2023 Oct/18

Navigating the Blue Economy From an Academic Perspective: Highlights From the First Stakeholder Academy

Last week, Klaipeda University hosted the Final Session of the Stakeholder Academy. This nine-month-long course is the first pilot of the Stakeholder Academy run by Klaipeda University.

The first Stakeholder Academy started in February and brought together 26 participants from nine partner countries with the intention to bring members of academia and respective stakeholders to the same table. The selection of relevant topics and prominent speakers was heavily focused around equipping the participants with knowledge, skills, and insights necessary for navigating the emerging blue economy, which is crucial for all players in the field of smart urban coastal sustainability.

One of the key goals of the Stakeholder Academy was to bridge the challenging gap between traditional strategy development, which leans into performance analysis for continuous improvement, and an innovative approach required to thrive in emerging blue economies. The course lasted for a total of 64 academic hours and was designed to be highly inclusive and practical – including guidance and feedback from seasoned investors and industry experts. Having a practical approach allowed the participants to generate and pitch their ideas effectively, in turn replicating real-life scenarios. Additionally, the Stakeholder Academy served as a valuable support network thanks to participants who had already completed this path.

The Stakeholder Academy took place online with the exception of the Final Session, which was held live in Klaipėda. Throughout the programme, participants from Cyprus, France, Greece, and Spain faced challenges proposed by Klaipeda City Municipality together with their local teams. In the end, each team presented their solutions/real-life scenarios in front of a local experts’ panel, who provided their insights and feedback in exchange. The final session featured a win-win scenario, allowing the participants to employ their new knowledge, combine their skills, and show off their group synergy – all for the expansion of coastal sustainability in Klaipeda.

The Valencia Catholic University is set to lead the second pilot of the Stakeholder Academy in 2024. The participants’ feedback from previous sessions will help to enrich the concept at its core, upgrading networking capabilities and establishing even stronger ties with university stakeholders from businesses, governmental organizations, and NGOs.

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