Business in the Arctic – The Great Shifts

This year’s topic was The Great Shifts. We will discuss Policy Shift, Demographic Shift, Green Shift, Governance Shift and Shift in Ocean Technology. These great shifts are all taking place in the Arctic and are influencing the Arctic. What do they all mean for the future of the High North, especially for young people?

Remember to check out the Side Events as well!

Venue: Online and Stormen Library, Bodø, Norway

Main host: Andreas Raspotnik, senior researcher, High North Center

Wednesday April 6

10:30-12:00: Registration, coffee and mingling

12:00-12:15: Welcome to High North Dialogue 2022 – See video
About the panel

  • Hanne Solheim Hansen, Rector, Nord University
  • Frode Mellemvik, Director, High North Center for Business and Governance, Nord University


12:20-13:20: The Great Shifts – and Business opportunities in the Arctic – See video
About the panel

The main topic of High North Dialogue 2022 is The Great Shifts. In the opening panel we ask: Do the Great Shifts influence the Business development in the Arctic, if so, how? Are these shifts treats or opportunities for the development in the Arctic?

The Great Shifts are for instance connected to the tense political situation in the world, the climate change, the pandemic, radical technology improvements and the demographic development.

Could we in the Arctic offer any solutions? Could we even benefit from some of the shifts going on globally?  Who are the main stakeholders that could influence how the Arctic will be in the future?

Bård Borch Michalsen, Associate Professor, The Arctic University of Norway

Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Norway


  • Ine Eriksen Søreide, Member of the Norwegian Parliament and Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
  • Tomas Norvoll, President of the Nordland County Council
  • Gry Alsos, Dean, Nord University Business School
  • Daniel Bjarmann-Simonsen, Regional Director at The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO)
  • Nicole Natalie Furnes, Student at North University and Volunteer Coordinator in Bodø2024 European Capital of Culture


13:20-14:00: Lunch

14:00-14:55: Green Shift – See video
About the panel

According to the Norwegian Government, the Green Shift requires a restructuring that includes all areas of society and actors. Innovation and technology development is one of the keys to the Green Shift, and business is a key force. There is a massive push for green industrialization, and the panel will concentrate on the opportunities this brings to the Arctic.

Petter Nore, Professor, Nord University


  • Elisabeth Sæther, State Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in Norway
  • Ørjan Jensen, Mayor in Vardø Municipality
  • Tomas Hörnfeldt, Vice President Sustainable Business & Public Affairs at SSAB
  • Anders Tørud, Project Manager, Energi I Nord
  • Bjørgulf Haukelidsæter Eidesen, CEO Horisont Energi
  • Daria Dvurechenskaya, Student Global Management


15:00-16:00: International Cooperation in Higher Education and Research – See video
About the panel

– How will the future be?

International cooperation in education and research has for years been important to build bridges and provide high quality education for our youth. But with a change in the dynamics of crossing borders, how will internationalization develop into the future?

The pandemic has moved education online with students participating in education by international partners abroad. The climate crisis is fostering a new generation of youths with sustainability as their core value with a behavior and lifestyle which aims to reduce own footprints on the environment. The war in Ukraine shakes international cooperation in education and research, raising the stakes of global institutional cooperation and young globetrotter.

In this panel we will discuss how these dynamics affects international cooperation in education and research in the immediate present and the coming future.

June Borge Doornich, Vice Dean, Nord University Business School


  • Hanne Solheim, Rector, Nord University
  • Dag Rune Olsen, Rector, UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • Zhang Xin, Deputy Director, School of Politics and International Relations, East China Normal University
  • Laurence Smith, Professor, Brown University
  • Harald Nybølet, Division Director, Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills
  • Elise Nyborg, Recent Postgraduate, Scott Polar Research Institute – University of Cambridge


16:00-16:30: Coffee break

16:30-17:25: Governance Shift – See video
About the panel


The challenges and opportunities for governance in the Arctic are shaped by both local and regional/Arctic conditions and broader developments and context. The bigger backdrop for governance involves both longstanding and novel factors, from centre-periphery relations (and decisions made in southern capitols), through the growing awareness of the impacts of climate change to acute crises, most recently and exceptionally acute being Russia’s invasion of and war against Ukraine.

This panel invites speakers to reflect on how governance in the Arctic is shifting and needs to shift:  Do we achieve meaningful local governance in the Arctic, when much is governed from the south? How are Arctic peoples, cities, communities, regions responding to global challenges and crises? What steps are needed to strengthen Arctic governance in shifting times?

Elana W. Rowe, Researcher, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)


  • Nicolas de La Grandville, EU Ambassador to Norway
  • Mikkel Eskil Mikkelsen, Member of the Governing Council of the Sámi Parliament in Norway
  • Ida Maria Pinnerød, Mayor of Bodø Municipality and member of Arctic Mayors Forum
  • Anu Fredrikson, Executive Director, Arctic Frontiers
  • Christian Miguel Jurado Meza, Student Global Management


17:30-18:00: High North Young Entrepreneurs
About the panel

High North Young Entrepreneurs is an international pitch competition of Arctic-related business ideas of young entrepreneurs and start-ups. The three finalists will give a presentation and the conference participants will vote for the best project. The winner will be announced at the Conference dinner.

