We are at the Frontiers

People at the top of a slalom slope, with their backs towards us. The view is breathtaking. It's winter
We have several Side Events at Arctic Frontiers this year. See what they are all about here.

​​​​The annual Arctic Frontiers conference takes place from January 30 to February 2. 

During this year's conference, we at the High North Center will be putting on, or being part of, several Side Events. 

Arctic Leadership​

The world – including the Arctic is changing – crating new challenges also in the Arctic – often even more visible in the Arctic than elsewhere. To meet these changes, we need leadership – Arctic leadership

Our claim is that Arctic leaders operate within a future laboratory. Why I this? The environmental, social, and economic trends and changes which the world is facing, will hit the arctic first.

Date: February 1 2023
Time: 09:00 - 10:30
Place: Clarion Hotel The Edge

The temperature rise is higher in the Arctic. The urban rural divide hits the Arctic at a higher rate than anywhere else, the decrease in people within the working age is higher in the Arctic than elsewhere, and the green transition is more prominent in the Arctic that elsewhere. So when studying Arctic leadership, you are studying the future of leadership.

Arctic leadership is also about leading within a paradox: An abundance of natural resources, but a deficit of human resources. Still, we experience a much higher economic growth rate in the Arctic than elsewhere.

This session will present and discuss various characteristics related to Arctic leadership, and also reflect upon whether Arctic leadership is changing – or have to change - to better meet the challenges and opportunities global changes represent.

The aim is also to present arctic leadership from different perspectives; from different industrial perspectives, from different political perspectives, from indigenous perspectives, and from the perspectives of young arctic leaders.

More specifically the session will present and debate the following:

  • What is Arctic leadership
  • Arctic leadership – the future of leadership
  • How could Arctic leadership contribute to meet our new challenges and possibilities
  • Understanding Arctic leadership from different perspectives, and how these are interconnected

List of speakers:

  • Bjørn Olsen, Professor, Nord University, Norway
  • Marie-Anne Coninsx, Senior Associate Fellow at the Egmont Institute - the Royal Institute for International Relations (Belgium), and Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge University (UK). She is also Member of the Board of Directors of the International Polar Foundation (Belgium).
  • Ida Maria Pinnerød, Mayor of Bodø Municipality, Norway
  • Anders Oskal, Secretary General at the Association of World Reindeer Herders and also is the Executive Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry in Guovdageaidnu/ Kautokeino, Norway
  • Ida Kristine Jakobsen, Director, Clarion Hotel the Edge in Tromsø, Norway
  • Malin Johansen, General manager for the Norwegian Center of Expertise (NCE) Aquaculture
  • Donavan Rusoniello, Outreach Director, Renewable Energy Alaska Project, USA
  • Mathew Hickey, Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies, Alaska, USA

Moderator: June Borge Doornich, Associate Professor Nord University Business School, Norway

Contact person: Bjørn Olsen

How can we attract young people to the High North? – An international perspective

The Norwegian government has declared that Northern Norway is the most important strategic area in country, notably because much of the value creation will in the future take place in the North. Here we find a great paradox: while there are massive opportunities for value creation in the region, people move away. Especially young people move South. At the same time, too few young people from the South decides to move North.

Date: February 1 2023
Time: 11:00 - 12:30
Place: Clarion Hotel The Edge

Many other regions in the Arctic are experiencing a similar need people for industrial projects and/or to ensure sustainable societies. The idea for this panel is to discuss the different situations across the arctic frontiers with expert representatives from the different countries. How can we benefit from each other’s experience?

Three main questions:

  1. ​What are the challenges when it comes to attracting young people?
  2. What has been done to attract more young people?​
  3. How’s it going? Lessons to be learned.

List of speakers

  • Elena Zhurova Sæther, Researcher, High North Center at Nord University Business School​, Norway
  • Alexandra Middleton​, ​Assistant Professor, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Ole Kolstand, Managing Director, Rana Utviklingsselskap, Norway
  • Mia Ahlstrand, Project Manager, North Sweden Green Deal, Sweden
  • Janelle Flet, Project coordinator, Barkley Project Group, Canada
  • Reinhard Reynisson, Specialist at Icelandic Regional Development Institute, Iceland

Moderator: Maja Wolland Blomberg, Research assistand, High North Center at Nord University Business School, Norway

Contact person: Maja Wolland Blomberg.

​Arctic Geopolitics, local consequences

The security political tension in the Arctic is increasing. Relations between NATO and Russia are tense. Both Arctic and non-Arctic states are increasingly showing off their military capabilities in the North. These geopolitical trends have local consequences. Across the Arctic, local communities are being affected by the increase in military activity.

Date: February 1 2023
Time: 19:00 - 20:30
Place: Storgata Camping, Storgata 5, 9008 Tromsø

How are local communities across the Arctic affected by these international trends? What role do local and regional authorities and other stakeholders play in this development? How can local and regional interests be included and respected?

This seminar will discuss some of these issues with a particular focus on northern Norway and the development in the north of recent years.​


19:00 Welcome and the big picture

  • Kristina Torbergsen, County council leader Troms & Finnmark county, Norway
  • Andreas Østhagen, Researcher, Fridtjof Nansen's Institute & High North Center at Nord Univeristy Business School, Norway

19:15 Norway in NATO and in the North

  • Bent-Joacim Bentzen, State Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Norway

19:30 The local perspective

  • ​Gunnar Wilhelmsen, mayor, Tromsø municipality, Norway
  • Ida Pinnerød, mayor, Bodø municipality, Norway
  • Aina Borch, mayor, Porsanger municipality, Norway
  • Karen Anette Anti, Sami Parliament representative, NSR, Norway

19:50 Questions, discussion and comments

20:30 End​

Moderator: Gøril Johansen, CEO, Pro Tromsø, Norway

Contact Person: Andreas Østhagen

 Contact person