Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Course: CRD 09

Instructor: Arnar Sigurðsson and Nils Widberg

Course Catalog Description

About the Course

As innovation and technology disrupt traditional ways of life and policy all over the world, they pose both a threat and an opportunity for remote and rural communities. Concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship will be explored and applied in a hands-on way to the challenges confronting coastal communities. Students gain insights into the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship for regional planning.

  • Should innovation be confined to urban areas, or can coastal communities participate in the knowledge economy?
  • What are innovative communities and how can communities be innovated?
  • Can policy be modeled to create circumstances for innovation? 
  • Can a region’s path dependence be disrupted with storytelling?

For a part of the course, the class will be joined by design students from the Icelandic University of Arts. Forming cross disciplinary teams, the class will develop innovative solutions to regional development issues that the students have identified. In the process the students will acquire tools for ideation and creative thinking.

The course proposes ways to practice innovation centered regional development by exploring emerging fields such as narrative territorialisation and RegionTech.


Arnar Sigurdsson is an entrepreneur and social innovator. He holds a BA degree in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing, from the University of Iceland and a MA degree in Film Production from Goldsmith, University of London. Recently Arnar headed the Blue Bank, an innovation incubator and social development hub in Þingeyri, a coastal community in the Westfjords. Arnar's background is in startups, technology and other creative fields. He co-founded Karolina Fund, a crowdfunding and sourcing technology provider. Arnar has worked on introducing experimental culture within public administration, grass roots creative movements and is a public speaker on the relationship between community and innovation. His current experiments and ventures are channeled through his company East of Moon.