Outlook to the Future: Coastal Arctic Scenarios

CCRD14 Elective 2 ECTS
Period -
Instructor Adam Stepien


Successful and sustainable economic development within the Coastal Arctic is seen by many as one of the key challenges of the first half of the 21st century and central to this idea is the role the ‘blue economy’ may have in supporting this. Underlying new maritime economic and social development is the process of marine innovation, but it is increasingly recognised that such activity take place against a backdrop of uncertainty as a result of the region being subjected to a number of significant and evolving processes of change. Identifing these trends and understanding what impact they may have on businesses as well as communities is essential, especially when taking decisions on big investments as well as in regional development and marine management policies. To investigate these themes, we will use some of the latest ideas on how innovation processes can be linked to futures and strategic foresight techniques to help participants account for future change in their development of new business ideas.


Upon completion of this course, students

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



Adam Stepien is political scientist working at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland in Finland. His research interests include Arctic governance and Arctic cooperation, in particular the role of the EU in the Arctic, which is the topic of his ongoing doctoral project. Mr. Stepien has been involved in a number of policy advice projects for the European Parliament, the European External Action Service and Finland’s Prime Minister’s Office. He authored articles, book chapters and reports on Arctic Council, Sámi politics, development cooperation with and for indigenous peoples, Arctic economic developments, Nordic Arctic innovation and on the EU Arctic policy. Recently, he has been working on development strategies in Arctic regions and the prospects for innovation, knowledge-based economy and endogenous entrepreneurship promotion in the northernmost part of Europe.