It was a pleasure to be invited to speak at the recent “What next for the Arctic?” (Hull High North Conference) and represent the arctic futures initiative.
I’m grateful to the University of Hull, Department of Politics & International Studies for both hosting the event and for the invitation to present.
I’ve reproduced my conference abstract below:
Title – The Future of the Arctic
Underlying this conference is an explicit motif of change characterised by elements of uncertainty and complexity.
Collectively, we now accept the contemporary Arctic & Northern circumpolar region as subject to a wide variety of change processes: expressive of multiple phenomena, operating at different scales & rates of change, evolving along multiple trajectories and to emergent timelines and with likely impact upon an increasing number of actors, stakeholders & agents – both directly & indirectly.
As a corollary, most would also accept the notion that ideas about what the future of the Arctic will actually be are themselves contested, driven by –
paradoxically –both heterogeneous images & values but also by shared visions centred on ‘common concerns’. However, to be meaningful, all, at some point, reference back to the need to generate policies & strategies as a means to engage with the range of currently perceived challenges & opportunities.
Moving beyond a simple exposition of identified drivers & trends, Guy will seek to illustrate how using key elements of future studies can inform our approaches to thinking about the future & challenge our construction of the concept of ‘next’. From this, Guy will offer an outline framework to help conference participants place themes of interest within a more fluid & contextually relevant understanding of the futures of the Arctic for themselves.