Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

OECD EURADA Winter School for Regional Development Agencies


 16, 23 Jan & 26-29 Feb 2024Online & Utrecht, The Netherlands | 2nd edition

Organised by the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development in collaboration with the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA) 

The project 

The Winter School provides capacity building for managers and officials working for Development Agencies. By the end of the course participants will:

  • Acquire a deeper understanding of the trends and their potential impact on local development.
  • Gain a better understanding of research methods for evidence-based policy making at the local level.
  • Develop expertise in implementing effective regional and local development strategies and policy frameworks for competitiveness and sustainability.
  • Gain an insight into the current work of the European Commission and the OECD.

2024 Focus: Navigating the future of regional development -  Driving the change and enabling green and digital transitions for sustainable regional development

The theme of the 2024 Winter School is Strategic Foresight and Interaction. The Winter School lasts 3 days and provides local regional development experts, development agency staff, national and regional policy makers, with knowledge about practices, experiences, trends and challenges in regional development and innovation. This objective will be achieved through discussions between the participants and regional development experts, experts from the OECD, regional or local development agencies, European institutions, as well as through site visits.

The focus of the 2024 Winter School will be on the role of regions and regional development agencies in addressing socio-economic challenges and megatrends. This will be done by concentrating on foresight and interaction.


During the Winter School participants will be able to take part in interactive sessions on the topics of strategic foresight, Strategic Autonomy, green and digital transition. Taking into account the missions and core activities of RDAs, namely innovation support, investment and internationalisation, as well as the specificities of different innovation ecosystems, the participants will explore the future opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for RDAs. 

RELATED INITIATIVE: Cultivating forward-thinking and future literacy in Regional Development Agencies

The initiative is divided into two parts: an online segment with two online workshop and an in-person capacity building meeting at 2024 Winter School for Regional Development Agencies. 

In today's rapidly changing world, regional development agencies play a key role in shaping the future of their regions. The ability to anticipate and adapt to emerging trends and challenges is crucial. The workshops will equip the participants with the tools and insights they need to stay ahead in regional development. 

Key Session Highlights

  • Explore future literacy as a vital skill for regional development
  • Understand the role of forward-thinking in driving sustainable regional development
  • Engage in interactive workshops and discussions
  • Network with peers
  • Gain hands-on experience

Online Workshops

Dates: 16 and 23 January 2024 from 14:00 to 16:30 CET 

Workshop 1: Introduction to strategic foresight for regional development

  • Future awareness
  • Defining strategic foresight for regional development
  • Framing, visioning, managing the change
  • Foresight exercise:
  • Spotting the change
  • Future visioning
  • Navigating the change and transition

Workshop 2: Drivers of change and foresight methods

  • Trends and drivers of change
  • Foresight tools and methods
  • Foresight exercise (cont.):
  • Vision of a desirable future
  • Positive signals
  • Supporting existing innovative processes and dynamics in the current system
  • Key aspects and features of the current system that will be maintained in the future
  • Progressive destruction of the present system

Onsite Workshop: a session at the 2024 OECD EURADA Winter School for Regional Development Agencies

Date: 27 February 2024 | Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

Workshop 3: Navigating the futures

  • Lessons learnt from two online workshops
  • Overview of foresight methods and tools (cont.)
  • Foresight exercise in groups
  • Reflecting on the experience of foresight at regional level


Material & information


Winter School Agenda

Participants profile

The programme of the Winter School is aimed at officials from national and regional Development Agencies and/or students or other professionals interested and active in socio economic development. Participants should be strongly committed to local development, innovation and/or the development and implementation of EU R&I and/or Cohesion policies.

How to apply

Registration for the online workshops is separate from the registration for the Winter School. Please note that non-EURADA members who attend both online workshops will be entitled to a reduced fee for the Winter School. 

Winter School

Candidates for the Winter School need to submit a duly compiled application using this online form by 28 January 2024.

Candidates can propose a topic for a pitch on one of the themes of the Winter School.

Selected participants will be notified by 4 February 2024. Priority will be given to EURADA members. If the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, the participants will be selected on the basis of professional level and work experience.

Online workshops

To register for the online workshops, please fill in this online form by 14 January 2024. Places are limited.

Fee, logistics and costs

There is a participation fee for the Winter School. The organisers will cover transport, lunches, and dinner during the Winter School, whereas travel to Utrecht and accommodation costs will be borne by the participants.
- EURADA Members: €350
- Non-EURADA members: €450
- Non-EURADA members but participants of online workshops: €350

The two online workshops are free of charge. 


Working language



OECD Trento Centre
[email protected]  

[email protected]







Previous edition

1st edition | 28 February - 2 March 2023, Trento, Italy

2023 OECD EURADA winter school group visiting Trentino Sviluppo 

2023 Focus: Smart Specialisation for competitiveness, sustainability and resilient local development

Smart Specialisation strategies if well designed, implemented and monitored, can help build resilience at local level, address societal challenges and contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals. The three main themes of the Winter School were the following:

  • DAY 1. Innovation ecosystem in Trentino: entrepreneurship, start-ups and SME scaling ups.
  • DAY 2. Smart Specialisation in practice: sharing experience on implementation of S3 strategies and discussion on challenge-led innovation, green transition, resilience and skills.
  • DAY 3. Instruments and policies to boost local competitiveness: examples of teleworking in Trentino and skills for green and sustainable local economy.

The Winter School combined presentations with hands-on and practice oriented approach, which helped participants to comprehend better the challenges and opportunities for local development. Substantial time during each day was reserved for field visits, case pitches and peer-learning to promote exchange of practices. The Winter School included interactive presentation sessions, discussions, group exercises and field visits in Trentino, Italy (onsite). The Winter School allowed participants to get a better understanding of local development challenges, meet and learn from their peers, as well as network and establish new working relationships.

Course outline & Agenda 


Previous OECD related work 

Webinar | 28 June 2021


The Internationalisation of Smart Specialisation Strategies

The OECD Trento Centre for Local Development and the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy, developed a project on local development and internationalisation of the innovation system in Friuli Venezia Giulia. The project devotes specific attention to the regional S3 and its future evolution, in view of the 2021-2027 EU programming cycle.

This international webinar focused on the opportunities and challenges posed by S3 internationalisation. Building on the Friuli Venezia Giulia case study, the webinar offered an opportunity to compare national, regional and international methodologies, practices and experiences.


Report | 30 November 2021

Internationalisation of the next Smart Specialisation Strategy
Opportunities and barriers in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region


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