The Arctic Frontiers 2021 – Building Bridges Plenary program has brought together decision makers, indigenous leaders, business and youth representative to discuss the most pressing issues facing the Arctic. During the conference and now on our platform we present an exciting series of hosted in-person and on-line session the five thematic sessions: Building the Future, Ocean meets Coast, Arctic Health and Wellness, Business Solutions, and Building Bridges.
Welcome to Arctic Frontiers 2021 – Building Bridges.
The title Building Bridges is recognition of the strength that is gained by safeguarding the Arctic as a region of peace and global example of cooperation in an age of growing tensions and world-wide uncertainty. It also represents the need for open, honest discussions on difficult topics to ensure that polarization of positions do not create further isolation for societies and degradation of business opportunities.
Our plenary sessions not only explores important connections within the Arctic, but also complicated connections with political, economic and natural forces outside the region that have a profound effect on the Arctic and the other way around. How can innovation and concrete collaboration lead to practical solutions for resilient Arctic societies now and in the future? Our objective this year is to create a conference that puts these questions at the forefront.
Wellbeing and Societal Health
The Arctic is a diverse and vibrant region of people who have lived there since time immemorial and also those who have chosen this beautiful region as home. Healthy Arctic societies are threatened by worrying levels of contamination, disruptions of food webs, mental illness and suicide. The COVID-19 pandemic poses additional obstacles for Arctic communities and businesses. Solutions are complex due to a myriad of challenges left by the vestiges of colonialism, including access to health care services and equipment, the need for reckoning over racial injustice, southern migration of young people and the masculine character of Arctic communities. This session seeks to shed light on the stories and strategies required to build bridges to healthier Arctic populations.
Building the Future
This year Arctic Frontiers hosted a panel of young Arctic leaders alongside seasoned Arctic influencers who dived deeper into the opportunities and obstacles northern youth face now and in the future. Framed in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, speakers are invited to discuss the pressing issues they stand to inherit such as climate change, societal pressure, migration of young people to the south and the question of whether the Arctic is facing its own cultural revolution. This session seeks to build bridges between generations, borders and disciplines to find the best solutions for a resilient Arctic.
Ocean meets Coast
For centuries Arctic communities have turned to the seas to provide food, safe haven, transportation, natural resources and energy not just to survive, but to thrive. Once considered secondary, traditional activities are now the centrepiece of national policies and business since it is no secret that we need our oceans to meet growing demands for food, resources, transportation and energy. This reality is balanced by the urgent need to sustain healthy oceans to ensure a healthy planet. In this session we discussed the opportunities and challenges created by the rapid growth of ocean-based industry and the societies on the front lines, through the lens of cooperation and innovation.
This thematic sessions looked at specific solutions to challenges facing Arctic businesses at the heart of northern communities. Unique competence and expertise remain challenged by capacity issues, under-capitalization and infrastructure challenges that limits commercialization and scaling for Arctic products and services. Arctic Frontiers 2021 closed with our final Building Bridges session hosted by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Leaders discussed how the global economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic had also been felt in the Arctic and provided insights into what recovery would look like for businesses that operate in the region. The second half of the discussion focused on shifting approaches to geopolitics North of 60.
Julia Seljeseth email +47 909 74 978
Arctic Frontiers 2021
Arctic Frontiers is a meeting place to meet and discuss the most pressing issues facing the Arctic. Decision makers, scientists, indigenous peoples,…
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