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Arctic 2050

The Arctic 2050 research initiative aims to identify how institutional and innovation development can make the intensification of economic activity in the Arctic a key driver of the sustainable development of the region, including social and environmental perspectives.

Jay Nibbe
Jay Nibbe
Global Vice Chair, Markets EY

«I join the authors of this report in hoping that it will help business and policymakers define strategies for the Arctic that help solve for today’s challenges in reframing our future to protect and create long-term sustainable value for all stakeholders.»

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Dr. Andrei Sharonov
Dr. Andrei Sharonov
President Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

«I am very pleased to introduce you to the Arctic-2050 report which explores alternative futures for the Arctic region and tipping points that leaders need to pay attention to.»

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Frode Nilssen
Frode Nilssen
DSc and Professor in Marketing Nord University Business School

«The main aim of this document is to stimulate a debate that addresses this important question. In order to generate interest and engagement, the authors have developed a set of possible scenarios that may eventuate. Some may look extreme, or perhaps unlikely. But it will be important to bear in mind while reading the text that the scenarios are presented mainly to stimulate more open thought around “what if…” rather than locking the mindset around a few issues, positive or negative.»

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The Arctic 2050 research

Harsh environmental conditions of the Arctic have been constraining economic activity in the region. Climate change opens up new prospects for the development of these territories. The Arctic has become one of the geopolitical hot spots: global and regional players seek to advance their frontiers.

The region is extremely rich in natural resources: 30% of the world's unexplored reserves of natural gas and 13% of oil reserves lie down in the Arctic bowels. Melting ice opens up access to unexplored mineral and biological recourses, as well as unlocks shipping routes for year-round navigation.

At the same time, the intensification of economic activity makes a significant impact on both the environment and the living conditions of the indigenous peoples. Understanding the driving forces that will transform the business and political landscape of the Arctic in the coming decades is crucial for policy-makers and businesses in order to come up with mutually beneficial approaches for seizing the arising opportunities without making harm to the unique Arctic natural and social ecosystem.

We develop four narratives for the Arctic until 2050 describing the possible implications of the intensification of economic activity in the region, establishment of the Arctic technological platform, and development of the Arctic cities. We discuss threats and opportunities in each scenario offering recommendations for the business and policy-makers. We are combining cabinet and field research. We provide an overview of the academic and applied literature on the subject and share findings from the series of in-depth interviews and expert seminars with key stakeholders, including businesses, government, local administrations, social and environmental non-governmental organizations.

Arctic 2050

The Arctic region is going through a serious transformation as it faces the disruptive challenges of climate change and shifting global political, social and economic patterns.

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