Big Arctic summit in Bodø

Grete Kaare Hovelsrud
Big Arctic summit in Bodø
Nord University and Nordlandsforskning are hosts when members and partners in the Arctic meet for an international research congress in 2024.

Several hundred national and international researchers in the Arctic will meet in 2024 for a major congress in Bodø.

- Arctic Congress Bodø 2024 will run from Wednesday May 29 to and Sunday June 2 2024. We are now doing on the planning, and are working with Visit Bodø to secure hotels and meeting rooms. This will be fun, says Professor Grete Hovelsrud at Nordlandsforskning and Nord University, and president of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA).

Arctic Congress Bodø 2024 is a collaboration between IASSA, the University of the Arctic (UArctic) and the High North Center at Nord University

Each of these organisations regularly organize their own congresses, bringing together members and their partners. In 2022, all parties agreed to join forces for a joint congress. In Bodø. In 2024.

Bringing them together in Bodø – European Capital of Culture in 2024 – will be a showcase for Arctic cooperation.

A unique cooperation

- IASSA has a congress every three years called ICASS (International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences). At this event we gather between 700 and 900 researchers. In 2024, it will be the first time since the establishment of IASSA that this event will be held in Bodø, says Hovelsrud.

It quickly became clear that several people were interested in participating together with IASSA.

- The presidents of UArctic called me and said they wanted to join. So would Frode Mellemvik, director of the Hirgh North Center. Thus we joined forces and gave the congress the name Arctic Congress Bodø 2024, says Hovelsrud.

Arctic Congress Bodø 2024 is an interdisciplinary congress with a focus on social science, education and business.

- This is the collaboration of the ages on Arctic research. There will be many research sessions, joint events and plenary meetings. This is a congress for researchers, but there will also be something for the public, as there will also be popular science events and cultural elements, says Hovelsrud.

Cooperation: The first meeting between Apriil Congress, Nordlandsforskning and Nord University was arranged in November 2022. Three committees have now been established which will continue to work on the organising of the event, including a hosting committee and a program committee.​ From left: Bendikte Kosmo Underland (High North Centre), Lisbeth Iversen (Visit Bodø), Harald Riisnæs (Apriil), Sølvi Korsvik (Ramsalt), Sindre Hauge (Apriil), Majken Paulsen (IASSA and Nordlandsforskning), Tina Bringslimark (IASSA Secretariat and Nord University). Photo: Grete K. Hovelsrud, IASSA and Nordlandsforskning who also was at the meeting.

Professional participant

Work is now underway to put together a scientific committee, whose job will be to assess which events and lectures that will be selected.

- We need more committees that will be set up according to thematic areas. These will be set up during February 2023, says Tina Bringslimark, head of section for research and development at Nord University.

At the same time, the conference is so large that the hosts Nord University and Nordlandsforskning cannot do all the practical things surrounding the conference itself. That's why a job a professional organizer has been tendered.

Apriil Congress won the tender.

Now the contract has been signed - and last autumn the parties met for their first workshop.

- The conference will be very large. Certainly the biggest that has ever been organized in Bodø. We expect between 1,000 and 1,500 participants. Apriil will assist us in planning all the practical things, says Bringslimark.


IASSA ble etablert i Fairbanks, Alaska i 1990 for å styrke samarbeidet mellom samfunnsvitenskapelige forskere i arktisk. Målet med IASSA er å stimulere til internasjonalt samarbeid, samt å utveksle og dele samfunnsforskning som omhandler livet i de arktiske områdene. Dette inkluderer også urfolksrelatert forskning. IASSA har status som observatør i Arktisk råd. Professor Grete Hovelsrud ved Nordlandsforskning og Nord universitet, innehar presidentvervet i IASSA i årene 2021-2024. 



UArctic ble etablert i 2011 og består av et nettverk av universitet, høyskoler og forskningsinstitusjoner i den  arktiske regionen. UArctic jobber for å fremme utdanning og forskning i  arktisk. UArctic Congress arrangeres annet hvert år og har siden 2018 blitt organisert som en del av programmet til Arktisk råd. Formannskapet i rådet rullerer mellom de åtte arktiske statene og varer i to år. Norge skal ha formannskapet i perioden 2023-2025, noe som er grunnlaget for at UArctic Congress avholdes i Norge og Bodø i 2024. Det internasjonale sekretariatet er lokalisert til Rovaniemi, Finland.


Nordområdesenteret, Handelshøgskolen ved Nord universitet

Nordområdesenteret arrangerer High North Dialogue som en årlig konferanse, hvis mål er å bringe sammen organisasjoner og personer som jobber med utviklingen av arktisk. Målet er å fasilitere dialog mellom ulike aktører tilknyttet utviklingen av arktisk.