thisthis

Outlook to the Future - Coastal Arctic Scenarios

Elective Course | 4 ECTS | Course: CRD 14

Instructor: Adam Stepien

Course Catalog Description

About the Course

The course brings together a broad range of transdisciplinary information on the challenges and developments taking place in Arctic coastal communities. Students also learn basic methodologies for thinking about the future: techniques that are commonly used in private and public organizations. In a workshop, we apply these foresight methods in creating future scenarios for northern coastal settlements. The scenarios are to allow students to develop and integrated view on developments, understand what is known, what is by nature uncertain and what we still need to learn in order to better understand the drivers and dynamics of change in the Arctic.

Instructor

I am a political scientist working at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland. In my research, I focus on Arctic governance, and in particular on the role of the European Union in the Arctic. I also deal with indigenous politics and regional development in northern peripheries. I have participated in a number of policy support and advisory projects, where we often try to think about the future of the Arctic.

As my course has a format of a workshop, it was of particular value for me that students had much personal experience and knowledge on a broad variety of issues relevant for Arctic communities, allowing them to learn from each other and making the course very enjoyable for the teacher.

Description

This course centers on different future scenarios regarding the Arctic. Different stakeholder groups, their views and interests in the Arctic will be presented and discussed. Pressing themes, such as minority and indigenous rights, resource use and extraction, political development and international cooperation will be explored through theories and methodologies such as strategic foresight and strategic impact assessments (SIA). Students will thus be equipped with the ability to develop critical thinking about ongoing economic, political and social changes and their implications. The course will draw on existing academic outputs and apply practical ‘tools-based’ exercises.

On completion of the course, a student:

  • can explain how foresight techniques can make innovation, regional development and marine policies more robust.
  • can identify the change processes at play in the Coastal Arctic and understand their characteristics.
  • can analyse the interrelationships between drivers and be able to consider their impacts.
  • can test new business ideas against alternative versions of the future.
  • can test ways of regional development policies and marine management policies against alternative versions of the future.
  • has demonstrated ability in communicating foresight techniques to stakeholders in an exemplified marine management or regional development situation.