Bård Borch Michalsen, Senior Lecturer, The Arctic University of Norway

Monica Ahyee, Director, Innovation Norway Nordland


20:00: Conference Dinner
About the panel

Radisson Blu Hotel, straight across the street from Stormen Library


Thursday April 7

08:00-08:30: Registration, coffee and mingling

08:30-08:35: Introduction to day two

08:35-09:35:  Ocean Technology Shift – See video
About the panel

Achieving the green transition requires innovative and climate-smart technological solutions. How can ocean businesses contribute to the systemic shift needed for reaching international commitments such as the Paris agreement?

Jan-Gunnar Winther, CEO, Norwegian Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic


  • Peter Eide Walseth, Political Adviser for the Minister of Fisheries and Ocean in Norway
  • Sturla Henriksen, Special Advisor, Ocean, to the United Nations Global Compact
  • Vegard Johansen, CEO SINTEF Ocean AS
  • Helene Tofte, Director for International Cooperation and Climate at the Norwegian Shipowners Association


09:40-10:10: High North Scenarios – See video
About the panel

Students from the Master Course International governance and business in the High North participate in a Scenario workshop just before High North Dialogue. Join us to follow the best scenarios about our future in the High North to be presented by the winning group of master students.


  • Anatoli Bourmistrov, Professor, Nord University Business School
  • Elena Dybtsyna, Associate Professor, Nord University Business School and High North Center for Business and Governance

Award ceremony:
Dr. Tom S. Karlsson, Associate Professor, School of Public Adminsitration, University of Gothenburg


10:10-10:40: Coffee break

10:40-11:20: Business Index North – See video
About the panel

– Socio-economic resilience in the Arctic

The panel will focus on socio-economic development of the European part of the Arctic and address the following questions:

  • What kind of strategies do we need to develop resilient regions in the North?
  • How can we make Arctic regions attractive for more people?
  • How can we improve Arctic business access to workers?
  • How can we reduce split between development in urban and rural areas in the Arctic?

Business Index North (BIN) is a project that contributes to sustainable development and value creation in the Arctic. The overall goal is to set up a recurring, knowledge-based, systematic information tool for stakeholders such as businesses, academics, governments and regional authorities, as well as media, in the Arctic states.

Bjørn Olsen, Professor, Nord University Business School

Erlend Bullvåg, Associate Professor, Nord University Business School
Andrey Mineev, Researcher, Nord University Business School


  • Bård Ludvig Thorheim, Member of the Norwegian Parliament
  • Anders Oskal, Secretary General of the Association of World Reindeer Herders
  • Ossi Pesämaa, Associate Professor from LTU Sweden
  • Anne Rännäli-Kontturi, International Affairs Manager, City of Oulu/Arctic Mayors Forum


11:25-12:30: Demographic Shift – See video
About the panel

The High North is increasingly getting older. Young people are tempted by opportunities elsewhere, and are moving to the south. How can people be tempted by the opportunities in the north?

Stein Vidar Loftås, Director of Communications in the savings bank company Sparebank 1 North-Norway


What does it take for young people to see their future in the north.

  • Jeanette Gundersen, Head of the Knowledge Bank, Sparebank 1 North-Norway
  • Einar Lohne Bjøru, Adviser to the Youth County Council in Nordland
  • Maja Wolland Blomberg, Student Global Management


The need for competence and people.

  • Tomas Norvoll, President of the Nordland County Council, Norway
  • Frode Hvattum, VP Sustainability in Freyr Battery


Who succeeds in attracting people and labor.

  • Helena Renström, Marketing Manager, Skellefteå Municipality, Sweden


12:30-13:30: Lunch

13:30-14:30: Ambassadors’ Panel – See video
About the panel

The Arctic today, seen from the Ambassadors of the Arctic Nations.

Arne O. Holm, Editor in Chief of High North News


  • Eivind Vad Petersson, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
  • Nicolas de La Grandville, EU Ambassador to Norway
  • Sharon Hudson-Dean, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy to Norway
  • Deirdre Kent, Canadian Ambassador to Norway
  • Cecilia Björner, Swedish Ambassador to Norway


14.30-14.50: High North Hero – See video
About the panel

The High North Hero Award is an annual award to honour a person, organization or company who has contributed to highlighting or developing the High North.

As always, there have been nominated many good candidates for the award as High North Hero. Many of the nominees are, however, linked to the current tense political situation or will be prevented from participating in this year’s High North Dialogue. The High North Hero Committee has therefore decided not to award any High North Hero this year.

We will nevertheless have a brief reunion with our former High North Heros.

  • Video of former High North Heroes
  • Felix Tschudi, the High North Hero 2020, interviewed by Arne O. Holm, Editor in Chief of High North News


14:50-15:00: Goodbye High North Dialogue 2022 – See you in 2023


High North Dialogue 2022 Poster