On September 8 and 9 the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland hosted the “Northern Political Symposium 2016” with the theme “Everyday life in the Arctic” in Rovaniemi.
Approximately 20 researchers from Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Canada participated to share results from their research concerning this topic. Key note speaker Gérard Duhaim presented preliminary results from a study on “Circumpolar Arctic social inequities in the global economy” revealing the connection between Gini coefficient and life expectancy, infant mortality and female ratio in the Arctic communities. The Nordic countries had (as we already are well aware) the lowest score on the Gini coefficient but among these Nordic Sweden and Greenland scored the highest Gini coefficient (thus more inequality). Other presentation topics focused on the state’s role in commercialising reindeer herding activity among Sami in North Finland through subsidy measures, local consequences of a bankruptcy of Sydvaranger A/S mine in Finnmark in Norway and the identity crisis it caused in the community loosing 380 mining jobs.
Leneisja Jungsberg from Nordregio presented “Community perspectives on future community development in the Nordic Arctic” based on the Foresight analysis conducted as part of the research for the Nordic Working Group for Sustainable Regional Development in the Arctic . Many found the study highly interesting and in particular the innovative use of maps and the empowering effect it has for citizens using the quantitative data as a foundation for the workshops discussing future challenges and opportunities.
The leader at the Arctic Centre, Monica Tennberg, were eager for this international group of researchers to begin cooperating more and stated that she had a number of ideas for future research projects where she hoped that Nordregio wants to participate.