I have been the editor of this blog for seven years, airing my opinion on small island matters 264 times.
I am happy to have been allowed to verbalize my thoughts here. I have been thinking out loud, trying to come to conclusions on diverse subjects regarding small islands. What I have published has been viewed some 70,000 times which makes me even more happy – what if it made some impact at least on one percent of these people? And on the 477 followers of our FaceBook page which mirrors everything on this blog?
Writing about the wonderful, disparate world of islands forced me in to some deep learning. It helped me develop a unique model to dissect islands in three layers: (1) the natural landscape (the island without humans), (2) the cultural landscape (what happens when we humans move in to the island, what we do, how we survive, what we need) and (3) the technical landscape (the infrastructure we build to meet our needs of transportation, energy, water, waste and overspill we produce).
Up til now, I have used this model 24 times, making in-depth portraits of islands. Typically, the natural and cultural layers are already quite well described but when it comes to infrastructure, the islanders are all too often governed by the mainlanders.
Two months ago, I was appointed Chair of the Nordic Archipelago Cooperation in the Baltic Sea, embracing 250 islands with some 50,000 all-year residents http://www.skargardssamarbetet.org/sv/. I want to do the job properly and will most certainly have use for my model. I will share my time between my work as a director of and researcher on urban and island planning at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and my new assignment. I do not want to mismanage other duties and have to clean up my working life, consequently asking to be relieved from my duties at ESIN including being a Board member, a Vice President, and the editor of this blog. This has now been approved.
Konfucius once said: “If you think you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Camille, Rhoda, Dorthe, Lise, Denis, Eleftherios, Giannina, Leo, Pia, Tiina, Bengt, Anetté, Kristian, Denis and John: thank you. I was in the right room.