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Northern connections

Growing partnership between Newfoundland and Labrador and Norway

Campus and Community

By Memorial University

Newfoundland and Labrador and Norway have many things in common.

Crashing ocean waves and the edge of a cliff.

Rocky coastlines, northern climates and cultures that have been shaped by the sea and ice are just some of them.

This week, Memorial University and its partners are hosting a delegation of Norwegian academics and industry and cultural leaders to further explore collaborations and shared opportunities between the two regions.

The visit is part of the third Arctic Forum, a partnership between Memorial University, the University of Tromsø and the Shorefast Foundation.

Sustainable and inclusive

First held in 2015, the forum brings together individuals with expertise related to northern and Arctic issues for informed, candid and creative discussions about how to support a sustainable and inclusive Arctic future.

Attendees include the Norwegian ambassador to Canada, the Canadian ambassador to Norway, federal government representatives, the president of the University of the Arctic, and others.

The event begins with a day-long session at the St. John’s campus, where the Norwegian delegation will be joined by a group of Memorial students, faculty and staff with interests that are related to Norway, the Arctic and the North.

The group will share their expertise and ongoing projects and explore useful connections.

‘Uniquely positioned’

Key projects with links to Memorial will be highlighted, including SmartICE, a climate change adaptation social enterprise, and Climate Collective, a youth-focused initiative aiming to build a climate collaboration network and increase the capacity for climate innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador’s youth.

The forum will then move to Fogo Island, where part of the program includes a presentation from Zita Cobb showcasing the Shorefast model of regional economic development.

President Vianne Timmons is chairing the forum. She will host a panel discussion featuring delegates from both Norway and Canada that will consider the role of women in Arctic leadership.

“Memorial and the communities of Newfoundland and Labrador are already a part of the Arctic discussion,” noted Dr. Timmons. “Memorial, along with our partners, are uniquely positioned among Canadian universities to be on the leading edge of finding solutions for northern and Arctic challenges. Collaborations such as this forum ensure that we continue to be responsive.”

Other key topics that will be addressed over the four-day event include Arctic collaboration in the current complex geopolitical situation, green energy development and the blue economy.

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