Background

From 2015 the Arctic Dialogue Conference is changing name to HIGH NORTH DIALOGUE.

The Arctic Dialogue has been organized and initiated by the High North Centre for Business and Governance at Bodø Graduate School of Business, Nord University, and up to 2012, supported by HBW Resources (USA), to foster dialogue and increase information sharing between stakeholders in the Arctic.

The Dialogue series offers a unique and intimate scene and was at the beginning in 2006 a departure from a traditional conference setting. All stakeholders are equal participants and help in constructing the directional content of the Dialogues. The circum-Arctic-Dialogue offers valuable lessons for all communities that are currently examining the prospects of expanding offshore oil and gas production in an environmentally sustainable manner. The roundtable seminar series endeavours to foster discussion, develop dialogue on sustainable development and sound environmental practices as well as share regional experiences from such diverse locations as the counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark in Norway, North Aleutians and North Slope, Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico in the United States, the Beaufort and Labrador Seas in Canada and Yamal Peninsula and Sakhalin, Russia to fully examine the benefits and challenges associated with offshore commercial fishing, oil & gas activities and other industries located in the Arctic.

The whole concept started in 2006 when Jan Terje Henriksen and Jan-Oddvar Sørnes were flying back from a opening of a new NGO (involving David Holt and Andrew Browning) in Houston, US and discussed the possibility of making something similar here in Bodø, building a forum for energy and petroleum related networking.

They were also involved with the new Master Programme «Energy Management» (recruiting started autumn 2005) and saw an opportunity to combine these ideas with the new Programme.

After their trip to USA Jan Terje and Jan-Oddvar had been working hard to connect with institutions in America and through Andrew Browning of HBW Resources in Houston, they got in touch with School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University (Manhattan, NY) (Shirley Neff og David Nissen), and Johns Hopkins University, SAIS, Washington DC. Based on this network a course on Geopolitics, conducted by Andrew Browning was designed. At the same time, Jan-Oddvar and Jan Terje had been to Houston to meet David Holt, a colleague of Andrew, who became a strong contributor and supporter financially and professionally. A programme for student internship was also agreed, and two students from Energy Management have every year been a semester in Houston/Austin for their final thesis.

The American link was strong for a long time. When the cooperation with Russia through MGIMO and later Rosneft was introduced the focus had to be somewhat balanced. The American network is still working well through research and other R&D related activities, while the direct connection to the Master programmes has been reduced.

Petter Nore and Johan Petter Barlindhaug were involved from the beginning and Petter Nore is still an Adjunct Professor with the Business School.

In 2010 the students from the new Master Programme “Sustainable Management” were included in the conference.

From 2013 a Master course was developed and all Master students at the Energy Management and Sustainable Management have to fulfill the course as part of their degree. From 2014 the course was opened to other external students as well, and an Arctic Bridge PhD course was included. From 2015 the plan is to offer a specific High North Dialogue PhD course as well.

Arctic Dialogue Series – Past and Present (see the drop-down menu Previous conferences for more information about each conference)

April 2006

“Opportunities and Responsibilities in the High North” and “Energy Management in the High North – Perspectives on Energy Security and Geopolitics”. Programmes on Hurtigruta (Coastal steamer) and in Kirkenes.

April 2007
“Peaceful and Productive Coexistence in the High North” seminar in Henningsvær, Norway

May 2008“Arctic Study Tour” in Bodø, Tromsø and Hammerfest, Norway
Similar to the first seminar in the series, this Study Tour brought many of the original participants/stakeholders from Alaska and Louisiana to meet with their Norwegian counterparts and discuss the challenges of co-existence between energy and fisheries.

October 2008 & May 2009“Arctic Dialogue and Study Tour”  
The October and May Arctic Dialogue and Study Tours focused in more detail on issues such as oil spill prevention and response, as well as issues associated with the seismic imaging process and comparison of environmental regulations of Canada, the U.S. and Norway.

March 2010“Arctic Dialogue and Sea Study Tour”
Having brought together several major stakeholders concerned with Arctic development to foster dialogue and increase information sharing, this study tour focused on balancing industrial/oil and gas development with ecosystem and cultural needs. Discussion also addressed Pan-Arctic research needs and next steps for the Arctic Dialogue and Study Tour.

March 2011 -“Arctic Dialogue” in Bodø, Norway
“Educating the future leaders of the Arctic”

Based on feedback from stakeholders the conference was reduced to two days. Due to bad weather the whole conference took place in Bodø, only.

March 2012 – “Arctic Dialogue” in Bodø, on Hurtigruta and in Svolvær (Lofoten islands)
“New Partnerships for Development in the High North”

The seminar fostered discussion associated with Pan-Arctic concepts/standards for oil and gas production and minerals extraction to improve information sharing among the key stakeholders and to put this information into practice by building new partnerships for development and a roadmap towards a sustainable oil and gas industry.

March 2013, Bodø, Norway
“Arctic in a Global Perspective”
As a continuation of the spring 2012 conference, this study tour focused on the Arctic in a global perspective to enhance stakeholders’ understanding of resourece development in the High North.

18-20 March 2014, Bodø, Norway

“Arctic in a global perspective – resources”.