A Smart Arctic Future - Smart Arctic Part II


  • 13:00 SmartICE: employing social enterprise to empower community adaptation for safe ice travel
    Authors: Trevor Bell ( SmartICE / Memorial University of Newfoundland )

    Declining Arctic landfast sea ice impacts Inuit travel safety and livelihood. SmartICE is the world’s first climate change adaptation tool to integrate Inuit knowledge of sea ice with advanced data acquisition and remote monitoring technology to provide invaluable, data-driven insights into local ice conditions to inform safer travel. SmartICE’s approach is unique in two ways. First, it includes Inuit in all aspects of its operation and decision-making, bridging technology and traditional understanding of the ice. Second, it generates relevant sea-ice information for the community, in a timely manner, and in formats that are both comprehensible and accessible.

    In practice, SmartICE operators travel along community trails towing a mobile ice-thickness sensor. The sensor generates real-time data to help guide the operator’s route, while their weekly tracks are colour-coded according to ice thickness for the benefit of their community. Sea-ice users then modify their traditional travel routes based on this up-to-date information in order to ensure safe travel. Likewise, a stationary ice-thickness sensor, the SmartBUOY, is designed to be affordable and efficient in measuring sea-ice thickness and snow depth at strategic locations identified by the community. These locations usually represent larger ice areas or early indicators of dangerous ice conditions. The SmartBUOY operates autonomously, at any distance from the community, and transmits data by satellite. SmartICE was recognized by the United Nations as one of the most innovative, scalable, replicable and practical examples of what people across the globe are doing to combat climate change.

    SmartICE has the potential to offer more than a technological fix. It strives to be a social innovator, empowering communities to adapt to unpredictable ice conditions while maximizing societal impact. That’s why, when demand for its services increased, and with the support of the 2016 Arctic Inspiration Prize, the SmartICE team decided to expand and commercialize its service under a not-for-profit, social enterprise model. By the end of the 2018-19 ice season, SmartICE will operate in 16 communities while pursuing start-up in another 12 across Inuit Nunangat.

    SmartICE’s approach pushes the boundaries of conventional thinking on how businesses pursue social innovation and collaborate with communities. For example, the SmartBUOY technology is being redesigned so it can be assembled by trained Inuit youth in Nunatsiavut for distribution across the Arctic. In doing so, it harnesses the vast potential of Inuit youth to embrace technology as a vehicle for improved employment prospects, economic development and wellbeing in their communities.

  • 13:30 Mobility and human connectivity in the Russian Arctic
    Authors: Elena Liarskaya ( European University at St.Petersburg )

    Despite the general belief, Russian Arctic (and the Russian Far North in general) is not separated from the rest of the world: on the contrary, the concept of connectivity is very important for the region. There are numerous connections of all kinds, both tangible, or infrastructural, and symbolic, or human. A network of these connections covers the regions as a whole enabling transfer of people, objects and information within Russian Arctic, and it also connects the region with the rest of the country and the world. The Russian North residents are highly mobile, but frequently, the human connectivity is out of the focus in the Arctic research. This paper is based upon research carried out by our team from European University at St. Petersburg in the Russian Arctic from Kola Peninsula to Kamchatka. It discusses how the mobility (short and long-term) is connected with way of life Arctic’s residents, what the meaning and functions of the mobility there are, and what is the role of human connectivity in the models of mobility in the Russian Arctic.

  • 13:45 The Future of Arctic Smart Cities: An Innovation Ecosystem
    Authors: Tina Pidgeon ( GCI ); Tim Stelzig ( GCI )

    Smart City initiatives are often associated with major metropolises but also hold tremendous promise for communities in the Arctic. In this presentation, Tina Pidgeon will discuss how to apply advanced technology in ways that are effective, sustainable and improve people’s lives in the broader Arctic community, relying on current Arctic community examples. 

    To bring Arctic smart cities to life, Tina has devised a framework of important building blocks that reflect the unique challenges Northern Arctic communities face.

