Risør is not new to international interaction. Our growth and development as a local society is historically based on international trade and shipping. Our forefathers crossed the seas to foreign places across the world. As they gave references to cities like Cape Town, Buenos Aires and Shanghai we can now through BeyondRisør attach to Copenhagen, Helsinki and Singapore and other centres of art and design.
Risør is still very much part of a global environment. Our business enterprises have a wide range of trade partners and suppliers throughout the world. Tourists arrive from various nations. Trough travel and media we get drawn into the global context. I hope that we are able to approach the world as not only spectators but also active and open-minded participants. BeyondRisør is a wonderful mind-opening opportunity.
Design can be a decadent and consumption-spinning interest for the rich and privileged people of the world. I am very happy to see that BeyondRisør and “INDEX: Design to Improve Lives” has taken a complete opposite approach. Global poverty and injustice is a major global challenge and appropriate design can play a role in creating a better world. As the Rio +20 global summit on climate change and environment starts these days bold design must also be used to change our lives to a more climate-friendly behaviour.
I look very much forward to the rest of this afternoon and I hope you all have a pleasant stay and a positive experience in Risør.
I hereby declare BeyondRisør 2012 for opened.Per Kr. Lunden, Mayor