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The Arctic: How It’s Changing and Why It Matters

Published: 26 April 2021

The course explores one of the great sustainability challenges of our time - the effects of global change in the Arctic and how and why it matters.

The Arctic area is today exposed to extensive pressure for change as a result of climate change and a growing demand for natural resources and nature experiences. This applies not least to the Swedish part of the Arctic, where the changes create opportunities for value creation but at the same time major challenges for people and environments.

The purpose of the course is to provide a basic knowledge of Norrland counties' relations with the rest of Sweden and the world in a longer historical time perspective - economically, politically, socially, culturally, and gain an insight into the opportunities and challenges that exist to create sustainable development in the region today . This is not the first time the Arctic has undergone major changes. The region has been the subject of waves of interest from various actors over hundreds of years.

What will you learn?

  1. Climate change in the Arctic - why it happens and how it affects the environment in the Arctic and beyond
  2. Main processes for societal change in the region - e.g. how and why the Arctic was colonized and industrialized and its consequences for environments and societies
  3. Opportunities and challenges for sustainable development in the Arctic
  4. Tensions in the Arctic: conflicts over land use, geopolitics and security
  5. How challenges in the Arctic are managed

At the end of the course you will be able to ...

  • Understand how climate change, global resource requirements and sustainable development agendas affect people and environments in the Arctic.
  • Identify the interests of different actors in the region.
  • Describe how and why the Arctic has changed historically with a special focus on northern Sweden.
  • Understand the relationship between the Arctic region and the rest of the world.

Who is the course for?

  • If you are considering moving to, investing, studying, researching or traveling in the Arctic, or are otherwise curious to learn more about the region, this course is your introductory course to one of the most spectacular regions in the world - the Nordic Arctic, especially the northern counties in Sweden / Sápmi.

  • The course benefits those who want to learn more about how global change processes - climate change, global markets, geopolitics and cultural trends - affect environments in the Arctic and the conditions for living and working there.
  • The course is valuable for students who plan to study at universities and other learning institutions in the northern area.
  • The course provides an opportunity for you who plan to do business in and invest in the Arctic, to learn more about opportunities and challenges there, about the relationship between the north and the rest of the world and about historical experiences that can help make informed decisions in the present.
  • The course is of interest to anyone who needs to learn more about Sweden's role in the Arctic.

The teacher in charge

Avango Day
Professor is also a subject representative
Department of Economics, Technology and Society, Luleå University of Technology

Luleå University of Technology's mission is to shape the future through innovative education and groundbreaking research results. The university is located in the Arctic region and creates global societal benefits.