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