Arctic Congress Bodø 2024

29 May - 3 June 2024 | Bodø, Norway
Arctic Congress Bodø 2024

Join the Arctic Congress Bodø 2024 for a unique event that combines the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS) XI, UArctic Congress 2024, and High North Dialogue 2024.

The congress takes place from 29 May to 3 June 2024 in Bodø, Norway, hosted by Nordland Research Institute and Nord University. An extraordinary illustration of Arctic co-operation, these three conferences are brought together for the first time in Bodø (European Capital of Culture 2024).

The congress includes high-level plenary sessions, several parallel sessions, network activities, and social and cultural events. This brings excellent opportunities for researchers, policymakers, businesses, and students to increase their connectivity and knowledge exchange on Arctic issues. The International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) and University of the Arctic (UArctic) will also hold their assemblies.

Up to 1,500 international participants gather for what will be the year’s major research event in the Arctic.

Climate researcher and professor Grete Hovelsrud at Nordlandsforskning and Nord University says that top Arctic researchers will attend. She has worked with the program for a long time. It is spectacular, with so many Arctic actors gathered in the same place. Connecting Indigenous Peoples, Arctic ambassadors, researchers, educators, politicians and businesses. This is quite unusual in a congress context.


Focus on Indigenous Peoples

The program’s core is the sessions driven by the researchers. This is the very backbone of the Congress, with a lot of new and exciting research and perspectives, adds Hovelsrud.

The gathering points are the plenary panels, and discussion can be raised to a slightly different level than in research, she explains.

There will be a strong focus on Indigenous Peoples themes, adds Hovelsrud.

– There are also some side events with “pubinars” that address more sensitive topics, such as what is being done now that Russian researchers are by and large absent.


Rapid Changes

Hovelsrud believes that the relationship with Russia will probably become a hot topic among people “in the corridors.” It is challenging that such a big Arctic congress will be missing the country that accounts for half of the land areas in the region.

– Some remember a time before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. For 30 years, it has been natural to go to Russia and collaborate with Russian researchers.

– Many questions arise now: How to proceed now? Will it ever be the same? The fact that the problematic questions will be addressed shows that this is a great depth and breadth Congress.

As a climate researcher, Grete has experienced first-hand how the Russian war against Ukraine has reduced access to important research data from the Russian side of the Arctic.

There are rapid climatic changes, and when there’s no cooperation with Russia and lack of information on what they are up to, access to their new knowledge will be lacking.


Unique Event

Hovelsrud is looking forward to the Congress and says there is also great interest from non-Arctic countries.

– For example, France and India.

– How large will this be?

– It will be the largest congress that has taken place in the Nordic region. Due to the unique collaboration between three established Arctic organizations it will be a unique event that has not happened before and will probably not happen again.

The Arctic Congress Bodø 2024 takes place on Sámi land. The congress’ logo honours the local cultures and you are welcome to Bodø in Lule Sámi, Pite Sámi, Norwegian and English!



The programme details of the Arctic Congress Bodø 2024 can be viewed here.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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