    Of those building blocks, three focal points include:

    • Research: Part of evaluating a feasible initiative is examining relevant research and taking into account special considerations in the Arctic - like lower population and challenging service conditions. Tina understands that though each community is diverse, two universal considerations include: understanding community needs and breaking down silos by sharing data.
    • Exploration: There are many available programs and grants to support building smart cities. For example, Tina’s hometown of Anchorage is participating in Bloomberg Philanthropies “What Works Cities” to use open data to share information, fuel engagement and drive innovation.
    • Developing the ecosystem: Such an effort requires support and cooperation across the community. Oulu, Finland, sometimes referred to as the “Silicon Valley of Finland,” has successfully developed a seamless integration between all the central players related to innovation. From basic infrastructure and services to world class research and support for businesses, all aspects of innovation support are in place.

    There are mountains of possibilities to apply technology and connectivity for improved efficiency, broadened opportunities through distance learning and even to save lives using telemedicine. “Through cultivating partnerships between communities, enterprise and citizens,” Tina says, “we can reach the full potential of building smart cities in the Arctic.”


    Tina Pidgeon is the Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs for GCI in Alaska, delivering communication and technology services to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. In her role, Tina is the strategic leader for legal, regulatory, compliance and policy initiatives across the company. Tina has previously spoken at the 2018 Arctic Frontiers Science Conference on the topic of Arctic connectivity along with a number of other Arctic conferences. Tina also participates on the Arctic Council’s Task Force on Improving Connectivity in the Arctic.


  • 14:00 Being a Smart Partner in the Arctic: A Matter of Natural Course for Korea
    Authors: Hyoung Chul Shin ( Korea Arctic Research Consortium, Korea Polar Research Institute ); Hyun Cheol Kim ( Korea Arctic Research Consortium, Korea Polar Research Institute ); Kuk Jin Kang ( Korea Arctic Research Consortium, Korea Polar Research Institute ); Jinho Jang ( Korea Arctic Research Consortium, Korea Polar Research Institute ); Jong Deog Kim ( Korea Arctic Research Consortium, Korea Polar Research Institute ); Seung Woo Han ( Korea Arctic Research Consortium, Korea Polar Research Institute ); Minsu Kim ( Korea Arctic Research Consortium, Korea Polar Research Institute ); Hyun Kyo Seo ( Korea Arctic Research Consortium, Korea Polar Research Institute )
    Harsh and remote Arctic environments motivate Korea to become a smart and yet reliable partner in the region. While being located some distance away from the Arctic, Korea is still connected to the Arctic, profoundly affected by the changes taking place therein, thus rendering it interested in a wide range of fields related to the region. Partnerships have always been greatly valued in designing policies for Korea's Arctic endeavors. This is reflected in the Korean Arctic policies and the activities initiated under its regularly updated action plan. The plan emphasizes reaching a balance between conserving the Arctic environment and seeking economic opportunities in a sustainable manner, for which science investments and innovative technologies are essential. The recently issued "Korean 2050 Polar Vision Statement" that covers both poles, while providing an outlook on the next 30 years, reinforces this proposition. Here are some sample cases, one of which illustrates recent attempts by Korean researchers to combine sea ice and satellite science with the Arctic maritime logistics records, as a part of the "Korea Arctic Research Consortium" project. This particular project intended to make good use of the currently available resources and capacities, to assist the future businesses to come up with informed decisions, and for Korea to contribute to "Smart Arctic". These principles and efforts will remain as the foundation of Korea's efforts in the ever changing Arctic and Korea's evolving domestic policy settings.

Science Science

Wednesday 23rd January 2019

13:00 - 14:30

Clarion Hotel The Edge - Kjøpmannskontoret

Add to Calendar 2019-01-23 13:00 2019-01-23 14:30 Europe/Oslo A Smart Arctic Future - Smart Arctic Part II Clarion Hotel The Edge - Kjøpmannskontoret

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