News and Events



Val Maira, Piemont, Italy
Picture: Heike Mayer

Heike Mayer receives award for Best RSA Blog 2020

The Regional Studies Association selected Heike`s blog entry about slow innovation in peripheral regions. Based on extensive field research in peripheral regions in the European Alps, Heike argues that innovators in remote mountain regions develop a variety of new products and processes. As slow innovators, they rely less on information and knowledge that is time-sensitive, their ideas result in incremental and process innovation rather than in radical innovations, and they benefit from social and cultural diversity their small communities offer. The Regional Studies Association Blog provides a platform for researchers, students, practitioners, community members and industry leaders to share their expertise on regional issues from across the globe. Blogging can be a useful tool to share research findings. The posts are written in a conversational style for a non-academic audience. 



SCNAT: Priority Themes for Swiss Sustainability Research

A working group at the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) identified thematic priorities for science, oriented towards the need for action by society and the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. These research priorities are supposed to provide researchers and research funders with inspiration and guidance for their work. Heike Mayer is the lead-author on the report`s chapter on “Thriving Spaces: Sustainability and Spatial Development”. Other GIUB & University of Bern researchers involved include: Thomas Breu, Christoph Bader, Markus Fischer, Tobias Haller, Michèle Amacker and Peter Messerli. The report will be launched a public online event on December 8, 5 to 7 pm.


Schild Simmentaler Spital
Picture: Simmentaler Zeitung

Article published in “Vibrant Mountain Communities”

Pascal Tschumi und Heike Mayer show how health care shortages in Swiss mountain regions have led to innovative solutions based on novel forms of cooperation among local actors from the public, private and non-profit sectors. Based on four examples from the Bernese Oberland, they illustrate how these social innovations can contribute to regional development in the longer term, as they keep the area attractive for residents and enterprises.


Buch Entrepreneurship and ageing: Exploring an economic geography perspective.

Publication News

Heike Mayer and Birgit Leick co-authored a chapter on the topic of entrepreneurship and aging. They explore various aspects of the topic from an economic geography perspective. The book was edited by Mikaela Backman, Charlie Karlsson and Orsa Kekezi (Mayer, H., & Leick, B. (2019). Entrepreneurship and ageing: Exploring an economic geography perspective. In M. Backman, C. Karlsson, & O. Kekezi (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship and Aging (pp. 88–108). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Media reports and new publications

2021/01/26 Interview
2020/11/09 STUDIES
2020/10/20 Field Course
2020/09/07 INTERVIEW
2020/05/27 Blog Entry
2020/03/02 PUBLICATION
small-town research


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