The Future is in the North

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Esa Jauhola, PhD, Principal lecturer, Lapland University of Applied Sciences


The Arctic is one of the cleanest regions in the world, which is influenced by a number of rapid and controversial changes. Climate change and technological change are transforming the nature of the region. New sea routes, the energy and mineral reserves, and increasing tourism will involve new threats but also open up opportunities.

My first business trip as a business teacher to Murmansk was on 6th December 1992 when Finland was celebrating the 75th Independence day. This year Finland is celebrating the 100-year  anniversary, and on the 6th December I will be in Arkhangelsk together with Norwegian, Finnish and Russian students and colleagues.

Since the 1990’s the world has changed more than ever, mainly due to the developments in the communication technology. Aaltonen and Loescher (2015) argue that the change is dynamic, cascading, unpredictable – psychologically, physiologically and sociologically – and it is accelerating. Environmental changes, globalized economy, explosion of human population and urbanization are factors, which influence the human life all over the world.

Today, the global interest is in the Arctic because the northernmost regions are rich in resources. The challenge will be accessing them sustainably.  Therefore, the cross-border cooperation in the High North is very important. Finland as the Chair of the Arctic Council in 2017 – 2019 has a challenging task to take care of this sustainable development together with the partner countries. Institutes of higher education (HEI’s) as a circumpolar network play a central role in keeping the discussion active, as well as in research and education.

In this issue of LUMEN, the Top of Europe is described and analyzed from different perspectives. On the following pages, there are several articles about the Arctic cooperation and cross-border expertise.

I would like to thank all writers for their contribution, and especially ms. Päivi Koivupalo for her column on the need of cross-border specialists.

New Competences in Multicultural Workplaces

My Norwegian colleagues from the Arctic University of Norway, associate professor Kjersti Karijord Smørvik, PhD and associate professor May Kristin Vespestad, PhD write about new ways of learning needed on the new world. They argue that students should be encouraged to active learning to be able to co-create cross-border learning experiences.

Also principal lecturer Vladimir Ryabov, PhD and senior lecturer Tuomo Lindholm, MBA discuss new requirements to specialists, but from the evolution of ICT field point of view. They argue that future ICT specialists must have holistic thinking abilities combining both business and ICT competences.

Senior lecturer Ritva Ala-Louko, M.A. wants to point out the need to develop international competence and intercultural communication skills. For the students this is an investment which helps him/her to meet the future skill, knowledge and attitude needs. International competence is much more than language skill, studying or working abroad, or willingness to travel.

Principal lecturer Soili Mäkimurto-Koivumaa, PhD, analyses the lessons learned in collaboration and crossing borders. She raises a question, how we can make sure that the competences and knowledge developed during earlier processes will not be totally lost. Internationalization competence is extremely important in the business life and the staff and managers of HEI’s in addition to the students should be future-ready.

Principal lecturer Esa Jauhola, PhD, analyzes the future opportunities of High North from mega trends, sustainable development, networking and management of distances perspectives. He argues that the HEI’s play a key role in the transnational collaboration in the Arctic but also in the Baltic region. To be future-proof, the institutions must develop their own capabilities and networks.

Lecturer Anzelika Krastina, MEd, discusses the development of entrepreneurship ecosystem for efficient entrepreneurial learning in European Arctic. She is developing new curricula and learning tools for international business programmes.

Transnational High North experiences

Senior lecturer Arja Jääskeläinen, EdD has written an interesting review on the Nordic green care cooperation. In recent years, a need has emerged to develop especially Green Care type of services all over Nordic countries.

Project managers Anu Harju-Myllyaho and Marlene Kohllechner-Autto write in their review about social entrepreneurship in Lapland.  In their report the give recommendations on how to improve the status of social enterprises.

Project coordinators Kalle Santala and Reeta Sipola, both Masters of natural resources, are questioning whether the competence of bioeconomy should be developed for international needs. The development of international relations and joint business, they say, creates individual opportunities to employees to make use of their expertise in Nordic countries.

Project Manager Anne-Mari Väisänen, Master of Natural Resources, analyses the need for modern learning environment in forestry education. She describes how game-based learning and digital tools in forestry support decision-making.

Project manager Jonna Löf, MEd, and project coordinator Sini Turpeenniemi MSc (econ) are involved in project aiming to integrate immigrants to the Finnish society with help of higher education. In their review they describe the integration and learning pathway for immigrants. Jonna Löf has also been involved in developing a higher education counselling model for immigrants.

Project planner Sirpa Kokkonen writes about EKKU project – from the anticipation to training, education and partnership. The project aims at analyzing and developing competencies of workers in North Finnish businesses.

Aulikki Laitinen-Tolonen and Niko Niemisalo write about a problem called trafficking in Lapland, and integrating European cooperative project into the tourism education.

Lecturer Joonas Koivumaa, MSc (econ),  found an interesting book which he reviews and recommends all colleagues to read. The book is called Sprint: how to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days.

Little bit of history

Project manager Antti Haase, M.A. (film and TV), MSc, recently made a documentary film called The Illuminators. Now he writes an interesting review about making of a personal film about electrification of Lapland. The film and the review are extremely interesting as Haase has been following the arrival of electricity to Lapland since he was a little boy.


Aaltonen M & Loescher M (2015). Crossroads. Transformations on the Road to 2040. Aalto University.

2 thoughts on “The Future is in the North

  1. Thank you Morton for your encouraging comment. We publisgh the LUMEN journal three times per year but mainly in Finnish. I’ll talk with my management and collegues.

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