The Baltic Sea City Accelerator process was kick-started by an Idea Lab in December 2015, where cities and partners gathered to lay the foundation of the 18-months pilot program.
On December 9th and 10th of 2015, eighty participants, including 19 Baltic Sea region municipality representatives from Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Finland, gathered in Stockholm for BSCA's first Idea Lab.
The group also included solution providers, academia, research institutions, government agencies, and funders from both the Baltic Sea countries and abroad. Over the course of one and a half days, participants engaged in facilitated discussions that focused on identifying local economic and social benefits that can be gained through addressing Baltic Sea environmental challenges.
The Lab offered a safe and inspirational space that allowed for municipalities to share their toughest water challenges, receive input on how to move forward, and to reframe the challenges into potential opportunities for economic growth and improved social welfare. During the event, eleven municipalities presented a specific challenge or vision that they wanted to accelerate.